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Stunning Alfa 2.9 is for sale at auction for the first time this century

RM Sotheby’s will offer one of the rarest and potentially most valuable Alfa Romeos, the 8C 2900B ‘2.9’, at its Monterey auction.

One of the most exquisite cars of the last century is about to go under the hammer for the first time in decades. The glorious Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B ‘2.9’ will be on public display at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale next month, during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, where it is expected to sell for $20-25m.

The car is one of five on offer from the esteemed Emily and Sam Mann collection, most of which was restored by Sam himself. The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B, however, was restored by industry guru Tony Merrick.

But the machine does merit special attention: the 8C 2900B represents the ultimate original gran turismo. The Italian equivalent of the Bugatti Atlantique, it combines intricate engineering, thrilling power, and elegance. The car - known simply as the ‘2.9’ to aficionados – incorporates independent suspension and a remarkable straight-eight engine with gear-driven overhead cams and two superchargers. It is believed that only 32 original chassis were produced in various configurations and the survivors are arguably the most sought-after of all pre-war automobiles.

> Browse the other consignments heading to RM Sotheby's Monterey auction

There are only twelve Touring Spiders in existence. This – chassis number 412041 – is one of them. But while something of a museum piece in itself, this car is very much a functional toy: Mann – one of America’s top industrial designers – has spent more than 12,000 hours behind the wheel. His outings in the glorious machine include 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 Alfa is expected to surpass the current record for a pre-war automobile sold at auction by a comfortable margin when it goes under the RM gavel next month.

Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division said: ‘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.’

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