1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM #22 Pilots: J. M. Fangio, O. Marinón Team: SpA Alfa Romeo Race: DNF (S6 class) at Le Mans in 1953 Spark - S4703 (resin)
Alfa Romeo produced the 6C series from 1927 to 1953, both as passenger and race cars. The name 6C refers to the cars’ straight-6 cylinders engine. The first one was the 6C 1500, based on Alfa’s P2 Grand Prix car. With the engine designed by Vittorio Jano, it was Alfa’s first road car with DOHC. In 1948 came out the 6C 3000, a big saloon with a 3.0 inline-6 engine. However, in 1952 Alfa Romeo decided to make the ultimate race version of the 6C – the 6C 3000 CM. The CM (Competizione Maggiorata or “competition enlarged displacement”) had a bigger 3495 cm³ engine. The increased displacement, allied with 6 carburetors, produced 271 hp, allowing a top speed of 250 km/h. The CM’s chassis was a tube frame based around a central backbone, bodied by Carrozzeria Colli. Alfa Romeo only produced six examples, four coupés and two barchettas.
At La Sarthe in 1953, Alfa had three 6C 3000 in the race. They were cars #23 (Karl Kling and Fritz Riess), #22 (Juan Manuel Fangio and Onofre Marimón) and #21 (Consalvo Sanesi and Piero Carini). Interestingly, Alfa divided the cars by nationality. The white nose #23 was for the Germans, the yellow nose for the Argentinians and the blue nose #21 for the Italians. Unfortunately though, none of the three cars finished the race. Just before 6pm, Fangio’s 6C 3000 #22 had engine issues and he abandoned on lap 22. The other two, though starting out quite strong, didn’t last much longer. Car #22 only completed 125 laps, while #23 abandoned a little later, on lap 133. A sad result, since that same year Alfa Romeo withdrew from motor racing. As a result, an Alfa works team would only return to Le Mans in 1965.
Though not successful at La Sarthe, the 6C 3000 had the looks. Well, maybe you can say it looked too good to be good 😁. The car is a true beauty, and in scale it is also gorgeous. Spark did a fantastic job, with a top notch detail level. They also offer the other two 1953 cars, and when I got my #22 all three were (easily) available. I went for 6C 3000 #22 just because it was a Fangio car, even though the others fared a little better at Le Mans. That being so, a gorgeous car and a Fangio ride translates into a good buy.