Long lost Alfa Romeo 12C is finally ready to run | GRR
A V12 Alfa Romeo that never came to be, whose constituent parts were separate before the outbreak of war, has been restored and rebuilt almost a century on, and you’ll be able to see it in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard. A car that was so incomplete in period it was never codified, it can’t even be recorded in an official production register. A car whose name is grandfathered by convention and not the matter of record, this is the Alfa Romeo 12C Prototipo.
No, it didn’t even have a name. But given Alfa Romeo naming conventions at the time, 12C Prototipo has been deemed fitting, given it’s a 12-cylinder prototype. That engine was a single overhead cam 3.6-litre V12 capable of 165PS (121kW) and was only briefly mounted in an 8C-derived chassis modified and uprated by none other than Ferdinand Porsche. The only evidence of engine, chassis and Alfetta-aping bodywork is a photograph. Wartime saw Alfa Romeo spreading its inventory of cars far and wide and as war gave way to a changed world, Alfa changed with it, turning its attention to more affordable and less exotic machinery.
The restoration of this car occurred as extensive research continued, with no official records or technical drawings to go from. The 12C Prototipo is the missing link, not only in Alfa’s history but the history of others. So married was Gioaccchino Colombo to the 60-degree V12 that it’s likely this car informed the layout’s proliferation at Ferrari in the 1940s and ‘50s. Now 111 years on from Alfa Romeo’s creation, and indeed 80 years on from this car’s apparent loss to history, you’ll be able to see it running at the 2022 Festival of Speed.