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Peter Giddings Racing

1924 ALFA ROMEO Tipo B P3, serial number 50001

 

In 1934, Grand Prix rules changed to require wider and heavier cars. Alfa complied with the new rules by widening the body on some of the original P3 cars. Alfa then built the 'second series' of seven cars to the new specifications with larger 2.9 liter enginees. These cars were numbered sequentially, beginning with chassis number 50001. These enhanced P3s had the bore enlarged from 65mm to 68mm to give 2,905cc displacement making 255 bhp at 5,400 rpm. Initially slated for delivery to clients, Enzo Ferrari succeeded in convincing Alfa Romeo to restrict availability of the 1934 P3s only to Italian clients, effectively locking up the new P3s for Scuderia Ferrari. In addition to more power the 1934 P3s also had improved chassis with hydraulic brakes, hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear along with friction dampers and a wider cockpit to meet regulations but at the cost of an increase in weight although still well under the 750 kg maximum allowed by the GP rules. Eventually some nine of these 1934 Alfa Romeo P3s were built while some of the earlier P3s were updated to meet the 1934 regulations.

This car, chassis number 50001, was delivered to Scuderia Ferrari in 1934 and given Ferrari number SF 41. This car was one of the three cars that Scuderia Ferrari raced at the 1934 Dieppe GP. The car was later sold to Luis Fontes, a British racing driver of Brazilian parentage who in 1935 won at Brooklands in an Alfa Monza and at LeMans in a Lagonda. In 1937, the original engine from 50001 was installed in a racing hydroplane; the engineless car remained unused through World War II. Fontes, a pilot, was killed in a wartime RAF airplane crash in the early days of World War II. In 1955, George Weaver, an American Air Force officer serving in Europe purchased the car. On his return to America, he installed the engine from Alfa P3 50004, which was from the ex-Raymond Sommer car which had remained in the U.S. after the Vanderbilt Cup race of 1937. This engine has remained in the car. In the early 1960s, the car was sold to John Wilcox who used the car very little and later dismantled the car for a throrough rebuild, but never completed the work.

In the early 1980s, this P3, still disassembled, was acquired by Peter Giddings who restored the car with the aid of John DeBoer and Phil Reilly. Under Peter's ownership, Alfa P3 50001 competed at the Monterey Historic Races in 1985, finishing third in class, driven by Peter. In the 1986 Monterey Historics, the P3 finished second in Group 2A driven by Phil Reilly. Peter subsequently sold the P3 to Yoshiyuki Hayashi, a noted car collector from Japan.

Specifications:

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Car: Alfa Romeo P3   Engine: 8-Cylinder In-line
  Maker: Alfa Romeo   Bore x Stroke: 68 mm X 100 mm
  Year: 1934 Capacity: 2,905 cc
  Class: Grand Prix   Power:255 bhp at 5,400 rpm
  Wheelbase: 104 in   Track: 55 in front, 53 in rear
  Weight: Dry weight 1,550 lbs.

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  Top speed: Over 140 mph  

 

At Steamboat Springs

 

Peter wins the Group 5 race at Steamboat Springs at the RMVR Third Annual Vintage Races, photo from Victory Lane, Nov/Dec 1986.