Alfa Romeo Tipo B 1934 Chassis No. 50007 Engine No. 50007

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Alfa Romeo Tipo B 1934 Chassis No. 50007 Engine No. 50007

Richard Shuttleworth bought the car at the beginning of 1935, had it painted green and straight away entered it for a small race on the triangular Mountain circuit at Brooklands, at the °Petting meeting on March 16th. It naturally created great interest, like someone appearing at Brands Hatch today with one of last year’s Ferrari turbocars. It was rather quaintly described in MOTOR SPORT at the titer as being “. . a ‘genuine’ mottoposto Shuttleworth retired from this short race for no recountable reason

In the Mannin Moue. round the streets of Douglas, in the Isle of Man, he led for the first ten laps but then went out with transmission trouble. Of this busy programme his 4th place at Dieppe was noteworthy, as ahead of him were the two Scuderia Ferrari Tipo B cars of Dreyfus and Chiron (1st and 2nd) and Wimille in the works Type 59 Bugatti. In the Nice Grand Prix Shuttleworth was using the larger-bore cylinder blocks which gave a capacity of 3.2-litres and was running fourth behind the Scuderia Ferrari team of Nuvolari, Chiron and Dreyfus. The car lost all its water and overheated, ruining the blocks, so from then on he reverted to the smaller 2.9-litre blocks. At Donington Park in the 300 mile Grand Prix in October he won from the two Type 59 Bugattis of Lord Howe and Charlie Martin. while his final race in England saw him beat Martin’s Type 59 again, and B. Bits in his ERA on the tight little Mountain circuit at Broolciands.

Not surprisingly he was invited out to South Africa for the Grand Prix to be held at East London in January 1936, and the Alfa Romeo was shipped out there during the winter. In the race Shuttleworth had a big accident in the Alfa when it went off she road on the straight for no apparent accountable reason, unless perhaps he was caught by a strong gust of wind, and was thrown out and suffered severe head injuries. This ended his racing career but the Alfa Romeo was rebuilt by the Scuderia Ferrari and uprated with the reversed quarter-elliptic rear suspension, telescopic rear shock-absorbers and she later 3-speed gearbox with constant-mesh gears and dog engagement in place of the earlier sliding pinion box. There was no sign of it again until 1939 when Shuttleworth made a brief comc-back at the August meeting at Brooklands, which proved to be the last race meeting at that track and also his last racing appearance. He entered first for the 10 lap Campbell Trophy race on the mad circuit, but did not start, and then foes short handicap race on the Mountain circuit. In this he started from scratch and finished fourth, and the war put a stop to any further appearances of 50007. Shuttleworth joined the RAF, like so many racing drivers, and was regrettably killed in a flying accident quite early on in the war yours. After the war his mother sold the Alfa Romeo to Charles Brackenbury who had a customer who wanted it converted into a road-going sports car. This was done at Brackenbury’s garage just outside Brooklands, where Tony Brookes has his Limcia agency today. The character of the car was changed hardly at all. for the 1934 regulation body was already 33 inches wide, so it was only widened another three inches to make it into a two-seatcr, the steering column and pedals being moved over. As the gear change on the monoposto was central, between the driver’s knees, with a cranked lever, it was a simple master to fit a

straight lever which left it in the centre of the cockpit. Dcrrington’s of Kingston did the bodywork alterations and made up some very handsome long flowing mudguards on the lines of the Mille Miglia Alfa Romeo 8C cars of 1931 and a large dynamotor off a Talbot 105 was adapted to the nose of the crankshaft for starting the engine, this being powered by two 12 volt batteries, one mounted in each running board. Lights and a full width windscreen finished the car off, and it was registered MPH374. In order to run on normal petrol the compression ratio was lowered but the twin superchargers were retained and in this form it was good for about 120 m.p.h., compared to 145 m.p.h. in full Grand Prix trim.

Thc conversion was done for Mr. Geoffrey Barnard, who lived in West Kensington in London and later the car found its way into the hands of the specialist-car dealers. In 1958 Henry NVessells, an American Alfa Romeo and “vintage. enthusiast, acquired it, still in sports car form and he removed the road-equipment and kept the car in “off-setracing trim.

A few years ago he sent it back to England for Chris Mann to look after and to be used in VSCC events, being driven by himself when he could get over and by Mann when he couldn’t make it. When the road equipment was removed it was a very original monoposto, except that the steering was set over to the right and the driver sat rather high on top of the right-hand chassis rail, instead of between the rails. In 1980 Mann moved everything back rentrally and put it all back to pure monoposto and today it runs in vintage and historic events looking just as it did in Shuttleworth’s day, except that it is now red and not green, having been changed back to the Italian colour when it underwent its rebuild at the Ferrari factory in 1936. — D.S. J.

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