Alfa Romeo’s heritage is filled with some of the most lust-worthy automobiles that the world has ever seen. With help from many of the most prestigious carrozzerias, firms like Zagato, Ghia and Touring would help form some of the most memorable shapes in the history of the automobile.
The coachbuilt-era came to an end with the 1900 series cars from Alfa Romeo. With World War II in its rearview mirror, Alfa introduced a true mass-market automobile platform that carried on their tradition of performance while introducing new levels of versatility and value. The new design was met with great praise. The car is credited with many firsts for Alfa Romeo, including their first use of monocoque construction, their first 4-cylinder twin cam engine and the first Alfa Romeo to be mass-produced.
The 1900 was also the final Alfa Romeo series to be offered in quantity to coachbuilders. With multiple engine configurations, the ‘family car’ could go from the meager 90hp variant to the more powerful 1900TI specification featured in the 1900 C Sprint. The platform, which was originally penned by Orazio Satta as a sports sedan, would be manufactured to allow coachbuilders to take their liberties with the chassis.
The “C” designation in 1900 C stands for “corto” and refers to the car’s sporting, short wheelbase design. Quite rigid, the 1900 C chassis served as the perfect foundation for coachbuilt bodies. While the majority of 1900 C Sprint coupes were produced with Carozzeria Touring bodies, a select number of cars feature coachwork from Italian design houses including Ghia, Zagato and Pinin Farina.
Less than 900 coachbuilt 1900s were produced during the series’ 1950-1959 run. While approximately 100 Pinin Farina-bodied cars were produced, only 30 cars are believed to be extant and 10 are said to be left-hand-drive models.
Available for sale at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015 Auction, this 1952 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprint wears sleek bodywork from Carozzeria Pinin Farina. Wrap-around rear glass and rounded proportions characterize the unmistakably Italian shape. In addition to its rare, hand-formed Pinin Farina body, this particular 1900 C Sprint has one more extraordinary feature that sets it apart from other Alfa 1900s. This car is quite special in that in spent a significant portion of its life on display in the Pininfarina museum, where it shared time with the highly unusual Pinin Farina X as well as the stunning 1963 Pininfarina Corvette Rondine that sold for $1.6 million at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in 2007.
Features for Lot 5042 include a 1.9-liter dual overhead cam 4-cylinder engine, Abarth twin carburetor conversion, floor shift 4-speed transmission, finned aluminum brakes and Borrani knock-off wire wheels wrapped in Michelin radial tires. A museum heirloom, the car is believed to be in largely original condition, including the light grey cloth interior and aluminum body. The odometer reads approximately 140 miles.
In a world where coachbuilt Ferraris from the same era routinely surpass $1,000,000, coachbuilt Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprints are also in high demand by collectors worldwide. Offered from the John Rosatti Collection, this 1900 C Sprint Pinin Farina coupe represents an obvious choice for the collector looking to compete in the Mille Miglia or win preservation class awards at major Concours worldwide.
This 1952 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprint Pinin Farina Coupe is available at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale, scheduled for January 10-18, 2015. For more information, visit Barrett-Jackson.com.