1995 Appenine Car Company 'Alfa Romeo 2.9B' Recreation

    The Alfa Romeo 2900B is rightly regarded as one of the greatest of all pre-war motor cars; not just bestowed with raw speed but also with superior road manners and sensual coachwork, the epitome of Italian engineering and design all folded into one, great, machine. An icon barely comes close to describing just how good these cars are.

    So when a British chartered surveyor by trade, and die-hard classic car enthusiast by nature, wished to replicate one of these all-time masterpieces, he set about the task with enormous enthusiasm and effort, not to say time and money; the result was this car, christened the Appenine Three Nine for natural enough reasons that the engine size designated is 3,924cc. The engine was designed and built by Weslake Engineering by using two contempory four-cylinder Alfa Romeo Alfetta engines coupled together and fitted with four-cylinder crankshafts with a different throw pattern so as to allow for an eight-cylinder firing pattern. Other than a new welded-aluminium sump, all existing Alfa Romeo engine parts were incorporated, the whole ensemble then fitted with quad Weber 40DCOE carburetors.

    A letter on file from the Appenine Car Company Ltd to a former owner explains that the chassis was designed by specialists Spydersport of Peterborough, UK while the car features disc brakes which are inboard at the rear and runs on specially made wheels to the original nineteen-inch diameter.

    Further that the coachwork for the Appenine was recreated and constructed to be as close the original Touring of Milan design as possible and using 16swg (standard wire gauge) thickness aluminium rolled using an English wheel. The complexity of the lines resulting in each front wing (fender) consisting of eleven pieces of aluminium all welded together.

    The instruments were made to replicate the original cars and feature a counter-rotating rev counter. Finally the car was painted in the Ferrari hue of Rosso Chiaro.

    Subsequently the car was road-tested by Alfa marque enthusiast and Alfisti Mick Walsh, then Editor-in-Chief of Classic & Sportscar magazine in the June 1995 issue, and whose assessment was of a car “well sorted….the steering is smooth and very responsive”…..”as expected the 3.9 litre has heaps of low-down torque and will deliver from quite low revs” although he did admit the engine bark is not the same as that of the original!

    This is a beautifully made homage to the masterly original; it would not look out of place in any self-respecting motor house and would also engender lively conversation; full marks to all those involved in its creation.