Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Superflow IV
This car has lead four lives, all of them famous. In 1953 it was a racing car, driven to second place in the Mille Miglia by Juan Manuel Fangio. It was then used as a styling platform for Pinin Farina, who produced no less than four different styles for it between 1956 and 1960. The first was a coupe, the second a modified version of that, the third a roadster and the fourth the car you see here. Most versions featured a Plexiglass roof, which slides. The Superflow’s influence on the original 1966 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider is clear.
The 1936 BMW 328 and its spaceframe chassis marked a major advance in sports car design, this open two-seater winning many major competitions. Just two of the closed variety were produced, this dramatic, streamlined version bodied by Wendler Wagenfabrik for a Hans Klepper, who planned to compete in the Berlin to Rome endurance race. In early tests this two litre, six cylinder car achieved 108mph, giddy for a 2.0 litre of the day.
Ferrari 250 Europa
It might be share its colour scheme with a trifle, but this long, low and elegantly spare Ferrari from 1963 is utterly fabulous. Bodied by Pinin Farina, this car lived briefly in Italy before being shipped to the US, where its V12 engine was brutally substituted for a Chevrolet V8. The car returned to Italy in 1990, then went to Holland, its original engine improbably unearthed in 2007 to complete a total restoration.
Fiat 132 Aster
The Fiat 132 was a fairly large rear-drive saloon best known for an acute understeer habit and the pleasing rort of its twin cam engine. Very few survive, but one lives in the form of this Zagato-bodied Aster coupe from 1972. Novelties of this strange aluminium-bodied two-seater included its triangular quarterlights and polished alloy roof. The prototype was assessed by Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli himself, but considered too expensive to make. There are two Asters in fact, both owned by Swiss collector Patrick Bischoff.
Fiat Abarth 2000 Scorpione
This startling, razor-nosed sports coupe from 1969 barely comes up to your waist, has three doors and a rear-mounted 2.0 four that sits within an Abarth-constructed spaceframe. The Scorpione was designed by Filippo Sapino of Pininfarina, its two seats accessed via a front-hinged canopy of glass, and a pair of tiny side doors. Its megaphone exhaust makes it sound as threatening as the insect that it’s named after. Pininfarina sold this concept to Shiro Kosaka on the understanding that he establish an Abarth museum in his native Japan, which was founded in 1993. This is the first time the Scoprione has returned to Italy since 1977.
Hudson Italia Prototype H01
Hudson is a long-defunct US car company, which in 1952 struck a deal with Carrozeria Touring of Milan to supply 50 of these high-end Hudson Italias. But only 26 were built, the Italia far more expensive than the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Thunderbird it was built to compete with. Its part-enclosed wheels and chrome tubed taillights would have looked less startling in 1953 than they do today, this Hudson now a fabulous oddity.
Jaguar XK 120
This extraordinary dome-roofed XK 120 is a land speed record car. Built in 1952 to set a flying mile speed record, it was almost immediately beaten by a Spanish Pegaso. Jaguar responded with this aerodynamic Plexiglass roof, tester Norman Dewis driving it to a record 172mph. In later life it was owned by racer Brian Redman and used as a two-seater, a 2009 restoration returning it to its breathtakingly beautiful record-breaking look.