Specialist begins restoration on rare Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS

Concours-level rebuild to start on Benito Mussolini-owned Alfa

Specialist begins restoration on rare Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS
Image: Ashley Border.

Classic and vintage car restoration specialist, Thornley Kelham is undertaking its most challenging project yet; a complete nut-and-bolt concours-standard restoration of a rare Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS.

This particular Alfa Romeo comes complete with records showing the car was delivered to its first owner, ‘II Duce’ Benito Mussolini – an Italian politician and journalist who was the leader of the National Fascist Party – on the 13th January 1930, for Lire 60,000.

The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS was one of the most popular and successful sports-racing cars of its day.

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No fewer than 13 competed in the 1929 Mille Miglia, of which eight finished, seven among the first ten including overall winner and third place.

Cars were built up as rolling chassis, which were then bodied by coachbuilders including Carrozzerie touring and Zagato, and Stabilimenti Farina.

Image: Ashley Border.

The bodywork of the car due to be restored had been fitted with an unoriginal grille and retained very little in the way of original panels.

The chassis, rear axle and gearbox are, however, original to the car.

With in-house paint, engine and body shops, Thornley Kelham is widely regarded for the quality of its award-winning restorations of historically significant, often unique vehicles across a variety of marques.

The team have now been tasked by the car’s new owner with recreating the car’s original 1930 appearance which will involve several thousand hours of fabrication, engineering and assembly by its highly skilled workshop technicians.

 The Alfa 6C in period. Image: Archivio Luce.

“Painstaking research and thousands of hours of expert craftsmanship”

Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham, said: “We’ve undertaken many challenging restorations here at Thornley Kelham but this Alfa Romeo presents us with perhaps our greatest test to date.

“Over the course of its extraordinary life it has been graced with a beautiful hand-crafted body from Stabilimenti Farina, owned and piloted by one of the world’s most (in)famous dictators, and stripped out for motorsport and raced on the streets of North Africa.

“Our challenge now is to restore it to the condition it first left Stabilimenti Farina’s carrozzeria, based on further painstaking research and thousands of hours of expert craftsmanship.

“Automotive history like this has to be preserved, and we are delighted to be involved in the latest page in its amazing story.” 

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