'Testa Fissa' is Italian for 'fixed head', a non-detachable cylinder head. In 1931, new rules for the Irish Tourist Trophy (TT), won the previous year by the Alfa Romeo 6C, stated that the head had to be detachable, so the Italians applied blind screws which nevertheless could turn. The racing commissioners looked no further...
Acquiring engineer Vittorio Jano proved to be a coup for Alfa Romeo, as the successor to the 1500, the 6C 1750, did extremely well. The six-cylinder, fitted with a compressor in the Gran Sport and Super Sport versions, triumphed all over Europe: in the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, the Tourist Trophy and at Montlhéry.
In 1929, 25 of the 26 6C 1750's entered completed the Mille Miglia, but the story of the 1930 'Mille' is even more legendary. In the dim half light, Tazio Nuvolari was close on the tail of his archrival Achille Varzi, both men driving a 6C 1750. When Nuvolari saw Varzi's rear lights, he switched off his own lights so that Varzi would not realise that he was approaching. Nuvolari took Varzi completely by surprise when he shot past him. Nuvolari crossed the finishing line with only an eleven-minute lead over his rival.
The Testa Fissa on display here took part in the Mille Miglia of 1934, driven by Nino Farina who in 1950 became the first Formula 1 World Champion.