Picking out Cars that Rock at an event like Techno Classica can be a hard task; there’s just so much grade-A machinery. However, on occasion we’ll see a no-brainer; a car so special that it sums up why we pick out what we’ve come to affectionately term as CTRs. This is one of them.
‘This car is a genuine short-chassis SS’ explains Philippe Mulders on the shared Fine Automobiles/Vendiesse stand as we stare at the pretty Alfa Romeo. ‘The three carburettors are original – this is not a conversion.’ We were still staring. Not only is it pretty-beyond-compare, it appears to be 100 percent complete, right down to the tiniest detail.
Aside from being an ultra-rare SS model, this one was built very shortly after the war and is a genuine ‘survivor’ in that it appears to have never been on the receiving end of any restoration work. ‘We think it was painted some time in the Fifties,’ Philippe continues as we begin to regain our composure. ‘It’s kind of the equivalent of a Porsche GT3 Cabriolet. A proper GT car!’
It turns out that the Alfa spent several years in Africa, which might explain its largely-original condition. On the inside we spot that each and every piece of Bakelite is still intact – almost unheard of with cars from this era. Philippe then opens the boot to reveal the original spare wheel and its carrier – all still functioning perfectly. Then there is the way the doors still shut perfectly. It’s exquisite. The only question is: Should it get the full nut-and-bolt restoration, or should it be sympathetically renovated? We’d leave it alone as far as would be possible. After all, it’s only original once …
Despite wearing a very distinct patina, we are assured that the car runs, drives and is ‘on the button’ although some preparation work would be needed were it to be used for a rally. Speaking of which, this is the kind of car which would grace the Mille Miglia. Can there be a better way to see Italy?
Photography: Tom Shaxson http://tomshaxson.com