Stunning, ex-Ferrari 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C Hits Monza, Flexes Supercharged 8-Cyl

Aside from its involvement in Formula One and the TCR series, Alfa Romeo isn't a big name in modern racing. But the Italian carmaker used to be a prominent figure in the sport many decades ago. Alfa Romeo's motorsport legacy goes back to the 1920s when it won the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio several times. And the 8C 2300 is one of its most iconic classic racers.
1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza 8 photos
Photo: 19Bozzy92/YouTube
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Many of you may remember the 8C as the limited-edition sports car that Alfa Romeo built from 2007 to 2010, but the nameplate was originally introduced in 1931. The badge designated the straight-eight cylinder that powered the car. Designed by Vittorio Jano, who also built V12 engines for Ferrari, the eight-cylinder mill became Alfa Romeo's primary racing engine in the 1930s.

The Alfa Romeo 8C spawned several road-going and track-only cars, but it debuted as a race-spec vehicle in 1931. The first model was called the 8C 2300, a reference to its 2.3-liter straight-eight engine. The car went on to win many important events in the 1930s, including the Targa Florio and the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. But more importantly, the 8C 2300 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row from 1931 to 1934.

The 8C remained in production until 1939 and Alfa Romeo built more than 10 different versions, including a monoposto-spec variant for Formula One (raced by Scuderia Ferrari) and an aerodynamic coupe for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Numerous road-going examples also left the Alfa Romeo factory, including roadsters and coupe bodied by famous coachbuilders of the era.

2021 marks exactly 90 years since Alfa Romeo rolled out this iconic race car, so it's the perfect opportunity to see an 8C 2300 flex its 2.3-liter straight-eight engine around Monza Circuit. Especially since this specific 8C also wears a "Monza" badge to celebrate a race it won on the Italian track in its maiden year.

The car show here is a well-documented example. Sporting chassis no. 2211120, this 8C 2300 was entered by Scuderia Ferrari in the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix. It was driven by legendary racer Tazio Nuvolari, who led until the final lap when he had to retire.

The dark red sports car continues to use its original straight-eight engine. Paired to a roots-type supercharger, it generated 140 horsepower when new. A flawless example that looks like it just left the factory almost a century ago, this 8C 2300 is a trip back in time to the golden era of racing when drivers were risking their lives driving crude cars on unpaved roads.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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