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Old 8 Jul 2008, 10:15 (Ref:2246993)   #1
Eric.D
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Alfa's at Indy

I am very interested in finding information regarding the various Alfa Romeos that contested the Indianapolis 500 between 1937 and 1946. The car driven by Rex Mays in 1937 was named 'Bowes Seal Fast Special' and in the following year he drove an 'Alfa Romeo Special'. Were these the same cars I wonder?. An 'Alfa Romeo Special' driven by Babe Stapp finished 5th in the 1939 race. Was this the Rex Mays car?. Louis Durant finished 6th in the 1946 race (one place ahead of Villoresi's Maserati!) with an Alfa Romeo and I wondered what the pre-Indy history of this car was.
I would be very grateful for any information regarding Alfa Romeo and the Indianapolis 500.
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Old 25 Aug 2008, 08:58 (Ref:2274874)   #2
fines
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I believe there were only three Alfa Romeos racing at Indy:

1) The Bill White Alfa Romeo 8C-35, serial number purportedly 50012, was apparently an unraced spare car at the 1936 Vanderbilt Cup, subsequently purchased by Bill White and rebodied for Rex Mays to drive in 1937 (ret Indy, 3rd Vanderbilt) and 1938 (ret Indy), then Babe Stapp in 1939 (5th Indy), Harry McQuinn in 1940 (11th Indy) and 1941 (7th Indy, with relief by Kelly Petillo), Duke Nalon in 1941 (ret Milwaukee & Syracuse - yes, dirt tracks!), Jimmie Wilburn in 1946 (ret Indy), Cy Marshall in 1947 (8th Indy) and Art Scovell the same year (10th/ret? Milwaukee, ret Langhorne). This car was modified and rebodied to some extent over the years!

2) The Frank Griswold Alfa Romeo B, serial number purportedly 50002, but possibly 50007, a former Scuderia Ferrari car, driven by Louis Tomei in 1939 (12th Indy, with relief by Mel Hansen) and Al Miller in 1940 (ret Indy), sold to Tommy Lee and driven by Hal Cole in 1946 (ret Indy) and Ken Fowler in 1947 (ret Indy) and 1948 (dns Indy).

3) The Wharton-Dewart Alfa Romeo 308, serial number purportedly 422022, formerly owned and driven by Raymond Sommer, was driven by Chet Miller in 1940 (17th Indy, with relief by Henry Banks), sold to Milt Marion and driven by Durant in 1946 (6th Indy), then Lee Wallard the same year (ret Langhorne) and Walt Brown in 1947 (7th Indy), sold to Johnny Mauro and driven by Mauro himself in 1948 (8th Indy, with relief by Louis Durant, 3rd Pikes Peak), Tony Bettenhausen in 1949 (dns Indy), also Mauro again the same year (dnq Indy, ret Pikes Peak) and in 1950 (dnq Indy, 9th Pikes Peak), then possibly Ray Shadbolt (sp?) in 1951 (dns? Pikes Peak), Charlie Bryant in 1952 (7th Pikes Peak) and 1953 (ret Pikes Peak), and Jimmie Good in 1954 (dns Pikes Peak).

A 1938 Alfa Romeo entry for Tazio Nuvolari never appeared, it was said to be for a Tipo 308 (possibly 422022!). Another 308 (Ecurie Naphtra Course, serial number possibly 422044) was entered for "Raph" in 1946 by Harry Schell, but also dna.
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Old 29 Aug 2008, 13:04 (Ref:2277449)   #3
jamesholland
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I can add a little more to fines erudite posting.

The Tipo B referred to (car No.2) is unlikely to be 50002 as that car was in Australia for many years before being brought back to the UK by the Hon. Patrick Lindsay in the late 1960s. I'm fairly certain that the Indy car is the one recently brought to the UK from America by Hugh Taylor.

Car No. 3, the 308, is the one preserved in the Indianapolis Museum

Can anyone shed any light on the fate of the 8C-35 (car No.1)? I was led to believe only two 8C-35s remain - 50013 the ex Dennis Poore car and 50014 which Paul Grist discovered in Argentina.
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Old 31 Aug 2008, 10:11 (Ref:2278614)   #4
David McKinney
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You fell into the trap, James
The US Tipo B was indeed 50002. The Australia/Lindsay car was of an earlier type, and number 5002

The ex-Indianapolis 8C-35 has been in the Alfa museum for many years
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Old 1 Sep 2008, 06:30 (Ref:2279147)   #5
jamesholland
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So I did David
Thankyou for putting me straight
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Old 2 Sep 2008, 16:52 (Ref:2280195)   #6
Eric.D
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Alfas At Indy

Many thanks for the helpful information. Much appreciated.
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