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Alfa Romeo 6C 2300

Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Mille Miglia (1938)

Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Sport (1935)

Alfa Romeo 6C 2300
Overview
Manufacturer
Alfa Romeo
Production
1934–1937
Powertrain
Engine
2.3 L 2309 cc I6
The 6C 2300 (2309 cc) was designed by Vittorio Jano as a cheaper alternative to the 8C. In 1934 Alfa Romeo had become a state-owned enterprise. This year was presented a new 6C model with a newly designed, larger engine. Chassis technology, however, had been taken from the predecessor. One year later, a revised model, called the 6C 2300 B was presented. In this version the engine was placed in a completely newly designed chassis, with individual front suspension and rear swing axle, and hydraulic brakes. The 6C-2300 was produced in 760 copies with rigid axles and 870 copies of the B-model.
Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Coupe (1938)

Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Jankovits (1935)

Versions

Model
Engine
Max power
Fuel system
Top speed
Years
Number produced
6C 2300 Turismo
2,309 cc (140.9 cu in) DOHC I6
68 bhp (51 kW) @ 4400 rpm
single carburetor
120 km/h (75 mph)
1934
6C 2300 Gran Turismo
2,309 cc (140.9 cu in) DOHC I6
76 bhp (57 kW) @ 4400 rpm
single carburetor
130 km/h (81 mph)
1934
6C 2300B Gran Turismo
2,309 cc (140.9 cu in) DOHC I6
76 bhp (57 kW) @ 4400 rpm
single carburetor
130 km/h (81 mph)
1935–1937
6C 2300 Pescara
2,309 cc (140.9 cu in) DOHC I6
95 bhp (71 kW) @ 4500 rpm
double carburetor
145 km/h (90 mph)
1934
60
6C 2300B Pescara
2,309 cc (140.9 cu in) DOHC I6
95 bhp (71 kW) @ 4500 rpm
double carburetor
145 km/h (90 mph
1935–1937
120
6C 2300 B Corto/Lungo
2,309 cc (140.9 cu in) DOHC I6
-
-
-
1935
6C 2300 B Mille Miglia
2,309 cc (140.9 cu in) DOHC I6
-
-
-

Aerodinamica Spyder

In 1935, the brothers Gino and Oscar Jankovitz, started the project of a one-off mid-engine prototype on an own, ladder-type chassis, powered by an Alfa Romo 6C2300 Turismo engine (no. 700316 in 1934 from a Berlina). The brothers Jankovitz were inspired, for their prototype, called the Alfa Romeo Aerodinamica Spider, by Paul Jaray's aerodynamic theories ponton styling — a genre that would overtake automobile styling and last until the 1960s.
Based on documents kept in the family Jankovits the history of the car's development is as follows: summary of the "Aerospider" Alfa Romeo Jankovits - 6 C 2300 Aerodinamica Spider "Aerospider" (constructed 1934–1937).

Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Aerodinamica Spider
The construction of the car took many years, and the result differed somewhat from the earliest drawings, while retaining a strong ladder type chassis fitted with US-sourced suspension components. The aerodynamically interesting body, a quite heavy steel construction with high and large windshield, was fitted to the car years later as the rolling chassis had already been registered in Fiume (I) (2757 FM) before the war.
The Aerospider represents
  • The first supercar of “modern” sports car design.
  • The first mid-engined car with central driving position (albeit Lancia deposited a patent for a central driven design in 1934).
  • The first car designed to take account of newly developed principles of aerodynamics, to provide low-drag both externally and internally.
It had:
  • flowing lines with a low body profile, a steep short radiator grille and a long descending tail; side wings with a convex surface at each side of the car, and concave surfaces towards the midline, resulting in a cross-section resembling a bat
  • a straight upper line to the silhouette of the side of the car, without interruptions or steps
  • a streamlined bodyshell which minimised disturbance to the air flow. For the first time in car design door handles and lights were integrated into the body of the car
  • a body design with air inlets in zones of high air pressure, and with the outlets of heated air from the engine and brakes in areas of low pressure.
The first car which was designed for high speeds by using:
  • a body which fully enveloped the underside of the car to reduce air turbulence beneath it
  • an aerodynamic front design to reduce front lift of the car
This aerodynamic design was in some respects advanced for its times, and a forerunner of modern sports car.
The car had some advanced features for being a pre-war project. It was the first car in history to use:
  • a two-circuit brake system with adjustable duplex brakes, with an equaliser which could avoid overbraking by changing the distribution of braking force between the front and rear brakes during driving.
  • a hydraulically assisted clutch
  • a horizontal radiator which made it possible to design the lowest front profile of any pre-war car
  • “silent bloc” bushes
  • disc style flexible couplings, later called “Hardy discs”
  • exhaust pipes of equal length for better performance
  • improved intake of air to reduce the pressure drop
  • a unique system of gear change with pre-selection
  • features which were designed to avoid the specific problems of a mid-engined racing car, such as overheating and abrupt spinning, which had still not been fully resolved 30 years later.

