The small country road scrolls peacefully in front of the long hood of the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, 1939, in which we drive. We are in the east of the netherlands. At the wheel, Jan-Willem Martens, owner. The mechanical, almost octogenarian, purring. The voice of the 8-cylinder in-line has not been altered by the years. It provides a true concert in the cabin. “See how the speeds go easily, and in silence”, marvels at his driver, proud of his extraordinary machine.
This engine 8-cylinder in-line, very compact, is a true piece of watchmaking. Philippe Doucet.
Covered of glory in the competition
This 8C is unique, or almost unique. Out of a total of fifty copies produced, five of them have only been built with this body made by the coachbuilder Touring. The cream of the cream. This vehicle time is estimated to be between 16 and 22 million euros, and even can be more. In 2016, one of them was sold in auction for $ 19.8 million dollars. It will be the undisputed star of the sale, Artcurial Retromobile in February.
The Alfa Romeo 8C is not any car before the war. It is covered with glory in the competition since 1935, especially in the Mille Miglia, where the convicts of the road risked their lives at every turn. More recently, the 8C has been the star of several concours d elegance in California.
Jan Willem Martens shows us the back cover ribbed of his Alfa 8 C. Philippe Doucet.
12 500 km in forty-two years
The father of Jan-Willem Martens has acquired the beautiful Alfa in December 1976 for a sum equivalent to 10 000 €. Father and son travelled 12 500 km in forty-two years at its wheel, on the roads in holland and in rallies in europe. Why separate such a marvel? Of course, it is now worth a fortune, and not small. “This car could be a problem for my wife if I happen to disappear suddenly,” said Jan-Willem Martens. “And then I almost had an accident with the last year’s 3 miles from home. I was scared for the car,” he adds. Finally, according to him, like some swiss watches, it is only the depository of a masterpiece, never its owner. “The time is for me to have come to pass!”.
Where this Alfa Romeo 8 C is she from? In America? In Asia? What will she become? Of his past, we know some things. As well, she would have been driven by the daughter of Mussolini, countess Edda Ciano. She would have travelled to its edge, it is said, the roads of Italy in the company of a pleasant companion communist.
regardless of the angle under which we look at it, the beautiful Italian shows no disgrace. Philippe Doucet.