A 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta was this evening (February 7, 2019) revealed as the winner of the fourth annual The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award, the de facto world championship for concours automobiles.
Last week we detailed the eight finalists for this award, noting that owners David and Ginny Sydorick of Los Angeles, California, had qualified twice in the final eight contestants, as they also own the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Zagato that won the 2018 Cavallino Classic.
Apparently, the Alfa was the stand-out choice among the judges as the best car in the world, and it isn't really that surprising, as it is one of just five made, and was the show car at the 1937 Paris Auto Salon, the 1937 Milan Auto Show, the 1938 Berlin Motor Show, and won the Best of Show at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
An automotive jewel engineered by Ingegner Vittorio Jano, the 8C 2900 was designed to compete in sports car races, specifically the Mille Miglia, which it won outright in 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1947. In racing trim, the Alfa 8C dominated competition events in period, and in road trim, they were the fastest grand touring cars.
In 1938, during the fabled Mille Miglia, one of this car's sister cars averaged 211.4 km/h for one 86.8 km leg of the public roads event.
The award is also a triumph for Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring and its "Superleggera" construction. Patented in 1936, the Superleggera system consists of a structural framework of small-diameter steel tubes that conform to an automobile body's shape and are covered by thin alloy body panels that strengthen the framework.
The winning vehicle, 412020, is the first of only five known Berlinettas built on the Lungo chassis and is the car that Touring refers to as the beginning of Superleggera.
Ironically, just as Bugatti won this award last year and swept all before it in the Rétromobile auctions, Alfa Romeo's win this year could portend a similar showing this year.
One of the four sister cars to the Peninsula Classics winning caris to be auctioned later this week by Artcurial, and will cross the block with high expectations (€16,000,000 to €22,000,000), meaning that if it meets reserve, it will become the most valuable car sold during the Rétromobile festivities.
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