Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pininfarina
Lady Moira Forbes and Count Theo Rossi di Montelera, Italy (acquired new in January 1954)Augusto Vessetti, Celle Ligure, Italy (acquired from the above in August 1956)Maurizio Minuto, Celle Ligure, Italy (acquired from the above in 1966)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Designed by Orazio Satta Puglia and launched at the Paris Auto Show in 1950, Alfa Romeo’s 1900-series automobiles represented a clear departure from anything the long-revered Milanese automaker had built previously. Illustrating a number of firsts, the 1900 was built on a standardized production line, utilized a modern unitized body and chassis design, and marked the first Alfa Romeo offered with left-hand steering. Throughout production, the 1900 evolved into a succession of variants, including the sporting 1900C – or “Corto,” Italian for “short” – introduced in 1951. The model rode on a 2,500 mm wheelbase rather than the 2,630 mm chassis of the standard coupe and sedan.
This 1900C Pinin Farina coupe is a particularly fascinating example with a rich, documented history supported by a 2016 letter from Peter Marshall, the 1900 registrar of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of the UK. “Pinin Farina was one of several coachbuilders to fit their own bodywork to the short chassis platforms supplied by the Alfa Romeo factory,” Marshall wrote. “Eighty-eight were supplied for their cabriolets and then a further 100 for their coupes. Chassis 01647 was about 10th from the last to be built and is the penultimate surviving example – only 37 are now believed to exist; it still has its original engine and was recently acquired from Italy, where it has spent most of its life.”
According to Mr. Marshall, 01647 was purchased new by Lady Moira Forbes, an American heiress who was the wife of Count Theo Rossi di Montelera of theMartini & Rossi family. They sold the car in August 1956 to Augusto Vessetti, believed to have been a Pinin Farina engineer. Vessetti retained it until 1966 when he sold the coupe to an Alfa Romeo dealer who kept it in his collection until 2015. The Alfa was last licensed for road use during 1966 in Italy, and a letter from a previous owner attests that it has recorded just 29,400 km.
Following its acquisition by the current owner, the Alfa was given a thorough yet sympathetic restoration addressing cosmetic and mechanical aspects of this wonderful classic Italian driving machine. In addition to numerous restoration invoices, documents include the history from Peter Marshall and the letter from the previous owner, plus the vehicle’s corresponding Automobile Club d’Italia paperwork. Beautifully finished in dark blue with gray cloth, one could hardly imagine a more fitting color combination for this sporting Pinin Farina 1900C. On close inspection, the Alfa Romeo reveals dozens of fascinating period details in its myriad fittings and trim. An outstanding choice for most any motoring event around the world, this sporting Mid-Century coupe is sure to delight.