Kidston 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Kidston 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 отключены
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Ex-Mille Miglia

1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 Super Sprint Berlinetta

Coachwork by Zagato

Chassis no. 01931

Engine no. 1308*00942

Veteran of the ’55 Mille Miglia, Giro di Sicilia and Coppa Intereuropa

Direct from 50-plus years in the same private ownership

Never before restored, shown or offered for sale

Rare, highly eligible and with impeccable provenance

Alfa Romeo’s 1900 was the Milanese firm’s first all-new post-war offering, the latest in a great sporting tradition which had given the motoring world thoroughbred models such as the 6C 1750, 8C 2300, P3 and all-conquering Alfetta Grand Prix cars. Destined for the sporting gentleman driver, the 1900 in its most potent Super Sprint guise boasted twin carburettors helping to liberate 112bhp from the twin-cam ‘four, married to a five-speed gearbox to give a top speed of 118-130mph depending on the axle ratio chosen. It was the perfect weapon for the weekend racer but leading Scuderia Sant’Ambroeus member Vladimiro Galluzzi, one of the first to try it in competition, wanted something even faster.

Celebrated local Carrozzeria Zagato . renowned for its lightweight, aviation inspired coachwork, was called upon to create such a car and immediately set to work. The potent result, the ‘1900SSZ’ as it became known, was an instant success and won its first major outing, the gruelling multi-stage Stella Alpina, driven by Galluzzi. It wasn’t long before Alfa’s racing department test driver Consalvo Sanesi tried out the new car and reported back to the firm’s top brass, who quickly sanctioned limited production.

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It is thought that just 39 examples (plus two bare chassis) of the 1900SSZ were built, 1954-1957, and they are regarded as the pinnacle of 1950s production Alfa Romeos. Collector, 1900SSZ owner and FIVA steward Mark Gessler sums it up: “Aside from the BAT cars there’s no more requisite 1950s Alfa than a 1900 Zagato.”

Chassis ‘01931’ will set the pulses of Alfisti racing. It has been hidden from view for most of its life and has spent over 50 years in the hands of a very private, enthusiastic American owner. Delivered new early in 1955 to a Mr Vanini through Sonvico, the Alfa Romeo dealer in Lugano, in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland, the rakish two-tone Zagato berlinetta was registered ‘TI 13523’ and participated with him and co-driver Ivo Badaracco in the epic 1955 Mille Miglia on 1st May under race number ‘451’.

Starting, of course, at 4.51am they passed through the Rome checkpoint 6 hours, 44 minutes and 46 seconds later and crossed the finishing ramp in Brescia after 12 hours, 56 minutes and 11 seconds to claim 19th place overall, the first Alfa Romeo 1900SSZ home.

In addition to their impressive Mille Miglia performance the Swiss-Italian gentleman driving duo also contested that year’s Giro di Sicilia (race no. 335, result unknown) and the Coppa Intereuropa at Monza on 11th September, the GT race preceding the F1 Grand Prix, finishing 11th.

How long the Alfa Romeo remained in Europe is still not known, but we believe that, like so many other Italian sports cars, it had found its way to the USA by the late 1950s. Here it was acquired almost by chance by the late owner, an avid engineer, former serviceman and motoring enthusiast, apparently from an advertisement in the classified section of a newspaper. The car has remained in his garage ever since and, aside from some dismantling of minor trim components and other ancillary parts (all of which are believed to be present), the car has sat there untouched and unseen for the best part of the last half century.

Now offered from his estate for the first time, it is an incredibly exciting find with a colourful, evocative history which will inevitably create great interest when it finally returns to the road and track where its Italian heart belongs.

Alfa Romeo Electric Cars
Alfa Romeo Electric Cars
Alfa Romeo Electric Cars
Alfa Romeo Electric Cars
Alfa Romeo Electric Cars
Alfa Romeo Electric Cars

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