Technical description

  • Dimensions:
  • length: 4,750 mm (187.0 in)
  • width: 1,720 mm (67.7 in)
  • height: 1,030 mm (40.6 in) (1,150 mm (45.3 in) with windscreen)
  • wheelbase: 2,800 mm (110.2 in)
  • track: 1,560 mm (61.4 in) (front), 1,505 mm (59.3 in) (rear)
  • weight: 950 kg (2,090 lb) (dry)
The engine compartment of the Alfa Aerodinamica Spider
Engine: Alfa Romeo 6 C 2300 engine tipo Turismo, built in 1934, No. 700316, placed behind the driver, iron-block, light alloy head, dual-overhead-cam 2309 cc, straight-six, camshafts chain-driven, spur gears, wet sump lubrication, three dual Weber 36 D 04 carburettors, improved intake of combustion air, adjustable timing of ignition.
  • and speed: over 140 mph (230 km/h) for sports version.
*Transmission: Alfa Romeo 4-speed plus reverse, mounted with Hardy disc behind the engine, driven rear wheels, hydraulically assisted clutch, pre-selective gearbox
  • Chassis: home-made ladder-type frame, with straight rails from front to the rear end of the car, numbered 700316 as per engine number, designed for central engine
  • Suspension: All-independent, suspension with “silent bloc” bushes;
front: steel sheet top wishbones with lever-arm “Houdaille” hydraulic shock absorbers, transverse leaf spring and longitudinal torsion bars; rear: swing axles, radius arms, transverse leaf spring, longitudinal torsion bars
  • Steering: Worm and sector with Hardy disc
  • Brakes: two-circuit hydraulic brake system with two fluid distributors and two master brake cylinders, one for the front and one for the rear, duplex brakes type “Lockheed” from a 1938 Buick, 17-by-2-inch (432 mm × 51 mm) drums all round, adjustable rear brakes, equaliser of brake force for adjustment during driving to avoid overbraking
  • Wheels: Alfa Romeo 18 inches (460 mm) “Rudge” wire spoke
  • Tyres: 5.50-18 racing crossplies
  • Body: Steel three-seater with central driving position, streamlined with fully enveloping underbody and integrated wings; body work designed by Oscar Jankovits, built at the Jankovits garage in Fiume.
  • Production: One prototype

History

The brothers Jankovits were sons of the Alfa Romeo dealer in Fiume pre-war – today Rijeka. As such, they came into ownership of a second hand 6C2300 berlina turismo chassis 700316, whose engine they retained for their own project of a mid-engined sports car.
In December 1935, Jankovits' drawing of the front suspension still considered it being sprung either by torsion bars or transverse leaf spring (design 11/12/1935). Eventually, a new design was made using a Mille Miglia OM pivot and modified 1935 Ford Sedan elements, with a thick (4mm steel sheet) upper transverse wishbone and lower location through the leaf spring.
The 6C2300 Turismo engine was originally standard fitted with a free wheel at the end of the gearbox, which they removed and installed in its place a differential unit from a Lancia Lambda. The 6C 2300 engine was later upgraded with three Weber carburettors, a fitting used on the 6C2500SS sports cars from 1939.
Between 1935 and 1937 the construction was carried out by the Jankovits, and a “running chassis” could be tested and registered. Depending on test results, improvements were made. The chassis frame is a very solid, traditional construction. It was the first car with a suspension designed with wishbones, hydraulic dampers, transverse leaf springs, radius arms and torsion bars. Other pioneering features were devices to eliminate overbraking and a sophisticated system of gear change with pre-selection.
The aerodynamic shape of the car was designed by Oscar Jankovits, probably inspired by Josef Mickl, Porsche's specialist of aerodynamics, and Paul Jaray, the inventor of streamlined cars, and Bela Barenyi, the inventor of the “Volkswagen”. The exceptional streamlined steel body was built by workers at the Jankovits Garage in Fiume between 1936 and 1937.
The car still has its original licence plate and documents of registration.
The prototype remained hidden in the Jankovits’ garage in Fiume during the war, and was not seen by anyone from outside the garage.
On Christmas Eve 1946, the Jankovits brothers got a temporary registration document (valid until 31-12-1946) and drove the Aerospider through the border into Italy. To get money they had to sell their car to an Anglo-American officer. Then the Alfa disappeared for about 20 years until it was rediscovered in England. In 1978 well-known Alfa Romeo historian Luigi Fusi put the then-owner of the car with the Jankovits, and considered to buy the car for the Alfa museum. The acquisition failed, but the prototype did eventually return to Italy, 30 years after its birth, to be restored. While being red according to 1946 documents, it has been resprayed metallic blue, and then black by current owner, who also replaced the original windshield with a smaller, "sportier" one.
It has been speculated a lot over the connections between this car and racing projects at Alfa Romeon while such claims remain unsubstantiated. A first version had Wifredo Ricart involved, in order to suggest links between the Jankovits and later, mid-engined racers such as the 1940 512 single seater, or even the 1941 163 sports car project, implying that the Jankovits would have eventually been fitted with Ricart's V16 engine. As this theory self-evidently implied some time warp (Ricart arrived in Italy in 1936 and started working of sporst and racing cars long after the Jankovits spider was built into a running chassis), a new interpretation then involved Jano, which at least could have made sense as per chronology. Yet, the theory was built on the assumption that Jano had family roots in Hungary, a fact hat has since been proven false by genealogical research about the Jano family.
Considering the layout of the frame, and since it borrows parts from standard cars of other marques, the Jankovits spider can be described as an advanced, well-inspired home construction of the late 1930s. Any close study of its construction rules out, instead, the claimed links with any Alfa Romeo racing project, a parentship the Jankovits doesn't need anyway for being considered a remarkable car.
Time frame of construction of the Aerospider
  • 1934 origin of Berlina engine and transmission, first drawings
  • 1935 completion of first version of chassis
  • 1936 testing period, modifications of chassis, start of body making
  • 1937 completion of chassis

Back to Alfa Romeo 6C.
Back to Alfa Romeo.
Last updated on 28 February 2014 at 02:44.

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