A legendary Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza sports car will hit the circuit of the Mille Miglia today in a return to European competition.
The Alfa Monza, which is owned by the Fratelli Auriana team, is believed to be the model raced by Tazio Nuvolari in his winning bid in the 1932 Monaco Grand Prix. It later was entered in the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix and French Grand Prix and, in 1934, placed second in the British Empire Trophy Race, when it was driven by Charles Brackenbury.
The Fratelli Auriana 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C Monza is being driven by an admiral of the Italian Navy, Giovanni Vitaloni, former Military Advisor to the United Nations Italian Mission. Admiral Vitaloni was the co-driver of Fratelli Auriana’s rare 1952 Cisitalia 202 D coupe in the 2005 Mille Miglia.
Joining Admiral Vitaloni as co-driver is Joseph Colasacco, of Connecticut, who in 2004 won the Formula Junior Historic Grand Prix of Monaco while driving a 1959 Stanguellini for Fratelli Auriana.
The Fratelli Auriana racing team is owned by Lawrence Auriana, Senior Portfolio Manager and founder of the Federated Kaufmann Fund. He is also Chairman of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, which organizes New York’s annual Columbus Week Celebration, the world’s largest series of events that pays homage to Italian-American friendship, cooperation and culture. Mr. Auriana’s partner in Fratelli Auriana is his brother, Mark.
"Our entry in this year’s Mille Miglia is a tribute to the strong, historical and cultural ties that unite in friendship two great nations — Italy and the United States," said Mr. Auriana.
From 1931 through 1937, Alfa Romeo Monza sports cars dominated road racing. The 8c 2300 featured a 2300 cc in-line eight-cylinder engine and was designed by Vittorio Jano and was crowned a supreme feat of engineering by the foremost drivers of the day — Nuvolari, Borzacchini, Varzi, Campari, Brivio and Trossi — all of whom raced the Monza. The Alfa Romeo 8c 2300 acquired the "Monza" designation after Nuvolari drove the car to his 1932 Italian Grand Prix win in a race in Monza, Italy.
Only a handful of the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 sports cars are known to have survived the gruelling demands of road racing in the mid-20th century. They are among the most highly sought after cars in the world.