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No Reserve: 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint Coupe

After WWII, Alfa Romeo required several years to re-establish design and production. It was able to continue making the glamorous but large 6C 2500 after the war, but that motorcar was completely out of sync with post-war Europe. The factory needed a family car to resonate with buyers. It wasn’t until 1950 that a new design was ushered to market in four-door Berlina form, called the 1900. The 1900 marked several “firsts” for Alfa: the first car it built on an assembly line, its first unit-body car, and the first time it offered left-hand drive. Too, Alfa departed from its six- and eight-cylinder motors to offer an 1884 cc twin-cam four. The new car was marketed as “the family car that wins races” and indeed it was just as handy on the road as on the track. Soon, a two-door coupe arrived on either a short (“C” for corto) or long wheelbase (“TI”) – called the Sprint – and finally a sparse number of convertibles. Here at Bonhams, ready to be auctioned on June 4th in Greenwich, Connecticut, is a 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint coupe by Touring, with an estimate of $160,000 to $180,000, without reserve. Thanks to Araknid78 for this tip – he always has his eye out for exotics!

The in-house design was constructed in steel, but Alfa found a way to work with coachbuilders despite the unit-body layout. Zagato, Touring, Ghia, Vignale, Boano, Pinin-Farina – they all had a crack at interpreting the 1900, many employing aluminum panels. Perhaps the most famous of these are Bertone’s BAT cars, made between 1953 and 1955. Alfa didn’t rest on its laurels in the power department either: it boosted displacement to 1975 cc’s, appending “Super” to the car’s name. Output rose to 115 hp for the dual-carburetted version. This car hides twin Solexes under that air cleaner assembly, backed by a four-speed manual gearbox. Alfin drum brakes are boldly visible behind wire wheels. As is common with more expensive auction cars, provenance is available, and the car has been restored within the last few years. Unfortunately, documentation supporting the restoration is missing.

The interior is resplendent in red leather and grey broadcloth. A wood-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel, six Veglia gauges, and a period radio round out the driver’s office. Some tools, a knock-off hammer, and a jack come with the car. The alloy bodywork helps this Sprint reach a top speed of 115 mph. If there’s a complaint, it’s that the seating isn’t terribly supportive from side to side at higher speeds. I dunno, I’m guessing I could overlook that!

Carrozzeria Touring (still in business today) graced the aluminum body with an exquisite five-window greenhouse. Three-window cars were also offered. Only some 600 Super Sprints of all types were made, with many fewer of those attributed to Touring. Values are driven by originality, documentation, coachwork, condition, and intangibles including how many buyers show up and what colors they like. This car was sold in Paris about a year ago, for €201,250, implying the estimate on our subject car may be conservative.


  1. Randy Member

    Has wrong motor (which they are not saying).

    Like 2
  2. YankeeTR5

    Wrong motor? Looks like the one in my 2000 Touring Spider which, aside from carbs and other accessories was basically the same on the 1900’s like this one. Without checking block numbers seems like it’d be hard to tell if it was a 1900 series or not. What gives?

    Like 1
    • Michelle Rand Staff

      The block number is listed in the auction verbiage. Alfa didn’t tie chassis and motor numbers at this point in history but the car does have an Alfa Romeo Certificate of Origin, which probably tells whether this is the correct engine.

      Like 2
      • Martin Horrocks

        I think the engine records were kept in this period snd that it was late 1950s when Alfa stopped doing so.

        Can’t comment on engine originality, but lovely car

        Like 0
  3. Kurt Member

    Very nice, but the engine looks like a transplant from a modern Alfa.

    Like 1
  4. YankeeTR5

    @Kurt.. No modern Alfa motor has the radiator hose connected to the center of the head. At the very least this is a cast iron block Alfa motor from the 1950’s. I assembled mine myself after the machine shop was done with its work so I know.
    Alfa Storico if provided with the vin # and engine block number will confirm if an engine is original to a car, that’s about it, and for the 1900 and 2000 (102 series) will sometimes not be able to confirm even this, which is why when they say they cannot confirm a matching engine it doesn’t mean its not. I didn’t check the block number listed but its the right kind of motor for this car

    Like 0
    • Kurt Member

      The intake manifold is what threw me off, looks like a recent design. Wish the price was in my budget, beautiful car.

      Like 0
  5. Araknid78

    4 June 2023, 12:00 EDT
    Greenwich, W. R. Berkley Corporate Headquarters
    Sold for US$159,600 inc. premium

    Like 0

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