12 months ago
If you were an international car racing fan in the 1930s, you likely had a bead on the Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3. The Grand Prix–ready auto was the first single-seat race car—and had quite the record during the 1934 season, grabbing 18 out 35 wins in Euro Grand Prix races.
An early entry into RM Sotheby’s February 2017 Paris sale, a 1934 Tipo B P3 will be offered for the first time at public auction in over 10 years. Known for their narrow center line “slipper” bodies, the P3’s single-driver setup revolted against the 1+1 seating of previous drivers, who would actually bring their in-race mechanics along for the ride.
First launched three years earlier in 1931, the P3 instantly made a dent in the Grand Prix circuit. But after Alfa Romeo went out of business due to the Great Depression, its racing team was picked up by Scuderia Ferrari, who kept it winning through 1932.
By 1934, racing regulations brought new weight and size specifications to the P3, so a second series needed to be constructed—hence the Tipo B. This model is only one of nine models produced.
The pre-auction estimate for the car is $3.9 million to $5 million. For more on the lot, click here. Below, watch a Tipo B P3 hug some turns at the 2015 Chateau Impney Hill Climb.