Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Boano
*Please note this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale.
Highly Original ExampleSocieta Commerciale Italiana Cooperativa, Rome, Italy (acquired in December 1956)Giuseppe Dalmazio Vallerga, Milan, Italy (acquired in April 1957)Renato Leonardi, Rome, Italy (acquired in March 1958)Ennio Risi, Rome, Italy (acquired in September 1958)Mario Morlupi, Macerata, Italy (acquired in July 1959)Mario Righini, Bologna, Italy (acquired in the 1980s)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Torino Motor Show, Torino, Italy, May 1955Retromobile, Porte de Versailles, Paris, France, February 2014Techno Classica, Essen, Germany, March 2015Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Monterey, California, August 2015
During nearly a decade of production, Alfa Romeo’s highly successful 1900 series included just 854 examples of the 1900C SS, with the “C” denoting its short-wheelbase chassis and “SS” declaring its competition-oriented specifications. The 1900 also benefited from the deft touch of Italy’s top coachbuilders, often featuring bold designs that profoundly influenced automakers on both sides of the Atlantic. Notable among them are the 2000 Sportiva designed by Franco Scaglione for Bertone and Scaglione’s radical B.A.T. (Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica) 5, 7, and 9 show cars of 1953-1955, as well as Touring’s 1900 C52 Disco Volante (Flying Saucer).
Of them all, Carrozzeria Boano of Grugliasco, Italy, was particularly effective with Alfa Romeo chassis, including the 6C 3000 coupe built for Argentine President Juan Perón. While the Perón coupe would have perfectly showcased Boano’s capabilities at the 1955 Torino Motor Show, it was sent directly to Argentina; consequently, a similar body was built for the striking 1900C SS offered here, Boano’s 1955 Torino show car.
Continuing to utilize the split rear window also seen on Bertone’s B.A.T. cars and Perón’s Boano coupe, this car revels in comparative simplicity, particularly the unvented front fenders and updated rear-window treatment. Notably, the Alfa’s distinctively swept B-pillar would resurface on Boano’s short run of notable Ferrari 250 GT coupes just a few years later. A stretched hood, short deck, convex body sides, fine chrome bumpers, and round tail lamps further define this Boano Coupe, which was finished in yellow with a black roof. At Torino, it was an unqualified sensation, prompting correspondents to announce, “Boano in style, rivaling the two largest: Pinin Farina and Ghia…. This Alfa Romeo was a masterpiece.”
According to its corresponding Automobile Club d’Italia paperwork, the first individual owner was Giuseppe Dalmazio Vallerga of Milan. The Alfa next passed among several owners, always remaining in Italy, and joined the famous stable of Bologna-area collector Mario Righini in the 1980s, from whom the consignor acquired it in October 2013. As in Torino in 1955, the Boano Coupe was a star attraction at the 2014 Retromobile show in Paris, and in 2015, it graced the invitation-only Preservation Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®.
Following its arrival in the US in 2015, this beautiful 1900 received care from Laurence Anderson, the noted San Francisco Bay Area restorer. Inspection of this remarkable Alfa reveals many competition items; among them is the Tipo 1308 engine displacing 1,884 cc, equipped with large-diameter valves, and mated to a five-speed gearbox. The original ram-type induction system mounts twin high-volume Weber 50 DCO3 carburetors, as found in period, four-cylinder Ferrari racing cars including the F1 2.5-liter and Type 625-series sports-racer engines. Other fascinating items include the original tubular header and dual-outlet exhaust, cooling scoops for the large Alfin drum brakes, and original Borrani alloy-rimmed wire wheels. A large original Nardi steering wheel, special instrumentation, and the original Autovox vacuum-tube radio round out the interior, which retains original yellow-piped leather upholstery.
At some point, the Boano Coupe was refinished in red from the original yellow and black. In the last two years, the 1900 received a new battery; correct Salva fuel lines and new fan belts; spark plugs and ignition wires; breaker points; and a condenser. The most recent work performed in 2015 includes attention to the cooling system, door fitment, and engine tuning.
Presented in engagingly original condition, the patina and authenticity of this coachbuilt Alfa Romeo remain largely undisturbed. This remarkable condition, coupled with the significance of the one-off show car bodywork, is an exceedingly rare combination. In sum, this 1900C SS coupe is sure to excite Alfisti everywhere with its high-performance chassis and mechanicals, handcrafted Boano coachwork, and fascinating history.