05 August 2022
On 1 April 1928, Alfa Romeo made a determined bid for racing victory with the Sport and Super Sport versions of the 6C 1500.
With its brilliant inline-six engine, the sporty Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 dominated the Mille Miglia in the late 1920s, beginning with Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi’s victory in the 1928 edition.
The cars, generally with coachwork by Zagato, Castagna and Touring, appealed to gentlemen drivers because they were lightweight, agile and quick (the cars, that is!).
Alfa Romeo created the 6C 1500 Sport in 1928 specifically for competitions: the compact inline-six engine of just 1,467 ccs was boosted from 44 hp to 54 hp by a double overhead camshaft, increased compression ratio and twin-barrel carburettor.
The Spider versions, most of which were dressed by coachbuilders Zagato, Castagna and Touring, were popular among gentlemen racers for their responsiveness and excellent mechanicals that this multi-cylindered marvel of engineering concealed under its long bonnet.
Alfa added a supercharged, single-carburettor version called the Super Sport alongside the twin-barrel carburettor version to increase performance. With output boosted to 76 hp at 4800 rpm, a top speed increased from 130 to 140 km/h and weighed in at only 840Kg.
Alfa only produced 31 Super Sport and Mille Miglia Speciale versions of the 6C 1500 from 1928 to 1929, including six fixed cylinder head producing 84 hp, ten more with superchargers and 15 without superchargers.
On 1 April 1928, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS of the official racing team driven by Campari/Ramponi won the second edition of the Mille Miglia.
The 1928 success started the legendary history with the Mille Miglia, in which Alfa Romeo topped the podium in Brescia another ten times, a record that can never be beaten.
As the race drew to a close, the Ferrari 335S driven by Spanish marquis Alfonso ‘Fon’ de Portage suffered a burst tyre. The car shot off the road, killing de Portago and his navigator Edmund Nelson. Additionally, nine spectators died, including four children.
The first Mille Miglia race was 1927, and the 1957 Mille Miglia the last.
The Mille Miglia was banned.