Vintage Vehicles

Rita Hayworth and her Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 gave good face

Rita Hayworth drove a gray Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 to her wedding.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

By the time the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 with coachbuilding by Touring made its debut in the spring of 1949, actress Rita Hayworth was already in her prime. A bona fide screen siren in the Golden Age of cinema, Hayworth spent the '40s starring in a number of well-regarded films including "Down to Earth" (1940), "Tales of Manhattan" (1942), "You'll Never Get Rich" (1941), "Blood and Sand" (1941), "The Lady from Shanghai" (1947), "Cover Girl" (1944), and "Gilda" (1946).

The 6C 2500 Villa d'Este model quickly became regarded as the peak of beauty, just as Hayworth had in the years earlier, gracing soldiers' walls during World War II.

The Alfa had been created custom, also like Hayworth, who changed her name and appearance in an effort to attract the right type of attention in Hollywood.

Early years

Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport (1939)

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Like Hayworth, the 6C 2500 was launched in the 30s. It was produced at the Portello factory, which was run by engineer Ugo Gobbato, a man with a strong background in mechanical engineering who made every effort to improve efficiency. He implemented new standards and methods in the process, even writing two books about the subject.

Gobbato's efforts focused on retail production, but not mass production. He hired a generation of young engineers, and established a clear heirarchy giving workers precise roles and corresponding salaries.

The 6C 2500 was a direct descendant of the 2300 B, with innovative equipment for its time including a rear torsion bar suspension with telescopic shock absorbers and hydraulic brakes replacing outdated equipment.

Model upgrades

Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Corsa (1939)

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

With the performance upgrades, the the model was able to handle a more invigorating drive than its predecessor. Its Super Sport variant now produced 110 horsepower and it was capable of reaching 105.6 mph.

Hayworth too was a model that upgraded the previous generation. Actress Jean Harlow was the original bottle blonde bombshell, playing what has become known as the typical sex symbol, before the auburn-tinted-haired Hayworth arrived on the scene. Harlow passed away in 1939 and Hayworth picked up the torch, ushering in a new era of Hollywood glamour.

Hayworth was just one of the many smoldering sirens Hollywood propelled to the front. Her contemporaries, including Gene Tierney, Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Hedy Lamarr, and Joan Crawford all fit similar molds with sharp cheekbones, perfectly coifed hair, and sparkling eyes, but had different audiences.

Alfa Romeo was designing the 6C the same way. There were five- and seven-seat versions. Sport and Super Sport wheelbases. Price tags tens of thousands of lire apart. Like it did in Hollywood, the variety worked for audiences.

World War II

While Hayworth's pictures were being distributed widely by troops during World War II, so were bombs. They rained down upon Alfa Romeo's Portello factory from 1943 to 1944 damaging it extensively. Other Italian automakers suffered similar fates including Pininfarina and Fiat.

The company rebounded, if ever so slightly, in 1945, producing a handful of versions of the 6C 2500 Sport. The next year was better, with 146 models produced between finished cars and chassis sent to coachbuilders.

One of the chassis models made its way to the Paris Motor Show in 1946, where the famous Battista "Pinin" Farina stunt took place, despite the fact that Italian made cars were banned from attending.

VIP treatment

Tyrone Power Marries Linda Christian Rome

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

American actor Tyrone Power drove his Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 while in Rome. While there he fell in love with another auburn-haired actress, Linda Christian, and married her (pictured above). They were married in Rome and over 8,000 fans turned up to cheer them on outside the church and riot squad was required to hold the crowd back.

Juan Peron Evita Eva Peron 1947 Italy tour

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

Agentina's President Juan Peron and his wife Eva "Evita" were driven around in a 6C convertible in 1947 (pictured above) as part of their famed European tour, which was memorialized in the hit Broadway musical "Evita".

King Farouk of Egypt and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, who would go on to marry his own Hollywood sex symbol in 1956, Grace Kelly, ordered the model.

On May 27, 1949, Hayworth arrived at the town hall in Cannes to marry Prince Aly Kahn driving a 6C 2500 that she had gotten as a wedding present. The car had a gray body, dark blue hood, and upholstery designed to match Hayworth's outfit.

