8C 2900 B

A successful development of the 8C was the 8C 2900A with a supercharged 2.9 litre twin overhead camshaft V-8 engine producing 220 bhp; in racing tune this could not only accelerate from nought to 60 in nine seconds and get up to 140 mph, but it could also be raced flat-out for 1000 miles. This was what was necessary for success in the Mille Miglia, and this race is what this car was designed specifically to win.

In 1936 three of them were entered for the race; they finished by taking first, second and third places. In 1937 they took first and second places. The team that was racing for Alfa Romeo was called Scuderia (translated as 'Stable') Ferrari run by the incomparable Enzo Ferrari himself and a combination of his drivers and Alfa Romeo racing cars was beginning to look like an unbeatable combination.

A total of just 10 2900As were built in all.

In 1937 the 2900B, a de-tuned version producing 180 brake horsepower, with a choice of two longer wheelbases, was introduced for road use; 32 of these were built. As usual the buyers could choose whichever body they wanted but most of them were either two seater roadster or coupe style finished off by Pinninfarina or Carrozzeria Touring. these are now amongst the most valuable cars in the world.

In 1938 the racing activities of Scuderia Ferrari L were taken over by a new Alfa Romeo racing team called Alfa Corse.They prepared four 2900Bs specially for the Mille Miglia; three of them had their standard engines tuned up to give 225 brake horsepower whilst the fourth was given a 295 bhp Grand Prix designed engine which finished first. One of the other 2900Bs finished second despite having had a problem with locked up brakes, and in third place came a 2900A in the hands of an independent driver!

That year another 2900 B, this time a coupe, was entered for the Le Mans 24-hour race; but having achieved the fastest lap speed and a 100 miles lead over the next placed car it had tyre trouble and then a valve problem which meant it had to be retired.

Alfa Romeo were starting to look unbeatable in long distance and endurance racing.

Next - the 1900