Thu Jun 20 2013 16:30:38 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
From the Hemmings blog... Conventional wisdom states that only the finest automobiles, restored well beyond showroom condition so that every single flawless component counts as a work of art, win top honors at major concours d’elegance events. Sometimes, however, concours judges think outside the box, and such was the case at last weekend’s The Elegance at Hershey event, where the impressive but unrestored 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C, owned by Bob and Sandy Bahre of Alton, New Hampshire, took home the Governor’s Cup, The Elegance’s equivalent of Best in Show.
Calling the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 unrestored is not entirely accurate; after all, the car was repainted in 1950. Aside from that, the Carrozzeria Touring bodied Superleggera model has reportedly received just routine maintenance, has never been apart for a full restoration, and carries its age well. If patina can be called glorious, the Alfa certainly fits this description, with its cracked and worn leather and polished-smooth pedals bearing testament to more than seven decades of use. Even the dash carries the authenticity of past owners, its leather faded from time and marked by hands of those lucky enough to spend time behind its three-spoke steering wheel.
While 22 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B models were constructed in 1938, only five were built in the Corto (short) wheelbase configuration seen on this example. Of the five 110-inch wheelbase cars assembled, the Bahre Collection‘s example is one of four known survivors. Aside from a Swiss Kanton Bern registration tag on the Alfa’s firewall, precious little is known about the car’s pre-war history, but its post-war lineage is well documented. The Alfa even has ties to Hemmings Motor News, having graced our classified ads in September 1978, but it wasn’t added to the Bahre Collection until 1986.
Like most 8C 2900B models, power comes from a supercharged 2.9-liter inline eight-cylinder engine, rated at 180 horsepower. Alfisti will be quick to point out that the earlier 2900A models were rated at 220 horsepower, but the B models were designed with more than just winning races in mind. That said, Alfa did campaign various 8C 2900B models in events like the Mille Miglia, and constructed an aerodynamic coupe variant to contest the 1938 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In addition to its Governor’s Cup win at the 2013 The Elegance at Hershey, the Bahre Collection Alfa has previously been awarded the F.I.V.A. Award at the 2002 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Timeless Beauty award at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.