|Edited and designed by Malcolm S. Harris
Simon Moore's first book, The Immortal 2.9, was published by Parkside in 1986 and met with instant critical acclaim. It won the Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award, presented by the Society of Automotive Historians, as the Best Automotive Book of 1986. The book broke new ground for an automotive publication by focussing upon the histories of the individual Alfa Romeo 8C2900 cars of the late 1930s. Not surprisingly, The Immortal 2.9 sold out quickly and has become a genuine collector's item. It was recently included in a Classic & Sports Car article in which a panel of experts picked their favorite automotive books of all time.
The Immortal 2.9 was certainly a difficult act to follow, but we are proud to announce that Simon has genuinely outdone himself. The Legendary 2.3 is here—Simon's long-awaited history of the remarkable 8C2300 Alfa Romeo sports and racing cars produced from 1931 to 1934. Imagine a book with the same high quality and beautiful format as The Immortal 2.9 — but with four times as many pages! The Legendary 2.3 chronicles the colorful individual histories of almost all of the 188 cars produced in the 8C2300 series.
The Legendary 2.3 has something for all car enthusiasts: racing fans, admirers of coachwork design, history buffs. The book will also be of special interest to Ferrari enthusiasts, since it recounts the transition of Scuderia Ferrari from a small team sponsored by a few wealthy amateur drivers until it became the de facto Alfa Romeo works racing team. The racing history of each of the Scuderia Ferrari 8C2300 cars is reviewed in detail.
Because the 8C2300 has become such an icon among auto enthusiasts, its story commanded the highest possible production standards. We are confident that we have produced a book worthy of the 8C2300—one which will become a benchmark for future automotive books. We believe that The Legendary 2.3 is the most comprehensive and detailed book ever published about a particular model of automobile.
Here are the lavish specifications of this important work:
962 pages in three volumes, in a sturdy slipcase
Large format (26 x 27 cm) on heavy matte paper
Bonded leather binding and slipcase cover
1,289 black and white photographs in rich duotone
73 full-color photographs
All photographs are spot-varnished
Each chapter of The Legendary 2.3 recounts the exciting "lifetime" of a particular car, where known, from the factory to the present day. Since most of these cars began their lives as sports racing cars, their early racing exploits are prominently featured.
These stories are profusely illustrated with hundreds of photographs contributed by enthusiasts and professional photographers from all over the world. We believe that at least three quarters of these photographs have never been previously published. The photos capture the 8C cars at many junctures during their exciting lives: as front-line race cars in the early 1930s, as forgotten relics after the War, as restored "classics" and as today's ultimate historic racing car. Several photos document the intriguing "as found" condition of newly-unearthed 8Cs before their restorations were begun. Others document important coachwork which has subsequently been removed. Many of the cars have been re-bodied over the years, and Simon has included photographs, wherever possible, of 1930s/1940s rebodies, as well as the original coachwork.
The book also contains a chapter on the technical specifications of the 8C2300, including exploded parts diagrams from the original factory parts catalogue. Another chapter, co-authored by Simon's friend Julian Majzub, reviews the fascinating history of the Triumph Dolomite, which was a thinly-veiled copy of the 8C2300. In fact, this chapter is the most comprehensive review of the Dolomite found anywhere! In a chapter entitled "Remaining Mysteries", Simon recounts rumors and anecdotal information about many missing 8C cars, including photos of many which cannot be identified by chassis number. If you want to find a missing 8C, this is the place to start!
The Legendary 2.3 contains an extensive Bibliography, a 21-page index and five detailed Appendices:
Complete stage times for 8C2300 participants in the Mille Miglia races from 1931 to 1937.
A complete review of the coachwork fitted to the 8C2300 chassis.
Tables showing part numbers for engines, gearboxes, differentials and other major components of the 8C2300 cars.
Notes regarding the research techniques used by Simon in tracing license and registration records to determine the history of most 8C2300 cars.
A table showing all of the Italian license numbers assigned to 8C2300 cars over the years.