Alfa Jankovits - Alfa Romeo 6 C 2300 Aerodinamica Spider “Aerospider” (constructed 1934-1937)
The prototype of modern automobile design and the first car which had been constructed and executed as a sculptural whole. The combination of a stunning aerodynamic body with the engine behind the central driver’s seat, on the most advanced chassis of its time makes this Alfa Romeo unique in the history of automobiles.
This special version of an Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 belonged to a secret project by Vittorio Jano and the brothers Jankovits.
The Aerospider represents
- The first supercar of “modern” sports car design.
- The first mid-engined car with central driving position in the history of automobiles designed to keep the centre of gravity in the middle of the car
- 60 years ahead of the McLaren F1
- The first car designed to take account of newly developed principles of aerodynamics, to provide low-drag both externally and internally. It had:
- flowing lines with a low body profile, a steep short radiator grille and a long descending tail; side wings with a convex surface at each side of the car, and concave surfaces towards the midline, resulting in a cross-section resembling a bat
- a straight upper line to the silhouette of the side of the car, without interruptions or steps
- a streamlined bodyshell which minimised disturbance to the air flow. For the first time in car design door handles and lights were integrated into the body of the car
- a body design with air inlets in zones of high air pressure, and with the outlets of heated air from the engine and brakes in areas of low pressure.
The first car which was designed for high speeds by using:
- a body which fully enveloped the underside of the car to reduce air turbulence beneath
- an aerodynamic front design to reduce front lift of the car
This aerodynamic design was scientifically aerodynamic and lasciviously beautiful without heritage, a forerunner of the later following high-speed record-breaking cars of Mercedes and Auto Union, and in some respects even more advanced than they were, and a forerunner of modern sports car, pure, simple and structural.
The car had the most advanced chassis of any pre-war car. It was the first car in history to use:
- a two-circuit brake system with adjustable duplex brakes, with an equaliser which could avoid over-braking by changing the distribution of braking force between the front and rear brakes during driving.
- a hydraulically-assisted clutch
- a horizontal radiator which made it possible to design the lowest front profile of any pre-war car
- “silent bloc” bushes
- disc style flexible couplings, later called “Hardy discs”
- exhaust pipes of equal length for better performance
- improved intake of air to reduce the pressure drop
- a unique system of gear change with pre-selection
- features which were designed to avoid the specific problems of a mid-engined racing car, such as overheating and abrupt spinning, which had still not been fully resolved 30 years later