The Inception of the COrtile Cup
In the first years of the Cortile, the genesis of creating a Cortile Cup began. It was inspired by two macchina. These are them.
1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256
This is a 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 with reconstructed aerodynamic berlinetta Touring coachwork. It is the only correct example in existence. The underlying Tipo 256 chassis and drive train were rediscovered in 1993 with postwar cabriolet coachwork of unknown origin. The reconstuction of this highly complex superleggera (super-light) aluminum body was realized through a collaboration between the former head of Carrozzeria Touring, Carlo Felice Bianci Anderloni; master coachbuilder Dino Cognaloto; and rare archive documents provided by Alfa Romeo. The coachwork was completed in Italy in 2003 just prior to Anderloni’s death. It was the famed designer’s final project.
In 1939, Alfa Romeo created this very special aerodynamic design for the Le Mans 24 hour race. The Tipo 256 featured four-wheel independent suspension; perfect 50/50 weight distribution; and a 6 cylinder 2500 cc un-supercharged race engine tuned by Ferrari for the Alfa Romeo racing organization (Alfa Corse).
This is one of approximately a dozen surviving examples of the 1939/40 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 model. All of the Tipo 256 cars were originally bodied with superleggera bodies by Carrozzeria Touring – but nearly all were spiders (open race cars). Few, if any, are believed to retain their original coachwork as these former race cars were typically rebodied during the WWII to make fastest cabriolets for senior German and Italian officers. Unfortunately, the Alfa Romeo production records for these cars were destroyed during the war.
This aerodynamic berlinetta design was both beautiful and extremely advanced for 1939. Vestiges of this seminal design can be seen more than 20 years later in the Corvette split-window coupe, Jaguar E-type coupe and many fastback coupés that followed.
The design also has an important link to BMW – the honored marque of the 2009 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. In 1939, BMW management saw the Alfa Romeo berlinetta being built at Carrozzeria Touring and requested a similar body be built for one of their BMW 328 chassis. This famous car won its class at Le Mans in 1939, won the Mille Miglia in 1940, and today is the centerpiece of the BMW museum collection in Munich.
The 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 Berlinetta Touring is owned by Mark Gessler of Potomac, Maryland and is presented here courtesy of Destination Cellars – a sponsor of the 2009 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.
This stunning 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 (Tipo 256) Berlinetta Aerodinamico Touring, engine # 923882, recently appeared at the Concorso of the 2013 USA National Alfa Convention, July 11th.
1955 Lancia B24 Aurelia
This Pininfarina designed beauty is one of 240 built, seven of which found a watery grave on the Andrea Doria. Motivation comes from Lancia's pioneering 110-horsepower V-6 engine, which is mated to a rear-mounted transaxle for ideal weight distribution. The folding top disconnects completely from the body for storage behind the front seats.
Prior to 1955, all Lancias were given right-hand-drive steering. 1955 marked the first year Lancia offered their vehicles with an optional left-hand drive. The vehicles given left-hand drive were designated with an 'S', for Sinistra, meaning left in Italian. There were 240 examples of the Spider Americas built and 181 were left-hand drive. This bodystyle was intended for the United States marketplace and most were sent to North America.
Favoured transport of the era's 'jeunesse dorée', the glamorous Lancia B24 Aurelia Spyder America was built just in 1954/5 and only 240 ever left Lancia’s Turin works. Until 1954 Lancia had concentrated on producing innovative, high performance motor cars for the European market, but in acknowledgement of the growing US market, in 1954 they introduced left-hand cars to their model range for the first time (until then wealthy European buyers had favoured right-hand drive).
Aimed squarely at the lucrative yet demanding US market for open sports cars, the new Aurelia Spyder America was offered from late 1954 featuring the mechanical underpinnings of the race proven B20GT (popular with Grand Prix drivers of the era and a giant killer in events such as the Mille Miglia) clothed in voluptuous new two seater coachwork by master carrozziere Pinin Farina.
Distinctive touches included the panoramic windscreen, removable side screens and skimpy soft top, stylish quarter bumpers only and a soft, flowing wing line which would influence the design of other Italian sports cars (such as Pinin Farin’s California Spyder for Ferrari) later in the 1950s. Of just 240 Spyder Americas built, 181 were left hand drive B24S models (‘S’ for ‘sinistra’) and the remaining 59 were right-hand drive B24 models.
A number of brand new Spyders destined for the USA were lost on the ill-fated ocean liner Andrea Doria, which contributes to the model’s low survival rate: perhaps 150 cars are believed to survive worldwide today.
Lancia has been in the business of building cars since 1906. The B20 was designed by Felice Mario Boano and was put into production only a year after the B10 sedan. Production of the B20 Series would last for seven years and they were very popular; most of the construction was handled by Pinin Farina.
A 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America recently sold via Goodings & Co. for $1,815,000.00.
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