1954 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint Coupe by Ghia
Sold For $330,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 15 - 16 AUGUST 2014 - Offered on Saturday
- A striking and futuristic design by Giovanni Savonuzzi
- Reportedly one of twelve produced
- The best of 1950s Italian engineering and design
115 bhp, 1,975 cc DOHC inline four-cylinder engine with Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with double A-arms, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers, live axle rear suspension with trailing links, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 95 in.
The 1900 was Alfa Romeo’s first post-war production model, and it showed the direction that the Milan-based company would take in the coming decades. The 1900 was smaller and more compact than the pre-war designed 6C 2500, and it was powered by an iron-block and aluminum-head four-cylinder with chain-driven dual overhead camshafts. It was introduced as a sedan in 1950, and a year later, the sedan was followed by the more sporting 1900C Sprint Coupe, which rode on a five-inch shorter wheelbase. Alfa continued to extract more power from the two-liter engine, which culminated into 115 horsepower for the SS (Super Sprint).
The 1900 was Alfa Romeo’s first car to utilize unit-body construction, which made it more difficult for Italy’s coachbuilders to practice their creativity, but not impossible, and a variety of one-off and limited-production designs from Bertone, Ghia, Touring, and Pinin Farina demonstrated the capabilities of these now legendary artisans.
The 1900 Super Sprint offered here was designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi for renowned Italian coachbuilder Ghia, and it reflects many of the advanced aerodynamic ideas that Savonuzzi was developing at the time, including the trend-setting Gilda concept.
Ghia is known to have built a series of similar bodies on the 1900 SS, with each subtly different from the next. This one features headlights that “hang” inside a larger fender opening that resembles an air intake, which was a theme that Savonuzzi and Ghia would further explore in the designs for Chrysler’s Turbine car. The front bumper is also believed to be unique, as it was a design proposed by Ghia for the original Karmann Ghia Type 3 Coupe. The interior features a Nardi steering wheel and floor-shift linkage, and the 1900 SS rides on lightweight Borrani alloy-rim wire wheels.
This 1900 SS was restored some time ago, believed around 1995, and reportedly, it has more recently undergone a comprehensive engine overhaul, which included the addition of new brakes, radiator, and clutch. The car is currently in fine, drivable condition. This is a rare and significant special-bodied Alfa Romeo of quality and style, and one as such rarely comes available. It is eligible for the most important historic events and would be a welcomed entry as a representative of this and other special-bodied cars, such as the 1900 Conrero Alfa Romeo 1900C Supersonica, which participated in the Mille Miglia in 1953.