Brutal 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Berlinetta
First shown at the 1935 London Motor Show, the 8C 2900A was a sports racer targeted to the gentleman driver, powered by a supercharged 2.9-liter inline eight-cylinder engine rated at 220 horsepower.
In the hands of Scuderia Ferrari, Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A models swept the podium at the 1936 Mille Miglia, backing up this performance by finishing 1-2 in the 1937 race. Not every buyer needed (or wanted) a car with this level of performance, so in response Alfa Romeo created the the slightly more relaxed 8C 2900B in 1937.
The 8C 2900B was detuned for greater reliability, producing 180 horsepower thanks in part to a drop in compression from 6.5:1 to 5.75:1. Though the eight-cylinder engine retained its 2.9-liter displacement and Roots-type supercharger, aluminum was substituted for magnesium on certain engine castings and the wheelbase was lengthened slightly from 2.75 meters (roughly 108 inches) to 2.8 meters (roughly 110 inches) on corto (short) chassis examples. The 8C 2900B also debuted a new lungo chassis variant, which utilized a wheelbase of 3.0 meters (roughly 118 inches).
Just 10 lungo chassis 8C 2900B models were ever built, including the five aforementioned examples wearing enclosed Berlinetta bodywork from Carrozzeria Touring. Chassis 412020 was the first completed, and displayed at motor shows across Europe in late 1937 and early 1938.