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The 1950s and 1960s were very good years for Italian automobile manufacturing, and this 1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Superflow IV is a prime example of a coachbuilder from that golden era.
Described as “one of the most important post-war Alfa Romeos” ever made, this 3000 CM enjoyed a short racing life (it is believed to have been part of Alfa Romeo’s 1953 Le Mans effort), before it was shipped off to Pininfarina at the end of 1953 to be refurbished.
The car, according to this synopsis, is said to have been borne out of Alfa Romeo’s decision to build a world-class sports racing car, based on the 6C 3000 engine.
The result was this 6C 3000 CM – the CM suffix standing for Competizione Maggiorata or Competition Enlarged Displacement. Built to contest endurance races such as the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 6C 3000 CM was Alfa Romeo’s answer to Italian rivals Lancia and Ferrari and, in many ways, it was the most advanced sports car of the early 1950s.
A coat of red body paint, a complete replacement of its original coupe panels, and many part changes and additions later – including a new glass canopy and sliding roof panels, and the removal of a front-end grill and rear fins; the Superflow IV was finally born, and would stay in that state for almost four decades.
Between 1956 and 1960, the Superflow was displayed at the Paris, Torino, and Geneva motor shows. The car then went through a series of owners from the 1960s until its current owner, an avid American collector of Italian coachbuilders, bought it over in 2006.
Now the red racer is being put up for sale through auction house Gooding & Company, and it could be yours for anywhere between US$6 million to US$8 million, according to pre-sale estimates. Bids will start at US$5.5 million.
Built in extremely limited numbers, the 6C 3000 CM is one of the most rare and sought-after postwar Alfa Romeo models. Not only are these supposedly the last great front-engine, large-displacement competition cars built by the celebrated Milanese firm, they are also among the most exotic, possessing groundbreaking engineering and extraordinary performance. Today, just four examples are known to survive, all of which are kept in the Alfa Romeo factory museum or in significant private collections.