- Dec 14, 2007
Mussolini's Alfa on the auction block
Who would have guessed, but Benito Mussolini was a certified car guy. At least we can surmise that much from his car: the Alfa Romeo roadster you see above was once owned by the Italian dictator, and is now destined for the auction block.
Il Duce ordered this Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Pescara Spyder in 1935. Before it was delivered, he had custom coachwork with an auxiliary jump-seat crafted for it by Carrozzeria Touring. Underhood, he had the engine tuned to 95 horsepower from the standard 68. Naturally, the father of fascism didn't drive himself, but he didn't get any ordinary chauffeur either: he hired Ercole Boratto, a former Alfa Romeo factory test driver. In 1936 Boratto even took the car to the famous Mille Miglia street race, where he and the dictator's Alfa finished third in class.
Now, there are cars with provenance, and there are cars with provenance. As if its infamous first owner and its race history weren't enough, chassis 700635, with matching numbers, was awarded top honors at the 2005 New York Concours d'Elegance and second in class at Pebble Beach the same year. H&H auction house is putting it up on the block at England's Cheltenham race course on February 27, 2008, where it is expected to fetch between six and eight hundred thousand pounds sterling (approximately one and a half million dollars).
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