Cars for Sale

1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato

Chassis 2211089 was one of approximately 20 short chassis Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 spiders and was road registered to Alfa Romeo on January 12th 1933 in Milan with the number MI 3505. It appeared at the 1933 Auto RAI Amsterdam Motorshow with its Milanese registration. Purchased by the first known owner, Luigi Ferrari of Genoa in April 1933, “089” was first entered for competition in Tripoli but was a no-show. 2211089 went on to compete at the Pontedecimo Giovi hill climb and the Susa Moncenisio hill climb with driver Guglielmo Gramolelli.

In 1934 Gramolelli and Rafaello Toti embarked on the Mille Miglia making it to Rome in great time but struggling on their return leg, finishing 27th out of 29 cars, although it’s worth noting there were 28 DNFs which suggests it was a difficult year.

After the 1934 Mille Miglia, 2211089 passed through a number of Italian hands before landing in England. Registered GPF240 by Harold Radford of the eponymous coachbuilders, the car was tested by Autocar in February 1938 who noted that “a wonderful average speed was obtainable” and “tried after 15,000 miles [it] proves an exhilarating machine to handle.”

Post-war, new owner S.J. Gilbey had an XK120-esque Vanden Plas body fitted and fortunately, the original body was largely retained under the new coachwork. The engine was enlarged to 2.6 litres, a Weber carburettor was fitted and Gilbey and pal Ken Carter were off to the races, frequently competing at the Brighton Speed Trials, Prescott and at Goodwood.

In March of 1950, S. J. Gilbey sold “089” to Tommy Friedmann, a keen racer who used his new Alfa on a number of occasions at Elkhart Lake in his native Wisconsin before his passing in 1955. Harlan Schwartz bought 089 from the Friedman estate and used it sparingly as part of a larger collection. Over the years the Alfa became one of his favourites and extensive correspondence in the large history file is evidence of his eager hands-on approach to researching 089’s history. After a false start in 1970, Schwartz commissioned talent Wayne Obrey of Motion Products Inc. and renowned engineer Rick Bunkfelt to undertake a restoration of the car in 1995. Harlan lived within 2 hours of both the restoration and mechanical workshops and closely supervised all work.

With most of the original body hidden under the Vanden Plas shell, just the wings and bonnet were reconstructed during the restoration. They discovered that every mechanical component appeared to be original with Alfa Romeo stampings making 089 one of the most mechanically original of the known 8Cs. 

In the spring of 2004 it made its next Concours showing at Villad’Este and shortly thereafter made its way to Brescia for the start of the Mille Miglia, 70 years after its last appearance. Sadly the Mille Miglia did not end well for the Schwartz family. Through no fault of their own, the car was forced off the road not far from the finish on the last day. The car was not seriously damaged but Harlan later passed away. 089 was returned to Motion Products where it was repaired - the body lost no original material and the mechanical damage was minimal, any engine work was done by the legendary engine builder Rick Bunkfelt who worked alongside marque specialists Jim Stokes.

After almost 70 years with the Schwartz family, 089 passed to her new owner who, after thorough preparation by the expert team at Jim Stokes Workshop, took her on the Mille Miglia in 2023. Upon completion, she was given her 1000 Registro certification and plaque signifying she was one of the original cars to do the event and has completed it again.

Under its current ownership 2211089 has been inspected by respected Alfa Historian Simon Moore alongside renowned Alfa Romeo specialist Jim Stokes who were both impressed by the high level of originality. They noted that 089 retains an extraordinary number of original mechanical components with much of its original Zagato coachwork remaining on the chassis. They remarked that of the 10 Alfa 8C Short Chassis Zagotos surviving, this 8C is one of only 5 matching numbers examples with the original Zagato body that actually competed in the Mille Miglia.

It is also accompanied by a report by expert Stephen Archer who concludes, “Its early history is as fine as could be for a privateer’s competition car. The car was fortunate to have found Harlan Schwartz some 60 years ago who poured passion and energy into 089.” 2211089 has been under the careful and specialist care of Jim Stokes Workshop who have shown her on their stand at 2023 Retromobile and Revival as the shining example of their excellent work.