6C 2500 SS Coupé Villa d'Este

Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa d'Este (1949)

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The 6C 2500 SS Coupé Villa d'Este was one of the last Alfas to be built with the frame and body separate. Only 36 of them were made, each one unique. This particular model was different than the others crafted by Touring coachbuilders. Designer Bianchi Anderloni gave the headlights new integration, superimposed elongated cooling sockets, integrated the wheel arches into the bodywork, and split and inclined the windscreen. Its rear was low and pronounced.

Neither the 6C nor Hayworth's story ends there. Both live on - one on display, the other forever displayed on the screen.

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The LEGO Speed Champions series is adding two new Dodge models to its lineup.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The new LEGO Speed Champions series is expanding by two. A 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A and Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster are being added to the growing collection. They are the first purple vehicle and first Top Fuel Dragster in the Speed Champion series.

"Owning, or aspiring to own, a Dodge muscle car is as much about the lifestyle of joining the Brotherhood of Muscle as it is about the vehicle purchase," said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. "As a result, our brand enthusiasts are passionate about all things Dodge, including the latest cool collectibles. So, following the success of the Dodge 2018 LEGO Speed Champion building set, fans will now be able to build and show off not only the first ever 8-inch-wide (8W) muscle car, but also the first ever Plum Crazy 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A, along with an incredibly detailed 13½-long Top Fuel Dragster."

LEGO Speed Champions Dodge box The 627-piece Challenger T/A and Dragster include box art of their Rea-life counterparts. Photo courtesy of Stellantis

LEGO has had the Challenger over two inches high, five inches long, and 2.5 inches wide. The Dragster is four inches high thanks to its wing, and has a body that is 13.5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide.

The set features a male Challenger driver in Dodge-branded clothing. The Dragster has a female driver in a Dodge race suit.

"In 2021, we are extremely excited to reteam with Dodge and expand the Speed Champions 8W Vehicle Collection even further by including new vehicle types and building experiences, for the first time, that appeal to vehicle fans of all ages," said Christopher Stamp, LEGO Design Lead.

LEGO Speed Champions Dodge The set includes two models.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The models will be released on June 1, 2021 at LEGO.com. Pricing for the models is not yet available.

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The 2022 Bentley Bentayga S combines dark exterior accents with new dynamic capability.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Following a mid-generation facelift, Bentley is upping the ante once again on its popular Bentayga SUV. This time, the change comes in the form of a new model - Bentayga S - that is designed to be the sportiest offering in the crossover's lineup. This is the first time an "S" version of the Bentayga has been offered.

Its sport-tuned abilities come courtesy of standard Bentley Dynamic Ride, an anti-roll technology that plays with the model's 15 percent increase in damping in Sport mode to deliver a more engaging drive mode. The automaker has retuned the brakes for the car. It now lightly brakes the inside rear wheel at corner entry to sharpen the front axle turn-in.

The model continues to have four drive modes (Snow and Wet Grass, Dirt and Gravel, Mud and Trail, and Sand) and continues to be able to ford up to 500 mm of water.

2022 Bentley Bentayga S

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

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The Bentayga S rides on standard 22-inch wheels in the buyer's choice of one of three finishes while a larger-than-traditional spoiler takes up room out back. Black exterior accents give the Bentley a unique look while a newly designed, free-flowing sports exhaust provides a robust sound out the rear of the car. Gloss black side sills and front and rear lower bumpers work with dark tinted head and taillight lenses, black door mirrors, and black split-oval tailpipes complete the look.

Powering the auto is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that gets 542 brake horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. The power plant moves the car from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds with the accelerator at the floor and it has a top speed of 180 mph.

Bentyaga S's cabin has new seats, unique stitching, a fresh color split, and Alcantara upholstery. "S" badging can be found on the passenger fascia, instrument panel graphics, and illuminated treadplates.

Buyers can get the car in a four-, five- or seven-seat configuration. The seats are fluted with stitching contrasting and complementing the hide color.

In front of the driver is a fully digital instrument cluster that was designed to be reminiscent of high-end chronographs. Drivers can customize the look of the display.

Pricing for the model has yet to be released, but is expected to be a premium on the current Bentayga starting MSRP of around $166,000.

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