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1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 CS. Pinin Farina Berlinetta

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VIN AR1900C *01534*
Exterior Color Deep Red
Interior Color Black Leather
Mileage 1397 Kms
Engine 1.9 Litre 4-Cylinder no. AR1306*18248*
Transmission 5-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ1606


1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 CS. Pinin Farina Berlinetta
s/n AR 1900C *01534*, Engine no. AR 1306 *18248*
Deep Red with Black Leather

The Alfa Romeo 1900 began its life in 1950 with a number of firsts for Alfa Romeo. Having been introduced at the 1950 Paris Motor Show, the 1900 was the first car to be built by Alfa Romeo completely on a production assembly line and the first car from the company with available left-hand drive. Offered in both four-door Berlina and two-door Sprint variants, the car was initially powered by a 1,884cc, 4-cylinder twin cam engine producing around 90 horsepower. These cars enjoyed success in the Targa Florio and Stella Alpina rallies and Alfa Romeo advertised the car with the tag-line “the family car that wins races” alluding to the car’s performance potential. To further capitalize on this potential, the company released the shorter 2.5 meter wheelbase 1900C in 1951. Later in production, Alfa Romeo introduced a more powerful engine option for the cars denoting them as 1900 Sprints. The Sprint option gave the car a bored-out 1,900cc engine producing an even 100 horsepower. Alfa Romeo gave around 100 of the performance-oriented, short-wheelbase cars fitted with the more powerful Sprint engines to famed Italian coachbuilder Pinin Farina. Pinin Farina designed a very elegant coupe body for the car and thus, the 1900 Corto Sprint Pinin Farina was born. The car created a demand for subsequent coach built versions from Touring, Zagato and Bertone, in part because of the relative availability of the car’s sporting drive train. Save for the Zagato-bodied cars, the Pinin Farina-styled cars are the rarest of the production built 1900s with approximately fifty cars having been built in this configuration.

This particular 1900CS came to us from the stable of a very established collector with many other high-end cars. These cars include a Pebble Beach Concours award winning Aston Martin DB2/3 DHC, a Mercedes 300SL Roadster, a Porsche Speedster and a Lancia B24 Aurelia Cabriolet along with arguably the best SIATA 208S extent. The car has just recently undergone a major service and rebuild with receipts totaling $160,000. The work was done by Raffi Najjarian of The Pit Stop and included a great deal of work on the car’s mechanical components as well as its interior and exterior.

Mechanical work began with a list of work done and a general engine rebuild to bring the car up beyond CSS specifications. This rebuild work included the installation of a CSS crankshaft, larger pistons, and dual Webber carburetors along with an Abarth manifold and new cam cover bolts. An oil cooler was also added along with an electric fuel pump and a supplementary electric cooling fan. At this time, the engine bay was also fastidiously detailed including the addition of a number of period correct stickers and tags throughout the engine bay giving the car a strong feeling of originality. The car’s engine remains very clean following its recent rebuild and the detailing work. Overall, there are no real signs of wear on the engine or any of its components. The rebuild work on the engine has brought power up to roughly 150 horsepower from the car’s original output of 100 horsepower.

Substantial time was also spent improving the car’s driving dynamics with the addition of all new Alfins drum brakes along with an update of the front A-arms to a 2500 system, as part of a general suspension rebuild. A new transmission was installed changing from the car’s original four-speed transmission with a column-mounted shifter to a five-speed unit with a floor-mounted shifter and a new clutch. The car received a rebuilt steering box which, combined with the car’s fresh tires, further solidified the dynamic capabilities of the car. A new exhaust and fuel tank were also installed and the car was generally rewired, including the installation of a new battery and rebuilt heater.

Befitting of this recent work, the car drives very smoothly and proves itself to be an ideal competitor in rally or touring events and has completed several California Mille events. The car performs well from a cold start with good pressures and temperatures and solid operation. The brakes stop strongly with no pulsation through the pedal and good pedal pressure. Steering is tight and true with no signs of play or notching through the car’s recently rebuilt steering box and period flat Nardi wooden steering wheel. On the road, the car is completely devoid of rattles and powers down the road with an excellent throaty sound reminiscent of Alfa Romeo’s twin-carburetor Veloce cars. The car’s transmission ratios ideally spaced for road or highway use.

Further improvements were made to the exterior of the car during its time at The Pit Stop. The wire wheels were rebuilt and freshly powder-coated and correct knock-off spinners were sourced along with a correct spare wheel and tire. The car’s front grille and grille-surround were re-chromed and a period correct license plate was sourced and fitted along with new turn signals. A new left mirror was added and small new aerodynamic covers were also added at the bases of the car’s windshield wipers.

Overall, the car’s deep red color and unique Pinin Farina styling make it very striking and sure to draw a crowd at many a classic rally or casual-show event. Bodywork on the car is overall very straight and the front-end shows no signs of any sort of accidents or deterioration. Overall panel fitment is good with the car retaining what appears to be the majority of its original glass with very minimal marks on the windshield. The car’s freshly rebuilt and powder coated wire wheels show very well and neither they nor their chromed spinners show any signs of wear. There is minimal pitting in the chrome, befitting the car’s recent refresh, with only a couple of small spots of aging in the rear bumper and chromed deck lid handle.

Minimal work was needed on the interior of the car and most of the work done to it was performed in an effort to make the car ideal for spirited driving. This work included rebuilt rails and their locking mechanisms for the car’s seats along with the installation of new seat belts. A new fire-extinguisher and a rally-style map light were fitted to the interior and work was done to fix the car’s window cranks. In the trunk, a new tool kit and jack were purchased and fitted along with a plug-in lamp. The interior of the car is very clean overall and mainly original. Rally-style Zagato seats have been fitted in place of the car’s original bench-seat and provide more lateral support for the driver and passenger making the car perfectly suited to road-rally or touring events. Leather on the seats as well as on the rear parcel-shelf remains very soft and supple and shows minimal signs of wear on the bolsters. The car’s cloth headliner is very clean and taut throughout. The shifter falls very nicely to hand with a smooth metal ball on the top of the shifter and a supple leather boot at the base of the shifter. The gauges remain very clean and are devoid of the clouding seen on many older Alfas.

Striking and rare styling make this 1900CS Pinin Farina Coupe both highly eligible, and and ideal competitor for any number of classic rally or touring events. The car is also in such fine condition that it would be a possible entrant to a casual-show. Very few of the 1900CS cars were bodied by Pinin Farina, thus making this car a very rare example. The modifications performed on this 1900CS were done very tastefully and further accentuate the car’s potential as an excellent touring or rally competitor.


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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