The history of four world-leading Italian motoring brands
From the most emblematic models to the most successful, revolutionary people, and the most significant events, this section illustrates and celebrates the cornerstones of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
With its brilliant inline-six engine, the sporty Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 dominated the Mille Miglia in the late 1920s, beginning with Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi’s victory in the 1928 edition.
The Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Sport was created in 1928 specifically for competitions: the compact inline-six engine of just 1467cc was boosted from 44 hp to 54 hp by a double overhead camshaft, increased compression ratio and twin-barrel carburettor.
The Spider versions, most of which were dressed by coachbuilders Zagato,Castagna and Touring, were popular among gentlemen racers for their light weight, agility and the responsiveness of the excellent mechanicals that this multi-cylindered marvel of engineering concealed under its long bonnet.
To further increase performance, a supercharged, single-carburettor version called the Super Sport was added alongside the twin-barrel carburettor version, with output boosted to76 hp at 4800 rpm and top speed increased from 130 to 140 km/h.
Only 31 Super Sport and Mille Miglia Speciale versions of the Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 were produced from 1928 to 1929, including six in the "fixed cylinder head” 84 hp variant, ten with supercharger and 15 without.
On 1 April 1928, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS of the official racing team—driven by Campari/Ramponi—won the second edition of the Mille Miglia, marking the beginning of Alfa Romeo’s legendary association with the famous race, which saw the Milanese brand top the podium in Brescia another ten times, a record that can never be beaten. In the same years, Boris Ivanowski, a former officer of the Russian Imperial Guard who moved to Paris after World War I, earned glory for his victories outside of Italy, winning the Spa 24 Hours with Attilio Marinoni and the Georges Boillot Cup as a solo driver in 1928, before clinching the Irish GP Saorstat Cup the following year.
Prior to founding one of the world's biggest sports car firms, a young Enzo Ferrari won the 1927 Circuito di Modena race in an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS, partnered by Giulio Ramponi, then repeated the victory with Eugenio Siena a year later. Also in 1928, he won the Circuito di Alessandria, another victory in what he described as a “local race”, but which augured a glittering career for the man nicknamed il Drake.
The specimen from the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese has already won three retrospective editions of the Mille Miglia, in 2005, 2007 and 2019, in addition to triumphing in the 2007 and 2008 editions of the Mille Millas Sport in Argentina. This lively Alfa Romeo hasn’t stopped running and winning on roads all over the world!
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