Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2017

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1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Barchetta Modificato

Lot No.: 911

Registration: 961 UYR
Chassis Number: 03724
Engine Number: AR0020403042
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1900cc
Year of Manufacture: 1954
Sold for (£): 94,500

In 1951, the short wheelbase Alfa Romeo 1900C (c for corto-short) was introduced and was joined by the 1900TI, with a more powerful 100 bhp engine, bigger valves, a higher compression ratio and twin carburettors. Two years later the 1900 Super and 1900 TI Super with a 1975 cc engine were introduced. The TI Super had two twin-choke carburettors and produced around 115 bhp which was fed through a 4-speed manual on basic versions and 5-speed manual in the Super Sprint. All versions had drum brakes, independent front suspension, and a live rear axle.

Iginio Alessio, General Manager of Alfa Romeo at the time, was concerned for the viability of the independent Italian coachbuilding industry as the arrival of the unibody chassis design was threatening to put the 'Carrozzerie' out of business. Consequently, Alfa gave official contracts to Touring to build the sporty 1900 Sprint Coupé and to Pininfarina to build an elegant four-seat Cabriolet and Coupé. The availability of a suitable chassis led many other coachbuilders to build versions of the 1900. Carrozzeria Zagato built a small series of coupés with the unofficial designation of 1900 SSZ, designed for racing with an aerodynamic lightweight aluminium body, and Zagato's trademark double-bubble roof.

This very pretty Alfa Romeo 1900 Barchetta was built recently as an 'homage' to the legendary, tubular framed, Alfa Romeo specials created by numerous Italian coachbuilders such as Ghia, Touring, Boano, Bertone and Zagato in the 1950s. Finished to a very high standard and elegantly wrapped in aluminium, this gorgeous Alfa Barchetta is running on Weber carburettors and sounds fantastic!

The car has been registered in the UK and is documented on the V5C as a '1953 Alfa Romeo 1900'. Recently serviced, the engine is Alfa Romeo's classic four-cylinder, twin-camshaft unit derived from the 60's Spider model. These are truly superb compact engines that have plenty of kick. This operatic engine coupled with the lightweight build makes for an undeniably rapid driving experience. With its 5-speed gearbox and ballerina-like sense of poise, it's most at home on twisty Targa Florio style roads.

This is an unmissable opportunity to acquire a unique car, itself a celebration of the essence of Italian creativity in metal. Offered at a realistic estimate when you consider the cost of more mass-produced contemporary aluminum replicas and coachbuilt cars of the era, this example is an eminently affordable work of art.