1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS

  • One of 52 Original 3rd Series Supercharged 1750 SS

  • Previously owned by David Brown

  • Accepted on to the Registro 1000 Miglia

 Location:   Registration:

Ownership History

The Supercharged Alfa Romeo 1750SS.

Following its introduction in 1929,the 1750SS was an immediate success in competition, both short and long format, including outright victories on the Mille Miglia in both 1929 and 1930 plus victories in the Spa 24 hours in those same years. All over Europe the model was virtually unbeatable in its class. With a top speed of 95mph, a chassis designed to flex and undulate over rough surfaces and sensitive geared-up steering, this was the ideal multi-purpose car of its time. Counter intuitively, a complex twin overhead cam engine with a supercharger was rarely ‘hors de combat’.

Chassis No. 6C 0312956.

At that time Alfa Romeo produced only chassis, which were sent off to various coachbuilders and typically graced with beautiful bodies of touring or sporting types. Great Britain was an important market for Alfa Romeo and the importer, ‘Freddie’ Stiles, was heavily involved in racing, having 1750’s specifically built for the purpose, and with great success, including an outright 1-2-3 at the 1930 Tourist Trophy.

He also had a limited number (perhaps as few as three) 1750 chassis bodied as road cars to his own designs. These cars featured two seats and a pointed tail with a small dickey-seat in the rear, each with a different wing treatment. The coachwork itself was built by James Young who were well-known for their own 1750 bodies, albeit generally far less sporting in style. Of these original ‘Threesome’ designs, only two are known to survive; one being owned by Dr. Fred Simeone and residing in his museum in Philadelphia.

Our car is the other. This very special Alfa Romeo left the Milan Works in December of 1929, having been ordered that October by Mr. Leonard Tweedale. Tweedale was part of a wealthy family of industrial machinery makers in the North of England and he would keep the car until 1932 when he passed it to his son, John, on his 21st birthday. The car’s history file contains a delightful photograph of father & son with the car, believed to be at said 21st birthday party, celebrated in Scotland. Tweedale jr. would go on later to have some success rallying and trialling a Frazer Nash.

After a year John Tweedale sold his Alfa Romeo to non-other than David Brown who’s family engineering firm supplied gears to the Tweedale’s. Due to the financial needs of the business, Brown would soon sell the car back to Stiles’  Alfa Romeo British Sales where it was reconditioned and sold to dealers J.H. Bartlett of Notting Hill Gate. The 6C was then sold to well-known motor dealers Patrick Motors of Birmingham, England. Mr Patrick is noted in various motor sport articles from 1933 as competing in an Alfa Romeo at Shelsley Walsh Hill climb but it is not known if it was in this car or another blown 1750 that he owned around the same time.

This car was the subject of an extensive article in Autocar magazine’s ‘Talking of Sportscars’ series, dated April 1st 1949.  The author, one ‘G.C.D’, purchased the car just after WWII. As can be seen in the copy of the magazine held in the history file, the car is given a glowing review.  “In my hands the car has now covered well over 15,000 miles on the road without being touched”….“the most reliable car I have ever owned”….“It seems quite impossible to go into a corner too fast provided all tyres have equal amount of tread… it is perfectly simple to take corners with a controlled four wheel slide.”

…the most reliable car I have ever owned G.C.D. Autocar 1949

An original buff logbook records the date of original registration as 9th January 1930 and shows ownership from 1957 onward. This included, from 1957 to ’59, renowned cardio-vascular surgeon Alexander Graham Bryce whose expenditure with Thomson & Taylor of Brooklands is detailed on invoices remaining in the history file. The logbook goes on to show the chain of ownership up until 1965 when the previous owner, Robin Toone, acquired the car from John Le Sage with whom he was attending university.  Dr. Toone went on to compete extensively with the car in VSCC events over the next 50 years.

In 2015 the Alfa was acquired by the current owner. The car was in good running and driving condition but was in need of some restoration after five decades of predominantly competition use. The decision was taken to carry out a complete but sympathetic restoration, whilst taking great care to replace as little of the original structure as possible. On close inspection, whilst being dismantled, it was evident how original the car was. Numerous photographs illustrate this. English coachbuilding specialist Simon Isles was tasked with repairing sections of the timber frame where necessary, using original methods, before turning his attention to the aluminium body panels in a similar fashion.

Once the coachwork was restored, the car was completely stripped down to the bare chassis to allow it to be sand-blasted and re-painted. Whilst dismantling the chassis traces of dark maroon paint ( as recorded on the buff logbook ) were discovered and the decision was made to return the car to its original colour. Each piece of the running gear was stripped and detailed in turn before re-assembly, with a strict eye for detail. A new dash panel in Walnut was fitted with the original 6-inch English A.T. speedometer and rev counter plus Smith’s oil pressure and water temperature gauges. New wheels, built by Motor Wheel Services, were fitted with Blockley tyres. Finally the interior was beautifully re-trimmed in tan leather to complement the rich maroon coachwork. The car holds current FIVA paperwork and has been accepted onto the Registro 1000 Miglia.

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