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1957 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS 3 Window by Touring

Miglia Mille Retrospective Participant. Matching Numbers. Strong Running and Driving 'CSS' with Floor Shift 5-Speed.

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VIN AR 1900 C *10385*
Exterior Color Red
Interior Color Red with Grey Inserts
Mileage 13779 Kms TMU
Engine 1.9 Litre 4-Cylinder no. AR 1308*10438*
Transmission 5-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ1961

Comments

1957 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS by Touring
s/n AR 1900 C 10385, Engine no. AR 1308.10438
Red with Grey Cloth Interior with Red Accents

The 1900 was Alfa Romeo’s first all new postwar model, and incorporated a number of innovative features including unit chassis, dual overhead cam inline-4 with aluminum alloy cylinder head and hemispherical combustion chambers. 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 CSS was differentiated by its twin Solex carburetors and floor-shifted 5-speed manual transmission.

This particular car wears desirable 3-Window Supperleggera coachwork by Touring of Milan, and thanks to its early build date, is eligible for prestigious pre-1957 rally events, as well as casual concourse showing. According to Marco Fazio at Alfa Romeo Historica this 1900 C SS Touring is a matching number car produced on February 26th, 1957, and delivered new in Verona, Italy on April 23rd 1957. Interestingly, it was owned for the last decade by Riccardo Bi Bona, who performed a mechanical and sympathetic cosmetic restoration during his ownership, and in 2008, used this wonderful example to participate in the Mille Miglia retrospective, with entry number 326. This was not the first Mille Miglia for Mr. Di Bona, as he had been a participate in the pre-1957 running of the Mille Miglia in his younger years, while building a career in Italy as a respected racing car driver.

Today, the car has a beautiful event-ready presentation. The restoration is mellowing nicely, and the paint remains attractive, with just a handful of minor imperfections present, mainly on the edges of select opening panels. There are some superficial bubbles at the bottom of the passenger’s door, but none on the driver’s side. The body panels are straight, and the shut lines consistent. The Touring body number is 4931. The brightwork is straight, but showing some minor aging in select areas. Of particular note on this example is the suburb fitment to the body of the grille and grille brows at the front of the car, which are flush and correctly installed without rubber gasketing. The windscreen and rear window appear to have been replaced, whereas the side windows retain their original etching and are in good original condition. The car retains its original Carrello head and tail lights, all of which are in very good original condition. The badges and emblems are in restored condition. The car sits on painted Borrani wire wheels, with correct Michelin X Series 165x400 tires.

The interior is beautiful, and while there is a very minor area of wear evident on the driver’s seat bolster, on the whole it makes a beautiful presentation. The materials and stitching pattern is faithful to original. A very sharp “flat” Nardi wood rimmed steering wheel has been fitted, as has an auxiliary under-dash temperature gauge. The balance of the instruments are original, as is the switchgear, and all is in very fine order. The trunk houses the matching painted wire wheel with hold down, and jack with jack bag. The inner wheel well areas have been restored, and a new rubber trunk floor mat has been installed.

The engine bay is beautiful, and extremely correct in its details. Black crackle and semi-gloss finishes have been applied where appropriate, and this car retains its correct twin Solex carburetors, and cast aluminum airbox. Even the original exhaust shroud is present. The engine retains its correct 1900-Series cylinder head (many have been replaced with 2000-Series units). A secondary thermostatic fan has been installed forward of the radiator for ease-of-use in tour and rally events.

While the physical presentation is attractive, driving this 1900 CSS highlights its best qualities. It is exceedingly well-adjusted, and has a well-resolved feel on the road, even over rough surfaces. The floor shift 5-speed operates beautifully, both warm and cold, with good synchros up and down. The engine makes good power, and is particularly “looppy” at idle, suggesting aggressive cams. The brakes are well adjusted, and are effective. Even the pedal assembly allows for ergonomic heal-and-toe downshifts.

This is an excellent opportunity to acquire an event-eligible coachbuilt Alfa Romeo. The car is beautifully prepared, and is a genuine CSS with desirable equipment. The combination of robustness and modern mechanical specification (by 1950s standards) makes the 1900 a great event car and this example is exceptionally well-suited to tours and rallies. Indeed, seasoned connoisseurs of motoring consistently demonstrated the extent to which they favor the 1900, particularly for long distance driving events.

 


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

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