• THE 2008 EXHIBITION •
Four 8C-2900 team cars were built by Alfa Romeo and Carrozzeria Touring for the 1938 Mille Miglia. Alfa dominated the race, and this car driven by Carlo Pintacuda led for most of the thousand-mile contest. At the last checkpoint, a brake problem sidelined it for 14 minutes, causing it to finish second by a mere two minutes.
The car was later bought from Alfa Corse by Count Carlo Felice Trossi, and in the 1940s came to the states in the ownership of Tommy Lee, who raced it at Pikes Peak and Watkins Glen. A young mechanic by the name of Phil Hill bought the car from the Lee estate and drove it to victory at Pebble Beach, winning the Del Monte Cup in 1951. Subsequent owners included James F. Magin, Brooks Stevens, and Alfa collector Bill Serri.
The Mille Miglia is indeed one of the great cars in automotive history, in that its engineering was way ahead of its time. It was built in the thirties, but it feels more like a car of the fifties or sixties. Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren purchased the car from the Serri estate and added it to his collection in early 2004. After a complete body-off restoration by Paul Russell and Company, returning it to its 1938 Mille Miglia configuration, it was featured in an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston called, “Speed, Style and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection”. At the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the car was awarded First in Class. Invited to participate in the Tribute to Phil Hill at the 2006 Goodwood Revival Meeting, the Alfa was driven around the track by both Phil Hill and Derrick Hill.
I loved the noise, I loved the snap of it. The Alfa was sort of the ultimate car of its breed before the war.
BUILT TO RACE
The 2900Bs were race bred. The point of all those cars, from the Monza on, was to win Italy’s premier race, the Mille Miglia. Heaven knows, they were successful. As the 1938 event approached, Alfa was backed by a record of winning the first three places in every Mille Miglia since 1932. They weren’t about to botch it now.