A 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Spider is the latest star attraction for the RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2016 auction, scheduled for August 19–20 during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week in California. One of five cars on offer from the Sam and Emily Mann Collection, the “2.9” rounds out the catalog of some 100 collector cars on offer at their flagship sale. The Alfa’s presentation on the Monterey Peninsula marks the first time a “2.9” has been offered at public sale this century.
The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B incorporates independent suspension and a straight-eight engine with gear-driven overhead cams and two superchargers. It is believed that 32 original chassis were produced in various configurations and the survivors are among the most sought-after of all pre-war automobiles.
One of approximately 12 Touring Spiders known to exist, the stunning Alfa on offer, chassis no. 412041, has been a valued member of the Sam and Emily Mann Collection for two decades. Documented by Alfa Romeo authority Simon Moore in his book, The Immortal 2.9: Alfa Romeo 8C 2900, it is the recipient of a Pebble Beach Concours award-winning restoration by 2.9 guru, Tony Merrick, and has been a frequent participant in Concours d’Elegance and vintage rallies. The Manns have spent over 12,000 miles behind the wheel, including seven 8C Alfa Tours between 1999 and 2013, in addition to the Copperstate 1000, the Colorado Grand, the California Mille and the California Classic Rally. The featured Alfa is expected to sell for $20,000,000 to $25,000,000, easily breaking the record for a pre-war automobile sold at auction currently held by a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster that brought $11,770,000 in 2012. In the lead up to the sale, the Alfa 2.9 is available for preview at Sotheby’s New York through early August.
“The Alfa 2.9 is a car of peerless engineering and extreme elegance— in my mind it represents the absolute highest echelon of car collecting and is a perfect fit for our sale during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week,” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division. “From the standpoint of an automotive enthusiast, there is perhaps no more resplendent sound than that of the twin supercharged, dual overhead cam straight-eight engine of the mighty Alfa 8C at full speed. Without question, acquiring a car of such magnitude establishes one’s collection at the forefront of the hobby.”
The Alfa Romeo headlines a selection of five cars from the Sam and Emily Mann Collection set for RM Sotheby’s 2016 Monterey auction. The collection, a labor of love by Sam — an industrial designer — and his wife of 45 years, Emily, is noted for its quality, rarity and presentation.
Additional Sam and Emily Mann Collection highlights set for Monterey include:
- 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’, chassis 0507 GT, a part of the Mann Collection for over 15 years and a very early example of the ultimate Ferrari GT of its era. Restored to the condition in which it enjoyed a period racing career, including the 1956 Mille Miglia and the 1959 Tour de France, the TdF was shown at the 2006 Cavallino Classic where it was judged Best of Show GT. It has successfully completed two Colorado Grands and the California Mille among other events (Est. $7,000,000 – $9,000.000);
- 1908 American Underslung 50 HP Roadster, chassis 1427, one of a handful of the American Underslungs equipped with original factory roadster bodywork, and one of even fewer still with the 50-horsepower engine. Formerly of the Lindley Bothwell and D. Cameron Peck Collections, chassis 1427 comes to auction having been sympathetically maintained and mechanically sorted (Est $1,400,000 – $1,750,000);
- 1926 Miller Locomobile Junior 8 Special, chassis 8; raced at Indianapolis from 1926–1929, chassis 8 has the longest continuous racing history of any Miller 91 and was driven by some of the most prominent drivers of its era, including Cliff Durant, Eddie Herme, Russ Snowberger and Fred Frame. It comes to auction having been authentically restored (Est $750,000 – $1,000,000); and,
- 1926 Bentley 3-4 1/2 Litre Tourer in the style of Vanden Plas, chassis 911. A recreation of the legendary “Old Mother Gun”, this Bentley has been sorted for rallies and tours (Est. $600,000 – $750,000).
Kelleher added, “These five examples represent some of the finest of their individual models. Each has been meticulously maintained and cared for, and exhibits breathtaking presentation. We’re thrilled to have been entrusted with these cars by Sam and Emily Mann; they reflect Sam and Emily’s finely honed eye for aesthetics and design, and will unquestionably be the centerpiece of any important automotive collection.”
The five vehicles from the Sam and Emily Mann Collection join a roster of other automobiles slated for the upcoming RM Sotheby’s sale, including the first Shelby Cobra, CSX 2000; the 1956 Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type; a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider and a 1957 BMW 507 offered for public sale for the first time in Monterey. The sale will also feature a selection of vehicles from the Jim Click Ford Performance Collection and the Riverside International Automotive Museum. A complete list of entries for RM’s Monterey auction is available in the digital catalog.
The RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction, held during the Monterey Classic Car Week, returns to the Portola Hotel in California, August 19-20, 2016. For event details, visit rmsothebys.com or call +1 519 352 4575.
[Source: RM Sotheby’s; photos: Darin Schnabel]