A restoration shop in New Hampshire is restoring a classic Alfa Romeo that once was destined for use by a high-ranking Nazi officer. More than seven decades old, the Alfa is a lucky survivor, said David Petit, general manager for Bayberry Vintage Autos.
“This car has a good story,” he told the New Hampshire Union Leader. “It almost got in the wrong hands but didn’t.”
The 1944 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Pinin Farina Cabriolet was ordered by the officer on April 12, 1944, the Union Leader reported. The car was finished on April 6 of the following year, just days before Italy — a former ally of Nazi Germany — was liberated by Allied forces.
The car was specially ordered with a blood-red interior, a back seat raised six inches to make the officer seem more imposing and an identification plate stamped with swastikas. It was unknown which officer ordered the car.
Alfa Romeo expert Malcom Harris told the Union Leader few 6C 2500s were built during the war, as factories were primarily producing warplane engines and other military parts.
“Many (of the cars) went to either Italian or German military officials,” Harris said. “The records during the time show a number of them went to generals.”
Documentation shows that the car was exported by an Italian hotelier and first registered in Brazil in 1947, the newspaper reported. Harris, a Seattle-based attorney, reached the then-owner of the car in 1981 and informed him that it could very well be the only surviving example. Harris had been hunting for Alfa Romeos in South America when he made the discovery.
The car finally was brought back to Europe by a Dutch man, who also had tracked it down in Brazil. Petit first learned about it at a 2010 event in Paris.
The restoration will take at least a year, Petit said.