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1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint Zagato
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L. Limited edition cars
no. 39 manufactured. no. 39 manufactured
In 1954, the range of Alfa Romeo 1900 was modernize with the introduction of the Super with a larger and even more powerful engine. The better version was the Super Sprint, which was fitted with a 115 bhp engine. A 1900C was created specifically for coach-builders like Touring, Pinin Farina, Zagato and Ghia.
The Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint Zagato represent the maximum expression of Zagato cues in terms of lightweight bodyworks and aerodynamic efficiency. The very successful but heavy sedan 1900 Berlina was worked from Zagato during the first half of 50s in order to provide the Gentleman drivers of the GT category with a modern and very efficient car, designed on the 1900 short wheelbase chassis, offered from Alfa Romeo.
The 1900 SSZ (as unofficially designation known) is the sum of many different innovations like the rounded shapes around the big Alfa Romeo 2-litres engine, the B pillars integrated in the side glasses with an extremely light aluminium frame, an aerodynamic lightweight aluminum body and, on some of the 1900 SSZ built, the famous Zagato's trademark double bubble roof “doppia gobba” which was able to lower the front section of the car and to increase the stiffness of the roof.
These cars were individually hand-crafted. It is thought that just 39 examples (plus two bare chassis) of the 1900SSZ were built, from 1954 to 1957, and they are regarded as the pinnacle of 1950s production Alfa Romeos.
Chassis 01931 was delivered new early in 1955 to Vittorio Vanini - a successful wealthy privateer of the period, from the famous family of Swiss chocolatiers - through Sonvico, the Alfa Romeo dealer in Lugano, in the Swiss canton of Ticino. The rakish two-tone Zagato berlinetta was registered ‘TI 13523’.
On 1 May 1955, in Vanini and co-driver Ivo Badaracco’s hands, 01931 participated in the epic Mille Miglia road-race carrying race number ‘451’. Starting, of course, at 4.51am they passed through the Rome checkpoint 6 hours, 44 minutes and 46 seconds later and crossed the finishing ramp in Brescia after 12 hours, 56 minutes and 11 seconds to claim 19th place overall, the first Alfa Romeo 1900SSZ home and a superb second in class.
In addition to their impressive Mille Miglia performance the Swiss-Italian gentleman driving duo also contested that year’s Coppa Intereuropa at Monza on 11 September, the GT race preceding the Grand Prix, finishing 11th.
It has been hidden from view for most of its life and spent over 50 years in the hands of a very private, enthusiastic American owner.