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Peter Giddings Racing

1928 Alfa Romeo 6C1500 - chassis number 8513027

The fabulous Alfa Romeo 6C1500 was designed by Vittorio Jano as a "road-going" successor to the Alfa P2 race car. In 1925, the World Championship formula was changed from 2 liters to 1.5 liters. Jano designed the 6C1500 similarly to his P2 design, a 6-cylinder inline engine. A basic version had a single overhead camshaft, while the uprated engine had a twin overhead cam head with hemispherical combustion chambers, giving 55 to 60 bhp. Later a Super Sport version had the twin cam engine with a supercharger, producing about 85 bhp and giving a top speed of 90 mph. The 6C1500 was introduced in 1925 at the Milan auto show. The 6C1500 was bodied as saloons, phaetons, and sports bodies by various coachbuilders, including James Young in England, and in Italy, Castagna, Touring, and notably Zagato, who built very light two-seater spider bodies for the supercharged Super Sport cars.

In 1928. Jano offered a slightly modified 6C1500 Super Sport that was intended for competition. The engine of this car, like the P2 before it, had the cylinder head cast in unit with the block. This engine, the "testa fissa" or fixed head engine, could be developed to provide more than 100 horsepower at 4500 rpm, giving a top speed of about 106 mph in the light Zagato bodied spider. Compression ratios ranged from 5.25 to 1 to 5.75 to 1 and in some cases supercharger boost was increased. The testa fissa head actually had welded-on fake bolt heads to resemble a detachable cylinder head.

Alfa 6C1500 chassis number 8513072, licence number XP1, is a testa fissa model. The engine has a cast block with integral head on a separate cast light-alloy four-bearing crankcase. Bore is 62 mm with stroke of 82 mm, giving a displacement of 1487 cc. The Roots-type supercharger is fed by a single horizontal Memini carburetor. The hemispherical combustion chamber has two valves per cylinder. The deep aluminum sump carries a cross-shaft, driven by a gear at the rear of the crankshaft, that drives the generator, water pump and oil pumps.

The transmission is a four-speed manual gearbox without synchromesh and uses a dry multi-plate clutch. The propeller shaft is enclosed in a torque tube which connects to a spiral bevel "live" rear axle. The chassis is a separate steel frame, with pressed and tubular cross-members and channel section side members. The tubular front beam axle is suspended by semi-elliptic leaf springs. Rear suspension is also by semi-elliptic leaf springs. Friction-type dampers are used all around. The mechanical four-wheel drum brakes are operated by shaft and rod linkage. Center-lock wire spoke wheels carry 4.5 by 27 inch tires.

The wheelbase is 9 ft 0 in, and track front and rear is 54.3 inches. Overall length is 13 ft 4 inches. Unladen weight is about 2000 lbs.

Peter and Judy drove Alfa XP1 on their honeymoon, camping out and participating in a number of races and rallies across Italy.

Loaded Alfa

Judy says: "When one considers we had clothes for two people to cover everything from rallying, to formal hotels/dinners, to camping (incuding a tent, camping stove, ground sheet, sleeping bags, etc.), tools for the car, etc. etc. I don't know how we did it!" Photo courtesy of Simon Moore.


Como Ferry

. Alfa XP1 on the Lake Como ferry.

Afa with trousseau

Alfa XP1 in Italy with trousseau and camping gear on back.

Judy at Factory

Judy poses on the fender of Alfa XP1. The Alfa factory ground to a halt when she and Peter visited -- cars were falling off the end of the production line with missing wheels/ tires and other vital parts -- Judy had to leave!


Como Rally

Peter and Judy's honeymoon was a bit unusual, consisting of a series of Italian races and rallies! Here they are in their 1928 Alfa Romeo, setting off on a night rally at Como. Judy is at the ready with watches, pen and pad!