1957 Alfa Romeo 1900
- Year of manufacture1957
- Mileage6 592 km / 4 097 mi
- Car typeOther
- Engine numberAR1308*10464*
- Interior colourOther
- Exterior colourBlack
A Well-Resolved Matching-Numbers 1900 CSS by Touring. 5-Speed Example Which is Widely Event Eligible.
1957 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS Touring
s/n AR1900C*10464*, eng. no. AR1308*10464*
Black with Grey Interior
In 1950 when Alfa Romeo launched their all-new unit bodied 1900, unprecedented demand for the innovative and stylish car immediately propelled Alfa Romeo into larger more profitable markets. By 1953 technical and performance improvements successfully challenged more powerful and costly competitors. The newly developed dual overhead cam alloy-head four cylinder engine featured hemispherical combustion chambers, dual carburetors, and floor shift five speed transmissions, which also came with different gear ratios and “Alfin” self-adjusting rear brakes. The CSS variants (referred to as Tipo 2 or Series II) were formidable performers. Success in the Targa Florio, the Stella Alpina and the Coupe des Alpes, earned Alfa Romeo the slogan “The Family Car That Wins Races”. Many of the finest Italian coachbuilders designed and built bodies for the 1900 in a range of stunning configurations, further cementing the 1900 as one of the leading platforms among European cars of the 1950s.
Touring Carrozeria’s patented Superleggera (super lightweight) construction employed on the 1900 utilized a formed steel sub-frame, cleverly enveloped by a lightweight aluminum skin. In the Touring design, the refined upper body, delicately garnished pillar construction, and forward swept side glass combined visual purity and refined elegance in a very capable road car. The light and airy upper canopy cleverly concealed space for two additional passengers or additional luggage in the rear seating area. During the entire four year run, Alfa Romeo produced just 854 1900 C Super Sprint models with various coachwork including the lovely 3-window Touring body on this car.
This particular example was the subject of a high quality restoration by a previous owner some years ago and still maintains a very cohesive cosmetic patina. The combined visual qualities and satisfying mechanical harmony create a well-resolved car for enjoyable driving. Recent mechanical work under current ownership includes rebuilding the brakes and master cylinder, wheel cylinders, a oil change, gearbox and differential oil, and a tune up including dialing in the twin Solex carburetors and adjusting the valves. The current owner specifically had this service work performed so that he could attend Monterey Car Week in 2018. However, the owner purchased a Zagato bodied Alfa Romeo and at the last minute decided to bring the Zagato instead. The numbers-matching twin cam engine was professionally rebuilt prior to the current owner’s purchase from Fantasy Junction 2015, which was thoughtfully documented with photos of the engine while disassembled at the rebuilder’s shop.
Today, the car presents as a very capable touring car with confidence-inspiring mechanical condition and attractive cosmetics that still encourage driving. The black paint is glossy throughout showing minor swirls and minor evidence of use and age, but overall representing a high driver level finish. All panels display good fit throughout the car with the passenger’s side door being slightly proud or the rear fender edge. The black paint creates a vivid contrast against the delicate chrome and polished trim, while the glass, lenses, delicate script, windshield and expansive glass are clear and show only mild signs of mellowing. The Borrani wire wheels affixed with chrome plated dual-ear knock offs, create a performance touch against the large drum brake castings. The Touring emblems, coachwork badges, and carefully fit trim are all in excellent condition, quietly boasting of the combined Touring and Alfa Romeo Italian design and engineering heritage.
The two-tone grey leather and cloth interior was restored some time ago and now proudly wears the patina of joyful use while still reflecting the quality materials selected during restoration. The textured black instrument panel blends in smoothly with the gloss black dash finish as the array of beautifully contrasting instruments, detailed controls, and accent plates elegantly display the artistry of this period. The sculpted gloss black steering wheel is complemented by the column shifter, an appropriately vintage detail, which is very much in keeping with Italian road cars of this era, and somewhat atypical for being a 5-speed column shift. Overall, the interior exhibits a high quality and comfortable feel, offering attention to detail, refined craftsmanship, and just the right amount of patina.
The engine compartment was restored to a high level and still retains handsome detailing, correct hardware, proper fasteners, and aesthetic refinement performed with originality in mind. The textured black castings are uniformly finished with attention to detail and authenticity, showing some signs of use since the restoration was completed. The twin Solex carburetors, engine castings, and various correct details reflect a capable car that can be enjoyed as is or further detailed for an enthusiast interested in participating in club shows.
The trunk is finished with a tailored and piped black carpet floor mat, housing a Borrani spare wheel nested into the formed tub. The underside of the car shows no visual evidence of structural compromise, still reflecting the care of the earlier restoration. There are some signs of use and minor areas where finishes have dulled or succumbed to road conditions.
The car starts quickly warm or cold with a nice snappy throttle response. Originally designed as a touring car, one can instantly feel the ease of driving from the comfortable seating position to the fantastic visibility. Alfa Romeo 1900s are known to respond surprisingly well when properly and spiritedly driven and this car is no exception. In the case of this 1900 CSS, the experience is like one of a familiar glove, nestled in place with everything immediately and pleasantly at hand, gears easily engaged, pedals responding quickly. It’s hard to find another 50s touring car that combines so many of these exceptional attributes as the 1900 CSS, and this particular car truly exemplifies that “just right” feel either when driven or on display. Service records for recent work plus photographs documenting the engine rebuild accompany the car.
This event-eligible, matching-numbers Touring bodied Alfa Romeo features a delightfully welcome drivers presentation coupled with proven and well-sorted mechanicals, ready for enjoyable use. The handcrafted coachbuilt artistry, spacious accommodations, and state of the art engineering, combine to make this Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS a captivating and drivable work of art.