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alfa_bimotore_n.jpg (9531 bytes)

alfa_bimotore.jpg (19123 bytes)
  Car:   Alfa Romeo Bimotore   Engine:   Two 8-Cylinder In-line
  Maker:   Alfa Romeo   Bore X Stroke:   71 X 100 mm
  Year:   1935   Capacity:   6,330 cc
  Class:   Grand Prix   Power:   540 bhp at 5,400 rpm
  Wheelbase:   110.25 in   Track:   54.5 in
  Notes:   Dry weight was quoted as 2,205lbs. Front tires 5.5 x 20 and 7.00 x 21 rear. Dunlops were later switched to Englebert tires though there is some dispute regarding this fact.



alfa_bimotore2.jpg (14545 bytes)The year 1934 saw the domination of racing through German technological might in the form of Mercedes and Auto Union Grand Prix cars. What had belonged to the French and Italian teams was now in German hands. Alfa Romeo was desperate to regain their superiority. Scuderia Ferrari was tasked by Alfa Romeo to build their own super car. Long-time Ferrari designer Luigi Bazzi, did not resort to half measures. Leading this mad adventure, a team of 30 employees, the entire Scuderia, he designed a special chassis based upon the P3 that carried two 8-cylinder engines that were placed in front and behind the driver. One version used twin 2.9 litre units while another used twin 3.2 litre units. The differential was located in the middle with the power supplied to the rear wheels through twin driveshafts in a "Y" format. On top of this the complete car was finished in less than four months.  

The car was intended for the fast tracks on the calendar, such as Tripoli and Avus which were actually Formula Libre events not governed by the rules of the 750kg formula. alfa_bimotore3.jpg (22595 bytes)At their debut in Tripoli they finished fourth and fifth. The original intention was for the car to use Dunlop tires which were considered the best for high-speed use but for some reason Dunlop would not guarantee them for road racing and the switch was made to Engleberts. This would prove fatal when Nuvolari had to come in for new tires after only racing 2 laps! Later at the Avusrennen a Bimotore driven by Louis Chiron finished second. one of the cars few "victories" came when Tazio Nuvolari on Dunlops set a new world record for the kilometer at 321km/h on the Florence Autostrada topping 208 mph at one point. The use of two engines was not the only special feature of the car.  Others included the gearbox with three forward speeds; the central steering wheel; independent Dubonnet suspension and two lateral fuel tanks. The use of lateral fuel tanks survive to this day.

bio2.jpg (7019 bytes)bio1.jpg (5228 bytes)The major reason for its relative lack of success could be traced to its prodigious use of fuel and tyres brought on by its excessive weight and power. More often then not the car was either entering or leaving the pits after receiving some sustenance. Thus the noble attempt that became the Alfa Bimotore could have easily been called the first Ferrari but rather than struggle to make it race worthy the project was soon dropped. With one of the cars scrapped the other was sold to British amateur driver Austin Dobson for national events at Donington and Brooklands.



Alfa BimotoreNuvolari starts his record run - Alfa BimotoreAlfa BimotoreAlfa BimotoreAlfa Bimotore
 
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