1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow IV

Always a showstopper

Scrolling through the online auctions offered by houses like Gooding and Company, RM Sotheby’s, and Mecum, there are plenty of cars to draw your attention.

Have you seen that Porsche from the past? What about the Ferrari whose engine purred its way into your memory? Do you like vintage cars or cars from more recent years? What models or features stop your mouse mid-scroll?

For me, that car is the 1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow IV that was offered by Gooding at last year’s Pebble Beach auction. Many of us caught our first glimpse of the Alfa Romeo on the cover of Sports Cars Illustrated in February 1961, and few of us have forgotten it.

The Alfa Romeo name has been legendary since its birth in 1910, but the rest of this car’s name is a bit more complicated. It’s partially the result of the several different lives this model has seen. Alfa Romeo built a small series of race cars — four coupes and two roadsters — and labeled them 6C 3000CM. Colli designed the coupe with an aggressive body shape, while the chassis has an unequal-length A-arm front suspension. It sports a De Dion layout with drum brakes with the rears mounted inboard. The engine is a 3.5-liter twin-cam straight 6 that sports 175 hp and is paired with a 5-speed transmission.

While Alfa Romeo planned to promote the car in major sports car races, the model only boasted two notable finishes. Juan Manuel Fangio claimed second place at the Mille Miglia in 1953, finishing directly behind a 4.1 liter Ferrari. Fangio also drove a 6C 3000CM roadster to victory at the 1953 Supercortemaggiore in Merano, Italy.

The cars were then passed on to other owners. One went to race driver Jo Bonnier and another was rebodied by Boano for Argentine president Juan Peron. Fangio’s Mille Miglia car was acquired by Pinin Farina.