1954 Alfa Romeo 1900
Year of manufacture1954
Chassis numberAR1900C 01713
1954 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint Series 2 Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring
Registration no. 6122 HX
Chassis no. AR1900C 01713
Chassis number '01713' is one of 550 Alfa Romeo 1900C Series 2 Super Sprints produced between 1954 and 1955. There were around 550 1900C Super Sprints made by Alfa Romeo for all coach builders. We have not been able to establish the exact total number of Touring Series 2 cars built as all Touring records were destroyed when they went into liquidation. However the register have calculated, based on Touring serial number, that between 470 and 480 Series 2 cars were built.
Its factory devastated by wartime bombing, Alfa Romeo did not resume car production until 1947, the pre-war 6C2500 standing the Milan marque in good stead until 1952. The firm's first all-new offering of the post-war period arrived in 1950. Designed under the supervision of Dr Orazio Satta and intended for volume production, the 1900 was the first Alfa to employ unitary construction and - in keeping with the company's sporting heritage - was powered by a twin-overhead-camshaft engine. A four-cylinder unit, the latter displaced 1,884cc and produced 90bhp, an output sufficient to propel the four-door saloon to 150km/h (93mph).
Although ostensibly a humble family conveyance, the 1900 was endowed with sporting credentials which extended beyond its type of power unit, owners enjoying the benefits of wishbone and coil spring independent front suspension and an exceptionally well located live rear axle. It should have surprised nobody therefore, when the 1900's potential was realised in the form of high performance derivatives. Launched in 1951, the 1900C Sprint was built on a shortened chassis (C = Corto, Italian for short) with a wheelbase of 2,500mm, down from 2,630mm. All Corto chassis were completed with coachbuilt bodies.
The 1900C Sprint featured bodywork by Pinin Farina (cabriolet) and Touring (coupé), both models utilising the 100bhp engine of the 1900TI sports saloon. Touring's Superleggera aluminium-bodied Sprint Coupé attracted such public acclaim that it was subsequently adopted as the basis for all future 'aerodynamic' Alfa Romeo coupés. One direct descendant was, of course, the lovely little Giulietta Sprint in which the family resemblance is immediately obvious.
The Sprint Coupé was designed to offer sporting performance together with '2+2' accommodation - guaranteed to appeal to the sports car enthusiast with a family - while the heart-shaped vertical grille with matched horizontal side intakes became an Alfa trademark on later models. In June 1954 the engine was enlarged to 1,975cc and the model re-designated as the 'Super Sprint'. With 115bhp on tap and possessing an excellent power-to-weight ratio courtesy of the aluminium-alloy body, these cars could top 190km/h (118mph). They shone in competitions of all kinds. It is worthwhile noting that while Alfa Romeo identified the Touring cars by three series depending on specification and body style, the Alfa Romeo Register in the UK and USA now recognise four.
Attractively finished in red with red/grey Connolly leather interior, this wonderful example of a landmark model from one of motoring's most charismatic marques boasts a truly stunning pillar-less body with a most generous glass area, making for an exceptionally light and airy cabin. Chassis number '01713' was delivered from factory on 31st March 1954 to Giuseppe Mattioli of Carpi (near Modena). Imported into the UK on 12th May 1960, this Series 2 car was purchased by the current vendor in August 1985. An eight-year restoration followed (most bills available) and the vendor has now owned the Alfa for 35 years. Badges left in the car indicated that one Italian owner was a member of the Automobile Club Roma and that it had been used for competition. The Five UK-based owners are known with details available in the history file.
Since the initial restoration's completion in 1994, the engine has been rebuilt again; the gearbox overhauled ; and the clutch replaced recently. Indeed, the car has been continuously improved since the restoration; we are advised that rear indicators (a factory option) have been installed and the front sidelights fitted with orange bulbs to act as indicators (the sidelights are now incorporated into the headlights). The car also benefits from an electric cooling fan with thermostatic switch.
MoT'd to June 2020 this beautiful Alfa Romeo, has received numerous awards (too many to list) over the years including the Jeffrey Mason award for the Best Alfa Romeo in 2019. It certainly represents the perfect opportunity for the fortunate new owner to participate in the Mille Miglia and other prestigious historic motoring events.