file din istoria auto în România --- fragments from Romania's automotive history
21 November 2010
Alfa-Romeo 8C 2900 Touring, 1942, #412039
Una din cele mai interesante masini care a existat in Romania...
Se pare ca masina a fost comandata in 1942 de Casa Regala; conform cartea "The Immortal 2.9", scrisa de Simon Moore, a apartinut regelui Mihai. Caroseria coupe a fost facuta de carosierul italian Touring. Prima poza e in fabrica, inainte de livrare.
A trecut razboiul si au venit comunistii la putere, dar masina a ramas in tara. In 1966 un mecanic bucurestean, Ion Croitoru, a cumparat masina si impreuna cu fiul lui a restaurat-o (destul de rudimentar). Cativa ani buni, masina, inatriculata cu numarul 1-B-9176, a circulat pe strazile capitalei. Din pacate motorul original s-a pierdut, dar in loc sa puna ceva de ARO, Volga sau tractor, cum se obisnuia atunci, s-a gasit un motor Alfa de 2300 de pe un 6C - un fapt pentru care dl. Croitoru trebuie felicitat. Poza 2 il arata in 1968 la iarba verde.
In 1987, un jurnalist suedez, Peter Haventon, a sosit in Bucuresti cautand doua masini: Duesenbergul de la Muzeul Tehnic si Alfa regelui. Cu ajutorul unui taximetrist, eventual l-a gasit pe Ion Croitoru cu tot cu masina. Masina nu era in stare foarte buna, totusi inca era cat de cat solida si cel putin tinuse cateva repere originale. Se vedea ca dusese o viata grea. Nu mai era folosita ... devenise loc d dormit pentru pisicile din cartier. Totusi, liniile superbe inca se pot vedea. Pozele 3,4,5 si 6 arata masina "dans son jus".
Aici povestea ddevine complicata. La sfarsitul anilor 80, regretatul colectionar Terry Cohn a sosit in Romania. Si el cauta doua masini: Alfa, si un rarisim Mercedes-Benz W154 de curse (din care au existat doua in tara, primul exemplar fiind exportat in anii 70). Din ce se stie a reusit sa le scoata din tara, dar a fost o problema: securistii intermediari au vandut masinile altcuiva simultan, asa ca in Elvetia Cohn a trebuit sa se judece pentru drepturile la masini (e posibil ca celalalt cumparator sa fie Gavin Ruotolo). MB-ul nu l-a primit, iar tot ce se stie de Alfa e ca a sosit in Germania si a fost recarosata cu caroserie spider. Pacat! Din pacate nu am poze cu masina in prezent, banuiesc ca sunt in cartea lui Moore dar la cei 300 USD cat costa nu cred ca o sa aflu foarte curand... One of the most interesting motor cars to have existed in Romania...
It seems that in 1942, the Royal Family ordered it, complete with a coupe body by Italian coachbuilders Touring. According to Simon Moore's book "The Immortal 2.9", the first owner was none other than King Mihai. Photo 1 shows it at Touring coachworks before ebing shipped to Romania,
War came and went, and Romania found itself a socialist republic. The car, however, stayed in the country and used as a daily driver. In 1966, Ion Croitoru, a Bucharest mechanic, bought the car and did a (fairly rudimentary) restoration job. Registered 1-B-9176, the car drove for many years around Bucharest. The original motor had unfortunately been lost, but instead of replacing it with a Aro, Volga or tractor engine, as was often the case in those days, a 6C Alfa Romeo engine was sourced - a deed for which Croitoru deserves sincere congratulations. Photo 2 shows him in 1968 alongside the Alfa.
Fast forward to 1987 and a Swedish motor journalist, Peter Haventon, arrived in Bucharest to source two cars, the Duesenberg racer at the Technical Museum and this Alfa. With the aid of a helpful taxi driver, he found Mr Croitoru realtively easily, and with him the car. It had not been used for a while and had become the sleeping place of the local cats. Clearly, it had led a hard life, but underneat the Touring carrozeria lines were a thing of beauty. An exquisite barnfind. Furthermore, it had several of the original details still in place. Photos 3,4,5 and 6 show the car in as-found condition.
This is where the story becomes complicated. Immediately after Haventon, the late collector Terry Cohn arrived in Romania. He, too, was looking for two cars: a Mercedes-Benz W154 racer (of hich two existed in Romania, the first being exported in the eary 70s). He found them and managed to get them out of the country, but hit a snag: the Securitate members who were intermediating the deal had also sold them to another person, possibly the Gavin Ruotolo). A lawsuit ensued in Switzerland. Details of such things are notoriously ecretive but it seems that Cohn lost the Merc, while the Afa ended up in Germany and was rebodied as a spider. A shame! Unfortunately I have no photos of the car in its current state: I am sure they are in Moore's book but at 300 dollars RRP I'm not going to find out soon!