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1957 Alfa Romeo 1900CSS Three Window Coupe by Touring

Genuine, Lovely and Rare 1900 CSS. Matching Numbers Example. Suitable to be Shown, and Widely Eligible for Prestigious Events.

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VIN AR1900C 10473
Exterior Color Dark Cobalt Blue
Interior Color Two-Tone Grey and Blue Interior
Mileage 1011 Kms TMU
Engine 1.9 Litre 4-Cylinder no. AR1308 10471
Transmission 5-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ1832

Comments

1957 Alfa Romeo 1900CSS Three Window Coupe by Touring
s/n AR1900C 10473, engine no AR1308 10471
Dark Cobalt Blue with Two-Tone Grey and Blue Interior

The 1900 was Alfa Romeo's first all new postwar model and featured a number of innovative features including unit chassis, and dual overhead cam inline-4 with hemispherical combustion chambers and aluminum alloy cylinder head. While most examples were sedans, a handful of special bodied 1900 C Sprint and Super Sprint (CS and CSS) coupes were built, weighing several hundred pounds less and featuring stylish bodies by coachbuilders such as Bertone, Castagna, Touring, Vignale, and Zagato. The five window coupe by Touring was among the most attractive of these, and 949 examples were built between 1951 and 1954, using Touring's famous Superleggera construction. Most were fitted to Super specification chassis, but a handful were fitted to cars of the most desirable Super Sprint (or CSS) specification. This variant was differentiated by its twin downdraft Solex carburetors and 5-speed manual transmission.

Approximately 600 examples were fitted with the three-window coachwork by Touring that this car wears, and the aesthetic link to Pininfarina’s subsequent Giulietta Spider is very clear. This particular car is a matching-numbers example completed on 25 March 1957, and was supplied in June of 1957 to Mocar of Lisbon, Portugal. It was first registered in July of that year on plates MT-26-72, plates which it still wore when it was unearthed in what is sometimes referred to as the Great Portugese Barn Find, a collection of 180 cars amassed by a dealer in Portugal, who placed them in a barn as he bought them, where they remained for years, even decades in some cases. The cars were unearthed in 2007 and this 1900 CSS still wears its original Portuguese plates today.

In March 2011, the car was sold to an Italian, who set about performing a comprehensive and correct restoration to high standards. A retired geologist, he has been restoring cars for more than 30 years and is well known in the local enthusiast community. The resulting car is cosmetically stunning and a pleasure to drive. The three-year restoration is well-documented with photos and invoices and shows that the car was intact and in good shape prior to the restoration. It was stripped to bare metal and refinished, all mechanical systems removed and restored, and the interior completely renewed. The paint color was carefully matched in Glasurit to the car’s original color on the dashboard where the paint was covered by the windscreen seal. The engine and carburetors were rebuilt, new pistons fitted, and the engine dyno tested before being installed in the car. The attention to detail and correctness is excellent throughout and the completed car certified by the Automotoclub Storico Italiano, the regional FIVA representative and one of the Italian classic automobile community’s most esteemed organizations.

The car’s cosmetic condition reflects its recent high-quality restoration. Certainly the car could be shown, but it also drives well and would therefore make an ideal event car. The body has excellent panel fit and gaps, and the paintwork was performed to high standards with very few small blemishes visible on close inspection. The chrome was also renewed and is excellent, also with just a handful of small marks. The wheels are in beautiful shape, as are the lights and glass (aside from minor surface scratches on the rear windscreen), including the period Carello headlamps.

The interior of these Touring 1900s sets them apart as truly coach built cars, with the inimitable 1950s Italian carrozzeria feel, and this one is particularly well-executed. The materials and workmanship are first rate throughout, from the contrasting dark blue leather and grey fabric upholstery to the high quality wool pile carpets with dark blue binding. The dashboard and instruments were comprehensively and correctly restored to high standards and the car is fitted with desirable and costly flat Nardi steering wheel.

The engine compartment and trunk were also thoroughly restored and are highly detailed. The engine is extremely clean and shows great attention to detail, from the polished lettering on the wrinkle finished valve cover and airbox to the yellow fuel lines that were also used on contemporary Ferraris. The correct air intake and downdraft Solex carburetors are in place. The trunk was also done to high standards with restored spare, battery cover, and new rubber mat.

The car is a pleasure to drive. The engine starts easily and is well tuned, the clutch is positive and easy to use, and the gearbox has good synchromesh. The column shifter is evocative and with some orientation required, but it is straightforward to use thereafter. The 1900 CSS must be among the only 5-speed column shifted cars ever made. The brakes are progressive and effective, and the car has a well-dialed and well-resolved feel that is often missing from fresh restorations. The car has covered approximately 900km since the restoration was completed in 2014.

This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a lovely and rare 1900 CSS, the ultimate iteration of the 1900 and one of the last coach built Alfas. This car is a genuine CSS and is a matching numbers example that is suitable to be shown or is widely eligible for prestigious events, including the California Mille, Colorado Grand, and Copperstate 1000. It comes with many photos from before and during the restoration, a folder of invoices, miscellaneous Portuguese and Italian registration documents, its Automoto Club Storico Certificato di Itentità, a book outlining the restoration, and miscellaneous other documents pertaining to the car’s history.

 


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