21 Ultimate Gifts: Once and Future Alfa Romeo: 2009 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Coupe

The Gift
One of the fewer than 99 coupes that are bound for the United States. — High-speed-driving lessons on the Balocco test track near Turin, Italy.
$300,000

Alfa Romeo’s 8C Competizione has been a runaway runway supermodel, from its introduction as a concept car at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show to its appearance at this year’s Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance.

The 8C, which will cost about $250,000 and have an initial production run of just 500, is the most expensive and fastest car in Alfa Romeo’s century-long history. No 8Cs are on the streets, so the car’s performance figures—including a top speed of 186 mph—remain only company claims. The engine is a 450 hp V-8, and the company will build the cars at the Maserati plant in Modena, Italy.

For this gift, Alfa Romeo has reserved one of the fewer than 99 cars bound for the United States. The company also is offering driving lessons, including laps at speed on the Balocco test track, which sits on the roof of the Fiat factory near Turin, Italy.

Competizione harks back to the 6C 2500 Competizione coupes that Juan Manuel Fangio and Augusto Zanardi drove in the 1950 Mille Miglia. Traces of the 1968 Tipo 33/2 are apparent in the snout of the 8C, and the 1964 Giulia TZ (Tubolare Zagato) obviously influenced the design of the 8C’s rear.

Alfa Romeo, 201.816.2705, www.alfaromeo.com

{ Delivery of the 8C Competizione coupe is expected toward the end of 2008. The price of the gift includes travel to Italy and accommodations while there. This 8C Competizione will not be available to anyone living outside the United States, and its availability is contingent on the car passing the required U.S. government certification tests. Delivery arrangements are to be made by the manufacturer. }

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