Lot 273

London 2011

1980 Alfa Romeo Tipo 179 Formula One Monoposto


£110,000 - £140,000 GBP | Not Sold

United Kingdom Flag | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Addendum: Please note this lot is offered on a Bill of Sale only.

520 hp, 2,991 cc DOHC four-valve V-12 engine, Lucas direct fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, independent front and rear suspension with lower wishbones, top rockers up front and lower wishbones and parallel top links in the rear, inboard shocks all around, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,780 mm

• Ex-Bruno Giacomelli Formula One team car

• Offered for sale from more than a decade of ownership

• Maintained in its original Marlboro livery

• Highly evocative, wonderful sounding and eligible for numerous events

Alfa Romeo left Grand Prix racing in 1951 after winning the first two world championships, but by the late 1970s it was ready to return. During the 1979 Formula One season, after some persuasion by Carlo Chiti, Alfa Romeo gave Autodelta permission to start developing a Formula One car on their behalf. The new Alfa Romeo V-12 Grand Prix contender was introduced at Monza with Bruno Giacomelli.

From 1979 until the end of 1985, Alfa Romeo achieved two pole positions, three 3rd places, two 2nd places and one fastest lap. The team sadly endured tragedy when their driver Patrick Depailler was killed testing for the 1980 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring.

It was common for the Alfa Romeo F1 team to swap chassis plates amongst the armoury of cars that were deployed for the world championship, making it difficult to ascertain for sure in what rounds this chassis was entered. It is however certain that Tipo 179 #03 took part in many hard-fought races with sponsorship from Marlboro Italy and will always be connected with Bruno Giacomelli, Patrick Depailler and Mario Andretti.

We understand that this car, chassis 03, was assigned primarily to the Italian, who drove in five races including a pole position.

During the 1980 season, Giacomelli scored the team's first points with 5th place in Argentina after qualifying 20th. At the Interlagos Grand Prix in Sao Paolo he suffered a puncture. He finished 5th again in the German GP and went on to take pole position and lead the US Grand Prix for half the race, going extremely well until making an error under braking at the Hairpin, losing places entering Shoreline Drive and finally coming together with the back of Alan Jones’s Williams, forcing both cars to retire.

Depailler was then replaced by Brambilla and, for the last two races, by Marlboro Italy protégé Andrea de Cesaris.

Maintained in its original Marlboro livery and previously vintage raced in the US by Patrick van Schoote, this F1 Alfa Romeo is described as sound and certain to be a highlight of any vintage race in which it participates. It has recently been started to ensure that it is in running order, a video of which is available. In a charming footnote, Tipo 179 #03 appeared with Bruno Giacomelli at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed in June 2000, where its exhaust note electrified a new generation of race fans. These included Giacomelli’s own children, who had never seen the car in period action. Thoroughbred Grand Prix cars don’t come with any better value than this.