Alfa Romeo’s first eight-cylinder road car was introduced in 1931 as a successor to the 6C 1750. This was the legendary 8C 2300, designed by the equally legendary Vittorio Jano who was one of the first automotive engineers to create high-performance cars that were tailor-made for sustained full-throttle running on high-speed roads – all with the purpose of keeping Alfa Romeo at the forefront of international motor racing. Jano succeeded: the 8C would prove a formidable weapon, winning race after race in the first half of the 1930s, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times with among others, Luigi Chinetti, Tazio Nuvolari, and Raymond Sommer as drivers.
The heart of this formidable machine is its supercharged, straight-eight, twin-overhead-camshaft engine, which Jano arranged in effect as two four-cylinder units in tandem with the cam-drive gears amidships. Bore and stroke were 66 x 88 mm giving 2,336 cc, while the twin-lobe Roots-type supercharger was driven at 1.33-times crankshaft speed. The Corto (short) chassis had a wheelbase of 2.75 meters, and the Lungo (long) version one of 3.1 meters. Boasting a four-speed manual gearbox and powerful drum brakes all round, these Alfa Romeos were genuine 100 mph cars, reliably producing over 140 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. 1934 was the last year of manufacture of the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300.