Lot 158

1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SSZ

Coachwork by Zagato

Register to Bid

SOLD $1,545,000


$1,500,000 - $2,000,000





Car Highlights

The Ultimate Alfa Romeo of Its Era; One of Only 39 Examples Built

Period Racing History Includes Two Outings at the Legendary Mille Miglia

Retains Original Tipo 1308 Engine and Zagato Coachwork

Exquisite Restoration by Motion Products Inc. in Elegant Original Color Scheme

Displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and Cavallino Classic

Offered with Extensive Documentation, Owner’s Manual, Tool Kit, and Jack

Technical Specs

1,975 CC Tipo 1308 DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine

Twin Solex 40 PII Carburetors

115 BHP At 5,200 RPM

5-Speed Manual Gearbox

4-Wheel Finned-Aluminum Drum Brakes

Front Independent Suspension with Coil Springs and Shock Absorbers

Rear Live Axle with Trailing Links, Coil Springs, and Shock Absorbers

Have a similar car that you would like to put up for an auction?

Franco Venturi, Rome, Italy (acquired new in March 1955)

Sergio Bettoja, Rome, Italy (acquired from the above in February 1955)

Vittorio Randaccio, Rome, Italy (acquired from the above in April 1955)

Tullio Pacini, Rome, Italy (acquired from the above in 1956)

Saverio Gravino, Catania, Italy (acquired from the above in 1957)

Captain Richard P. Hall, Garden City, New York (acquired in 1959)

Marvin Katz, New York (acquired from the above in 1962)

Arthur C. Leerdam, Winter Park, Florida (acquired from the above in 2002)

Joe Hayes, Chicago, Illinois (acquired from the above in 2013)

Current Owner (acquired from the above)

Giro di Sicilia, March 1955, Bettoja, No. 342

Mille Miglia, April/May 1955, Randaccio, No. 503 (DNF)

Mille Miglia, April 1956, Randaccio, No. 335 (DNF)

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, 2003 (Spirit of the Mille Miglia Award)

Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance, Malvern, Pennsylvania 2003

Winter Park Concours d’Elegance, Florida, 2003 (Judge’s Choice Award)

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 2019

Cavallino Classic, 2020

Classic Sports Sunday at Mar-a-Lago, 2020 (Excellence in Class)

We are pleased to announce that this vehicle has a combined ACCEPTANCE to two 1000 Miglia events — the Warm Up USA Event in November 2023 and the 1000 Miglia 2024 — thus providing its next owner with an exciting and rare opportunity to participate in this historic event.

Francesca Parolin, Director General of the 1000 Miglia, is here at the auction today and can provide more information about entry.

In addition, this vehicle is a recipient of the 1000 Miglia's Amelia Island 2023 Spirit of 1000 Miglia Award and is accompanied at sale by that award.


Alfa Romeo’s first all-new postwar model introduced innovations that influenced the Italian automaker’s next half-century of sports car production. The 1900 series paired modern unibody construction with a twin-cam, inline four-cylinder engine featuring an aluminum head with hemispherical combustion chambers. Variants were constructed by Italy’s leading coachbuilders: Pinin Farina, Touring, Ghia, and notably, Zagato. Their aerodynamic aircraft-inspired designs and lightweight construction methods, using aluminum panels with Plexiglas windows, shaved hundreds of pounds from traditional steel and glass coachwork.

Assembled on the 1900 “Corto” (short) wheelbase platform and equipped with the twin Solex-carbureted tipo 1308 engine and five-speed gearbox, the Super Sprint was an immediate success as both a stylish, modern road car and a competitive racer in the under two-liter GT class. Zagato produced only 39 of these featherweight gran turismos, and it is believed by the International Alfa Romeo 1900 Register that only 29 original cars survive today. Despite their extremely limited production, these high-performance 1900 SSZs rekindled the historic collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Zagato, which led to the creation of the Giulietta SZ and Giulia TZ, two of the most successful small-displacement GT models of the 1960s.

Completed in March 1955, this 1900C SS Zagato, chassis 01915, was originally finished in the elegant color scheme of Grigio Metallizzato (Metallic Grey) with green upholstery, and equipped with engine no. 1308.01048, which remains in the car today. According to Automobile Club d’Italia registration records, this Alfa Romeo was sold new via dealer Franco Venturi to Sergio Bettoja, a young Roman driver who raced under the nom de course “Pegaso.” Bettoja had been named the Italian University Motorsport Champion in March 1955 and wasted no time putting his SSZ to good use, entering it in the grueling Giro di Sicilia that April.

Later that month, he sold the Alfa Romeo to fellow Roman driver Vittorio Randaccio, who had previously entered a Fiat 1400 and a Lancia Aurelia in the Mille Miglia. Continuing this tradition, Randaccio entered his new SSZ in the XXII Mille Miglia, where it appeared as race no. 503, featuring a centrally mounted spot lamp. Although he failed to finish that year’s competition, Randaccio entered the race again in 1956, with his Alfa Romeo now repainted a lighter color and wearing race no. 335.

The SSZ subsequently passed through two Italian owners and was sold, in 1959, to Captain Richard P. Hall, a US Navy commander stationed in Europe. An avid car enthusiast, Capt. Hall imported the Alfa Romeo into the US and kept it at his home in Garden City, New York, until 1962, when he replaced the aging 1900 with a new Jaguar E-Type. The car’s next owner, Marvin Katz, drove the SSZ for about a year before a road accident lightly damaged the left front fender, leading it to be placed in static storage.

In 2001, the long-hidden Alfa Romeo was sold to Arthur Leerdam, a Dutch-born Alfa Romeo enthusiast living in Florida. During his ownership, the minor body damage was repaired and the SSZ received sympathetic mechanical attention, returning it to the road for the first time in four decades. In 2003, Mr. Leerdam exhibited the largely unrestored Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo at several East Coast concours d’elegance, earning the Spirit of the Mille Miglia Award at Amelia Island and Judge’s Choice at Winter Park. The SSZ remained in Mr. Leerdam’s ownership until 2013, when it was sold to noted Chicago-based collector Joe Hayes.

The current caretaker, an American collector with a stable of significant Italian sports and racing cars, acquired the SSZ in 2017 and commissioned the renowned Motion Products Inc. of Neenah, Wisconsin, to perform a complete, concours-quality restoration. Over the next two years, the Alfa Romeo was painstakingly restored – including all mechanical and cosmetic aspects – to its original, as-delivered color scheme. Throughout the process, the car’s well-preserved unrestored features were carefully studied to ensure that even the smallest details were faithfully addressed.

Since completion in 2019, this jewellike Super Sprint has been selectively exhibited, including appearances at the Zagato centenary celebration at Pebble Beach and at the Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, where it formed part of a special Alfa Romeo display. Today, the car remains in exquisite, show-ready condition and is accompanied by an original 1900 owner’s manual, tool kit, and jack, as well as a comprehensive history file.

An exclusive and sophisticated mid-1950s GT, the 1900C Super Sprint was the first in an important line of sporting postwar Alfa Romeos that revived the marque’s glorious competition heritage during the 1950s and 60s. One of just 39 ever built, this SSZ possesses a fantastic period racing history, including two outings at the legendary Mille Miglia, a well-documented provenance, and a brilliant restoration overseen by one of the most respected names in the business. Arguably the finest example of this rare breed, this Zagato-bodied Super Sprint ought to appeal to the connoisseur of fine Italian sports cars and is worthy of a place in the most esteemed collections.

Please note that this vehicle is titled 1956 and as 01915.


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