Classic Cars

Unearthed: 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Roadster Replica

An original 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Roadster would cost several million today but this top quality replica can be had for a fraction of that amount.

From its early racing days to today’s newly revealed 4C, Alfa Romeo has always managed to pour an extra dosage of emotion combined with adrenaline into its cars. And it was the original 8C 2300 that brought the then new automaker international fame. The story of the 8C 2300 (not the 8C Competizione) began in 1924 when the first straight-eight-cylinder engine was made for Alfa by legendary engineer Vittorio Jano.

It wasn’t until 1931, however, that the car itself was ready. The 8C 2300 was designed to be first and foremost a racing car but an additional 188 examples were built for road use. The racing version went on to have a very successful career winning the 1931 and 1932 Targa Florio in Sicily, as well as the 1931 Italian Grand Prix and Mille Miglia. The 8C 2300 was also developed for use in Le Mans and it won the famous endurance race from 1931 to 1934. Throughout the Thirties, the 8C engine was further improved with new versions of the car and Alfa’s racing program came under the management of Scuderia Ferrari.

This, as many already know, is how Enzo Ferrari got his own company started. Because it proved to be so popular amongst the non-racing public when sold as a rolling chassis, coachbuilders soon began to apply their skills. Famous names such as Zagato, Pininfarina and Carrozzeria Touring all designed bodies for the chassis. Alfa Romeo designed bodies as well but it was these coachbuilders who created some of the most gorgeous cars of the era, inside and out. The 8C engine was finally retired in 1939 but its legacy remains intact to this day, powering such classics as the 1938 8C 2900B Mille Miglia Roadster and the 8C 2900B Le Mans Speciale.

All of these surviving cars are worth, not surprisingly, huge sums today. This extremely well done 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Roadster Replica is now being put up for auction with no reserve. Very few of the originals remain and they cost millions of dollars. Built by Antique and Classic Automotive, Inc. this is without a doubt one of the best replicas we’ve seen of any classic Alfa Romeo. Replicas normally aren’t featured in this weekly series, but this one caught our interest for several reasons. First off, the attention to detail is outstanding, notably the leather engine strap and bodywork.

Also, it was built for vintage racing, an activity one normally wouldn’t do in an original 8C 2300 for many obvious reasons. At one point there was sort of a bidding war going on with the top bid at just over $10,000, but it appears the seller ended the auction early for some reason. True, it’s not an original Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Roadster, but this replica is still fully street legal and ready for vintage racing.

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