Few cars can trace their lineage down to such illustrious cars as the McLaren F1 and the Lamborghini Miura, but without the Alfa Romeo 6C Aerodynamica Spider, these landmark cars may have never existed. An incredibly important piece of motoring history, the one-off experimental Aero Spider’s a car with one hell of a story to tell.
Envisioned in 1935 to compete against the monopoly German cars held over the Grand Prix, development of a super high-tech racer was handed to Gino and Oscar Jankovitz working for Alfa Romeo, developing the car across a three-year period. Designed to house an Alfa 12C’s 4-litre V12, a 6C’s inline-6 was mounted behind the driver, the 6C pioneered the modern mid-engined sports car layout. With drive fed through a 4-speed pre-selector gearbox, the 6C’s ladder chassis was lightyears ahead of its time, the first to incorporate double wishbone suspension and transverse leaf springs. Wrapped up under a beautiful aerodynamically conscious streamlined body, the Aero Spider’s slippery form was created under the aid of Paul Jaray, the father of automotive streamlining, making it the first streamlined race car. Built for both road and track use, the Aero Spider also featured an ingenious central driving position, the first combined with a mid-engine layout, a concept immortalised by the McLaren F1 over 60 years later.
The Aerodynamica project was shelved as the onset of World War II ravaged central Europe, the one off Aero Spider damaged as Gino Jankovitz drove the streamliner flat out under a boom gate at the Italian boarder, the car peppered with bullets and subsequently sold into private hands. The 6C Aerodynamica Spider has since been fully restored and is today shown and raced regularly.
Alfa Romeo 6C Aerodynamica Spider: https://en.wheelsage.org/alfa_romeo/6c/2300/29409/pictures/ukucr6/