Presented by RM Sotheby’s
ALFA CORSE AND THE 155 PEDIGREE
From 1992 to 1996, Alfa Romeo’s series of 155 saloons were some of the world’s most formidable Touring cars. Homologated to the FIA Class 1 Touring Car specifications, the model saw victories in every series in which it was fielded. In 1992, works driver Nicola Larini earned the Italian Touring Car Championship; 1993 saw him dominate the German Touring Car Championship. Gabriele Tarquini, another works driver, clinched the 1994 British Touring Car title with equal ease. Meanwhile, privateers running the 155 were crowned back-to-back champions of the Spanish Touring Car Championship in 1994 and 1995; a works entry driven by DTM legend Fabrizio Giovanardi also secured the Spanish crown in 1997.
This impressive assemblage of continental touring car titles speaks to the astounding technical capabilities of Alfa Corse’s 155 development program. An example of the final iteration of the model, formally known as the 155 V6 TI ITC, is offered here.
THE 1996 155 V6 TI ITC
Each 155 touring car produced by Alfa Corse was constructed around a steel tube frame and reinforced carbon fiber safety cell which was wrapped in particularly thin steel. The bodywork functioned as a cosmetic shell around the design’s extremely rigid crash structure.
The 155 V6 TI ITC retained many of the mechanical features as its predecessors used in previous iterations of the DTM-ITC. An adjustable, F1-derived inboard suspension system and massive ventilated brakes were retained from 1995, though a new paddle-operated, six-speed semi-sequential transaxle was acquired from Xtrac. Meanwhile, stability features required by the ITC included ABS, traction control, and four-wheel drive. However, the V6 TI ITC received a major improvement in the form of a new engine which featured a redesigned lightweight block, 90-degree geometry, pneumatic valve springs, and greatly improved performance. This engine, internally called the “690RC,” redlined at a screaming 11,900 rpm and provided a reported 490 horsepower; 100 km/h arrived in just 2.5 seconds and the 155 V6 TI ITC surpassed 300 km/h on the straights. This engine switch occurred during the midpoint of the 1996 ITC season, immediately thrusting the 155 back into competitiveness when it debuted at Silverstone on 18 August.
From Silverstone onwards, the 690RC-powered 155 ITC achieved pole position in half of the remaining rounds, secured nine “fastest lap” awards, and won eight of the remaining 14 races outright. This dramatic turnaround allowed Alfa Romeo to surpass Mercedes-Benz in constructor points, while works driver Alessandro Nannini pulled himself from sixth place to a podium finish at third overall in the driver’s title.
ITC CHASSIS 005
Chassis 005, offered here, was driven under the number 5 Alfa Corse-Martini works livery by Nicola Larini to pole position at Magny-Cours and Mugello. Larini and chassis 005 secured outright victory at Interlagos and Mugello en route to a 95-point season across 14 rounds (good for 11th place overall). Larini secured sixth place at the last round of the 1996 ITC season held at Suzuka Circuit on 10 November. After the 1996 ITC season, chassis 005 was returned to Alfa Corse and later retained by at least two successive owners within northern Italy until it was acquired by the consignor in 2018 and imported to Germany.
Beginning in July 2018, the consignor enlisted marque specialists at Scuderia Gran Tourismo in Irschenberg, Germany to prepare the car for competition in the inaugural DTM Classics Series. Invoices on file show over €350,000 expended over the past five years to return this touring car icon to the peak of its dominant racing form with a particular focus on retaining the chassis’ attractive patina and original components. As such, Larini’s original, date-coded race seat and steering wheel remain in the cabin.
The beautifully refreshed car won its DTM Classics debut at the Norisring on 7 July 2019, and later claimed fourth at the Lausitzring on 25 August 2019. Chassis 005 also saw track time at Autodromo di Modena during production of a video series from Italian automotive journalist Davide Cironi and his Drive Experience publication. In March 2020, chassis 005’s engine and transmission were rebuilt and dyno-tested to Alfa Corse specifications by race shop Lindlmaier Motortechnik in Heldenstein, Germany.
With its pedigree of the most outstanding variety, this 155 V6 TI ITC is truly a touring car legend worthy of inclusion to any collection with a focus on motorsports.
This vehicle will be offered in RM Sotheby’s new Milan Sale, taking place 15 June at Palazzo Serbelloni in Italy. The sale will be livestreamed and remote bidding options are available.