Estimate of £60,000 – £70,000For auction at Silverstone Auctions, 14th November 2020. Images © Silverstone Auctions, shown with their kind permission.
The story begins at the Paris Motor Show in 1950 where Alfa Romeo introduced their latest saloon, the 1900, to the crowds. Available from launch as a two or four door, it was Alfa’s first car to be assembled totally on a production line.
Designed by Orazio Satta, the 1900 was fitted with Alfa Romeo’s new 1,884cc 90bhp 4-cylinder twin-cam engine. Production started in 1950 and continued through to 1959. The car was simple, quick and sporty, so much so it was raced successfully in events as grand as the Targa Florio, an open road endurance race held in the mountains of Sicily.
In this time of production, Iginio Alessio, General Manager of Alfa Romeo, was concerned for the future viability of the independent Italian coach-building industry as the arrival of the ‘unibody’ chassis design from innovating manufacturers was threatening to put many in the coach-building industry out of business. Alfa Romeo’s management thought to help alleviate the pressure by offering official contracts to Touring and Pininfarina to produce variants of the 1900, and so the sporting Sprint Coupe, and elegant four-seat cabriolet and coupe were born.
The outward display of appreciation from Alfa’s management and the showing of availability as a suitable chassis led many other coach-builders to build versions of the 1900, Zagato and Bertone to name just two.
This particular and unique Alfa Romeo 1900 Speciale is believed to have been built by one such coach-builder following Alfa’s open arm offerings, coach-builders Autotecnica del Lario (ATL). Based in the city of Lecco in Lombardy, northern Italy, ATL built this Speciale in the mid-sixties.
This stunning coach-built car resembles the lines of the Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva Prototype built by Alfa Romeo in 1954, along with automotive styling cues from other Italian grand tourers of the time period.
This Speciale from ATL has a tubular chassis design with bodywork hand-formed over a steel birdcage-like lattice work. Ride is taken care of by independent suspension on all four corners. Brakes are front discs and rear drums. Finally, but not least of course, the power-unit being Alfa’s four-cylinder 1900 twin-cam engine producing 90bhp. As such, the car is now UK registered as a 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900.
|Engine||1,884cc 4-cylinder twin-cam|
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For sale at: Silverstone Auctions
Location: NEC, Birmingham, UK
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