This car was an active participant in the pre-war ARCA races and is one of only 3 built with this body style. It is in unrestored, original condition.
In the middle of the 1920s, Alfa Romeo introduced its first successful sports car, the Merosi designed RLSS (Super Sports). A rather large car, the nimbler Vittorio Jano 1500 superseded it because they came in a variety of forms suitable for racing in its displacement class. Later, the 1750cc engine was optioned out at 85hp. The first 50 supercharged cars were given the designation of “Super Sport”, they designated the remaining supercharged series, which continued into the early 1930s, “Gran Sport”. 360 were manufactured. They were an immediate success on a variety of road racing circuits taking part in the Mille Miglia which they won in 1929 and 1930. Light, nimble, easily manageable, they were dominant in a variety of shorter road racing circuits and rivaled their competitors, Bugatti and Maserati in many venues throughout Europe. They won at Spa, the tourist Tourist Trophy and set several word speed records.
Alfa Romeo produced only chasses which sent off to various coachbuilders and typically graced with beautiful bodies of touring or sporting type. They sent a few cars, perhaps only three to the British concessionaires for Alfa Stiles Limited to have beautiful racing three seater bodies made for them by James Young Limited. These cars featured two seats with a small dickey in the back and were the raciest of the line. A special instruction booklet insert for these cars was a convenience to their English-speaking customers. Our car is an unrestored example of one of these. With a top speed of 95mph, a chassis designed to flex and undulate over wavy surfaces, and sensitive geared-up steering this was the ideal road car of its time. Counterintuitively a complex twin overhead cam engine with a supercharger was rarely hors de combat.
Englishman, Colonel Samuel Bird, purchased one of these special performance cars directly from James Young. Shortly thereafter, he came to America and took part in the only organized road racing club in the States; The Automobile Racing Club of America. Bird was an insurance broker for Lloyd’s of London, apparently transferred to their New York Office. He lived in North Jersey and soon raced with the ARCA boys. As time went on, he turned over racing duties to other drivers, often to the speedster Hastings Foote. After its initial racing days were over, the car reappeared post World War II in the hands of his son Robert Bird who used it at Bridgehampton and who maintained it in excellent original and unrestored condition throughout his ownership.
We became the proud owner of the car, still in its original paint and mostly original upholstery when Robert finally decided to sell it. With the exception of mechanical fettling, she is still in as-found condition. In 1951, after his father’s passing, Robert Bird became the owner, and he used it sparingly at Bridgehampton and other venues. We gained it in 1980 in a basically original, unrestored condition except for the seat bottoms, which they had replaced. Little mechanical work was required, and it still enjoys an active life in its tatty condition as probably the only 1750 Alfa Romeo ever engaged in genuine sports car competition in the United States.