For authoritarian governments, prestige is the most desired commodity. It allows to divert attention from more important things to other, more fun, and trivial pursuits, such as auto racing. The 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, in its Le Mans (long wheelbase), Mille Miglia (short wheelbase) or Monza (racing) configuration gave Alfa Romeo, and the whole of Italy, something to be proud about. Like was the custom at the time for expensive vehicles, Alfa Romeo produced and delivered a rolling chassis to an outside, independent coach builder, who then built a body according to each customer’s specifications. Alfa Romeo did produce their own bodies as well, and also converted former race cars for passenger use. The 8C 2300 owes its success to its phenomenal build quality, as well as technological edge, particularly its sweet engine!
The Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 was powered by a 2.3-liter, straight eight cylinder engine with finned aluminum casing, hence its name. It was incredibly fast for the time, and in its ‘Monza’ boat-tail racing configuration, could reach the incredible top speed of 140 miles per hour, something that is still mildly impressive today, never mind over 80 years ago!
Few of these cars were built, from 1931 to 1935, when they were replaced with the equally spectacular 8C 2900B. Fast, stylish and extremely well-built, these are cars that could still be driven on today’s roads, if anyone would be foolish enough to risk their prize possessions thus!