A rare day off at Monza concerning the ELMS and WEC weekends in 2021 gave us the prospect for what turned out to be an amazing journey to the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo at Arese on the outskirts of Milan – the museum housed in the final bit of serious estate operated by the enterprise adjacent to the after tremendous but now fully demolished plant that for 4 decades served as Alfa Romeo’s major web-site.
All that is now left is a smaller advanced of nevertheless sizeable properties (the inset remaining is noticeable in the base still left corner of the photo earlier mentioned – for scale!) that serve as the hub for the brand’s consumer service and retail networks as effectively as the museum.
With massive many thanks to the museum personnel not only was a guided tour of the (totally outstanding) facility organized, but also an chance to see the entire two floors of the creating committed to the reserve selection retailer – and there have been some astonishing treats in retail outlet.
We experienced knowledgeable the guide that there ended up some certain cars that we preferred to see – and the SE 048SP was very much leading of that record.
A actual ‘unicorn’ vehicle, the 1990 SE 048SP was intended as the replacement in levels of competition for the Lancia LC2 as the Team C laws transitioned into the 1990s with V10 electricity and light-weight 750 kg vehicles – F1 politics was quite firmly in the ring!
With Lancia transitioned into rally, and Ferrari targeted on F1, the phase was established for Alfa Romeo to action into the sportscar racing arena for the initial time in perfectly in excess of a 10 years.
Approach A. saw the car or truck, with an Abarth-created chassis (as experienced the Lancia LC2), run by the 600 bhp+ Tipo 1035 3.5 litre commonly aspirated 40 valve, DOHC V10 initially built for a then-cancelled deal with Ligier in F1 and then utilised in the quickly cancelled but impressive Alfa 164 Procar Silhouette racer (check out this area for that car or truck to aspect listed here as well).
The auto, as conceived by ex Osella designer Giuseppe Petrotta highlighted rear wheel addresses, and somewhat unconventional entrance-mounted radiators but with the car conveniently identifiable as an Alfa Romeo many thanks to the pretty well known integration of the renowned grille.
The proposed racer was preceded by yet another unraced motor vehicle, dubbed the SE047, a mule based mostly close to a Lancia LC2 but run by the V10.
Unfortunately that check programme proved that the V10 was not a ready manufactured endurance engine, it experienced, after all, been made with F1 in mind, and the spending budget to get it to the demanded endurance overall performance was merely not on the desk – The engine was never equipped to the SE048.
Rather, the final decision was taken to replace the V10 with the 3.5 litre 60-valve Tipo 036 Ferrari V12, paired with a 6 pace manual transmission. In its F1 tune the motor developed a course-main 680+ bhp – but it was all over again, not made as an endurance powerplant! The motor did even though occur equipped with a then really a lot state-of-the-art digital motor management system – development was probable – if the will was there to undertake it!
And that was the difficulty at perform, Alfa’s engineers and management needed the automobile and the programme. But higher than them in the team hierarchy, FIAT senior executives ended up much from persuaded – a whole manufacturing facility programme was not going to get the inexperienced mild.
Enter MOMO’s Gianpiero Moretti who was utilizing back again channels to remain close to these even now performing on the motor vehicle. That curiosity although light as the realities of the circumstance crystallised.
In late 1990 the shutters ultimately came down as FIAT wielded the axe, the expense, complexity and uncertainty of achievements in a Sportscar World Championship in flux was to be the programme’s undoing, the course was to change, immediately, from sportscars to touring automobiles, and a far more pertinent racing figurehead for Alfa a then battling manufacturer.
That would arise as the Alfa 155 SuperTouring motor vehicle, and many national titles would final result from its dominance. The SE048 in the meantime would be consigned to the museum, 1 of the prettiest Team C automobiles of them all, and nevertheless a different ‘what may have been!’