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Coachwork by Touring
Alfa Romeo’s first all-new postwar model introduced innovation that would influence the Italian automaker’s next half-century of sports cars. The 1900 series paired unit body construction to a double overhead cam, inline four-cylinder engine, using an aluminum head with hemispherical combustion chambers. Variants were constructed by Italy’s leading coachbuilders – Pinin Farina, Zagato, Vignale, Bertone, and notably, Touring. That firm’s trademark Superleggera (super light) construction method used aluminum body panels stretched over a framework of small-diameter tubing, saving hundreds of pounds when compared to traditional steel coachwork.
Touring’s design resulted in a beautiful “five-window” pillarless coupe with a soaring roofline and airy greenhouse. Constructed on the 1900 Corto (short) wheelbase platform and paired with the high-performance Tipo 1308 engine and a five-speed gearbox, the 1900C SS was an immediate success as both a stylish, modern road car and a competitive racer. These capable cars were regular participants in the Mille Miglia and other major road races of the 1950s.
Records from Alfa Romeo Centro Documentazione confirm that this car, chassis 01801, is a genuine Touring-bodied 1900C SS, originally delivered on December 27, 1954, in Verde Seta (Silk Green), to Rezzaghi of San Francisco. Almost certainly this meant Rezzaghi Motors, the famous dealership that operated in San Francisco during the 1950s and 1960s. First sold to a customer in Arizona, the 1900C SS later relocated to Colorado and, by 1962, settled in Pasadena, California. The Alfa Romeo served as a regular driver until electrical issues forced it into static storage in 1972. Five years later, a Canadian enthusiast acquired and restored the car.
Offered today from a prominent Southern California collection, this rare Touring-bodied 1900C SS looks splendid in the correct Silk Green paint, and it displays even body gaps all around. The chrome trim and brightwork are in very good condition and the original front and rear bumpers are included. Badges and trim appear freshly restored, with correct details such as original-type Michelin X tires and Carello headlights. Inside, the two-tone interior has been professionally trimmed in leather and cloth, as was done originally. Instruments and switchgear are excellent, and a desirable wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel has been fitted. The five-speed manual gearbox is actuated through a column shift, which gives a precise and novel gear change.
The engine compartment is clean and purposeful, retaining a proper Tipo 1308 engine and its SS-specific equipment including Solex carburetors, air box, and distributor. Eminently drivable, this 1900C SS Coupe’s build date qualifies it as an ideal entrant into the most exclusive historic driving events. It offers a rare opportunity to acquire a coachbuilt Alfa Romeo with exotic lightweight bodywork and a high-performance engine, offered in a very attractive color scheme.