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for its time including a rear torsion bar suspension with telescopic shock absorbers and hydraulic brakes replacing outdated equipment.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 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine delivers big power numbers.

Stellantis

The old saying that there's "no replacement for displacement" isn't quite as accurate as it once was. Turbochargers and the latest engine designs have made it possible to extract major power from smaller, more efficient power plants. Stellantis' latest announcement proves this point, as its new Hurricane inline-six-cylinder engine will generate big power numbers from a relatively modest 3.0 liters and two turbos.

Stellantis says two variants will be available. The standard output version produces more than 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, while a high output variant delivers more than 500 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. The twin-turbo inline-six delivers that power with up to 15 percent better fuel efficiency.

Stellantis Hurricane Inline-SixIt's not yet clear which vehicles will get the engine.Stellantis

The new engine comes as Stellantis works to position itself for an electrified future. The automaker stated a goal of 50 percent a 50 percent battery electric vehicle mix by 2030, but notes that gas engines will still play a major role in its vehicle line for years to come. "The Hurricane twin-turbo is a no-compromise engine that delivers better fuel economy and an important reduction in greenhouse gases without asking our customers to give up performance," said Micky Bly, Stellantis head of propulsion systems.

At this point, it's unclear which vehicles will get the new engine, but Stellantis' brands are packed with opportunities. Dodge, whose Hellcat-powered muscle cars could be a good candidate, and then there's Jeep, with a line of off-road-ready SUVs that could greatly benefit from such an engine. The Hurricane's projected high output of 500 horsepower puts it behind the Hellcat engines power output, but it's still strong enough to make a seriously quick vehicle.

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You can apply to become a Dodge ambassador with some great perks.

Dodge

One lucky person is about to win the car enthusiast's job of a lifetime, though only for a year. Beginning today, Dodge is accepting applications for its new and temporary Chief Donut Maker

If the title alone isn't enough to make the job sound appealing, the benefits are seemingly endless. The lucky new Dodge "employee" will pick up a $150,000 salary, along with the opportunity to drive an SRT Hellcat company car for the year. Additionally, the winner will participate in all manner of racing and car-related events, take courses at Radford Racing School, and get a load of Dodge-branded clothing.

Dodge is Hiring a Chief Donut Makerwww.youtube.com

If you're reading this and thinking it sounds like a blast - you're right. There's a catch, however, which comes in the form of an intense consideration process that culminates in a racing event with a pro driver on a closed course. A panel of judges will evaluate the video entries, and wrestler Bill Goldberg will oversee the race between the top ten finalists. Dodge says the series of eliminations will air like a reality TV show, with the winner being revealed in the final episode.

Today is the opening day of the application period. You have until February 28 to submit your short video, which can be a maximum of two minutes. Get busy making your video and head here to submit it before the deadline.

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