Grand Prix d’Endurance

MixedMedia / Acrylic on Canvas
on 45 mm Wooden Museum Frame
130 x 90 cm

The Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 was developed for motorsport in the early 1930’s. Tazio Nuvolari, Rudolf Caracciola, Louis Chiron and others established the reputation that at this time brought worldwide fame to the Alfa brand and the 8C model. The 8C in the name stands for 8 cylinders. Powered by a 2.3 litre engine with a Roots compressor, the car achieved an impressive 165 horsepower in the racing version. Coachbuilders such as Zagato, Castagna, Figoni and Pininfarina manufactured customised superstructures for the 8C. Following a somewhat unimpressive debut, this meteor gained numerous victories in motor racing and was considered the best racing car of its era. Alfa Romeo entered Le Mans history as the first serial winner, with an 8C 2300 crossing the finish line in first position each year from 1931 to 1934.


The great unknown in 1931 at Le Mans was the 8-cylinder Alfa. The 24-hour race was now completely reoriented, with two Alfa Romeo lining up at the start. Given the ease with which it achieved the 200 km/h mark, the Alfa Romeo, which weighed in at less than 1000 kg, dominated the event. In gusting winds and pouring rain, the red Alfa of Englishman Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon, Earl Howe, powered over the finish line and triumphed. Limited time meant that the car could not be refinished in British racing green.


Ever faster, ever farther: the 3000 km mark was exceeded for the first time. The distance travelled was 3017.654 kilometres (an average of 125.735 km/h), and this with an engine displacement of only 2.3 litres. Racing cars had won in the years previous to this with engines displacements of over 6 litres.