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1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS Touring 5 Window Coupe

Award Winning Restoration on 5-window Touring Bodied 1900 CSS. Ex-Pebble Beach, California Mille

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VIN AR 1900 C 1880
Exterior Color Teal Metallic
Interior Color Blue
Mileage 96341 kms
Engine Twin Cam Inline 4 Cyl no. AR 1308 00894
Transmission 5-speed manual
Status Sold
Stock FJ779


1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS 5 Window by Touring
s/n AR 1900 C 1880 engine no. AR 1308 00894
Teal Metallic with 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 CSS was differentiated by its twin Solex carburetors and floor-shifted 5-speed manual transmission.

This particular car is a late production example wearing Touring’s Tipo 3 5-window coupe body. The car has known history from new, and was sold new to an Edward Milano of Daly City, CA in 1955. It second owner was from Orinda, CA, and acquired it in 1962. He sold the car to its third owner, Ken Shaff of nearby Moraga, CA, in 1989. Mr. Shaff sold the car to its fourth owner in 2002 (also in the San Francisco Bay Area), and its fifth owner acquired the car last year.

It was comprehensively restored to extremely high standards in the late 1990’s, and has seen occasional enthusiastic use since. The paintwork was done by Rob Etcheverry and Don Nichol, and the car received a mechanical restoration by Conrad Stevenson. During the body restoration, the car was completely disassembled and bead-blasted before being prepped and painted Azzurro-Verde Metalizzato and Blu Cobalto. The suspension was rebushed and new ball joints fitted, and the steering box received new bearing ans seals. The ideler box had the shaft plated and machined. New Koni shock absorbers were fitted as well. The wheel and master cylinders were restored, and the brake lines replaced. The linings were bonded and riveted. New wheel bearings and seals were also fitted. The differential was restored as well, with new bearings and seals, and the lash and endplay set. The engine was disassembled, and the block was machined. New Venolia pistons were made, and new 10 over main and rod bearings fitted. Sammy Hale did the crank shaft and drilled out the oil galleries. New rings, wristpins, rod bolts, main and head bolts were fitted, and new chains, and the engine was balanced. The head was machined and new valves, seats, and guides fitted. The water pump and oil pump were also rebuilt. The distributor and generator were also rebuilt, and a new wiring harness fabricated employing the original style terminals and boots. The Borrani wire wheels were restored and rechromed with new laces and correct Michelin X tires. The transmission was fitted with new bearings and the synchros replaced. The shift linkage was also fitted with new bushings, and the driveline restored including new center bearing, clutch, and pressure plate. The interior was retrimmed using the original as a pattern and was performed by Ken Niminic to the standards required for showing the car and the instruments were restored as necessary. The chrome and nickel plating was also done to show standards and new rubber fitted throughout. Following its completion, the car was shown at Pebble Beach in 1999, as well as The Palo Alto Concours of 2001 and 2002, where it placed first and second respectively. The car was used in the California Mille in 2001 and 2002.

The car is currently in excellent condition, with an obviously high quality restoration that is aging very well. The paintwork is extremely nice, and the body is straight with good gaps. There are a handful of small cracks around the door handles but the paint is otherwise free from significant signs of wear or damage. The chrome is also very nice throughout, and the car has Carello headlamps and auxiliary fog lamps in excellent order. The glass and other lights are in great shape as well, with only light scratching on the front windscreen. On the whole, this is likely the finest Alfa 1900 that Fantasy Junction has had the pleasure to handle.

The interior is wonderfully done and is in excellent shape. The quality of the materials is first-rate throughout, with wilton carpets, wool headliner and door trim, and leather upholstery. The instruments are beautifully restored, and the car is fitted with the desirable wood flat Nardi steering wheel, which is in equally nice condition to the rest of the car. The car has been updated to a floor-shift 5-speed transmission.

The engine compartment and trunk were also both properly restored. The engine compartment is very correct, clean, and well-detailed. It was obviously restored in a very comprehensive fashion and shows minimal signs of use and aging commensurate with the car’s enthusiastic ownership and occasional use. The trunk was restored with new carpet and a restored spare wheel.

This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a superb example of this stylish and elegant model. Certainly one of the most attractive variants of the 1900 built, the 5-window also enjoys a unique position as limited production coachbuilt Italian sports car of the 1950’s. As such a car, this also represents and excellent value; it would be extremely difficult to find a similar experience in the same price bracket. The car is of course eligible for most any event thanks to its build date, and this car’s previous event use ensures that it is sorted and would therefore make an ideal car to use and enjoy, or to casually show. The restoration was done to the highest standards and accordingly, the car will also appeal to the discriminating individual with the highest standards. Prior to the restoration, the car was an accident free fundamentally sound example, and this car’s known history and California history from new ads further appeal.


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

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