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Lot 132: Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint Coup�

Weekend de l'Excellence Automobile, Bonhams (26 September 2009)

"L'apog�e de la lign�e des 1900 sera la s�rie Super, dont la Berlina et la 1900 C Super Sprint ont �t� produites de 1953 � 1958... La s�rie Super se distinguait surtout par son moteur de cylindr�e plus importante, passant de 1 884 � 1 975 cm3. La 1900C Super Sprint pouvait atteindre 189 km/h..."  "Alfa Romeo  A History", Hull and Slater, 1964. Avec ses usines d�vast�es par les bombardements, Alfa Romeo ne reprend la production qu'en 1947, la 2500C d'avant-guerre permettant de maintenir la marque milanaise jusqu'� 1952. Le premier mod�le compl�tement nouveau de la p�riode d'apr�s-guerre appara�t en 1950. Con�u par Dr. Orazio Satta Puliga et pens� pour une production importante, la 1900 est la premi�re Alfa Romeo adoptant une construction monocoque. Restant fid�le � l'h�ritage sportif de la marque, elle re�oit un moteur � double arbre � cames en t�te, un quatre cylindres de 1 884 cm3 dont les 90 ch suffisent � propulser la berline � pr�s de 150 km/h. Bien que voiture � destination humblement familiale, la 1900 est alors cr�dit�e de capacit�s sportives exc�dant les performances de son moteur, les conducteurs b�n�ficiant d'une suspension avant par triangle et ressorts h�lico�daux et d'un essieu arri�re rigide extr�mement bien plac�. Il n'est donc gu�re surprenant que le potentiel de la 1900 ait �t� exploit� � travers deux d�riv�s de performances �lev�es. Lanc�e en 1951, la 1900C Sprint re�oit une carrosserie sign�e Pinin Farina (cabriolet) et Touring (coup�), chacune des deux adoptant le moteur 100 ch de la berline 1900 Ti. Le coup� Sprint Touring d�clenche un tel enthousiasme du public qu'il est retenu comme base pour tous les coup�s Alfa Romeo "a�rodynamiques" ult�rieurs. Une des descendantes directes est bien s�r la s�duisante Giulietta Sprint, dont l'air de famille saute aux yeux. Le coup� Sprint est con�u pour offrir des performances sportives dans un habitacle "2+2", susceptible d'attirer le sportif enthousiaste et p�re de famille. La grille centrale de calandre en forme de cSur, compl�t�e par les deux entr�es d'air horizontales, va devenir une marque de fabrique sur les Alfa Romeo ult�rieures. En juin 1954, la cylindr�e du moteur passe � 1 975 cm3 et le mod�le devient "Super Sprint". Fortes de 115 ch et d'un excellent rapport poids-puissance gr�ce � leur carrosserie en aluminium, ces voitures peuvent atteindre 189 km/h et participent � toutes sortes de comp�titions. Un total de 949 Sprint et 854 Super Sprint voit le jour, avant la fin de la production. Ce bel exemplaire d'un mod�le de r�f�rence d'une des marques les plus charismatiques b�n�ficie d'une �l�gante combinaison de peinture ivoire et sellerie de cuir vert. Compl�tement restaur�e en Italie en 2004, cette voiture a pris part � de nombreux �v�nements historiques en 2006, dont les rallyes ING Ardennes Bleue, Silvretta Classic et International Trier, ainsi que l'International Oldtimer meeting de Baden-Baden. Elle comporte un passeport FIVA (d�livr� en 2005) et est �quip�e d'un Tripmaster, id�al pour les rallyes historiques. Propos�e aujourd'hui par un collectionneur connaisseur devant r�duire le nombre de pi�ces de sa collection, cette rare Alfa Romeo des ann�es 1950 constitue une d�sirable sportive, �ligible pour de tr�s nombreux �v�nements historiques.

'The final flowering of the 1900 was the Super series, of which the Berlina, or saloon, and the 1900C Super Sprint were produced from 1953 to 1958... the Super series was mainly distinguished by the fact that the engine was enlarged... raising capacity from 1,884cc to 1,975cc. The 1900C Super Sprint could achieve 118mph...'  'Alfa Romeo - A History', Hull and Slater, 1964. Its factory devastated by wartime bombing, Alfa Romeo did not resume car production until 1947, the pre-war 2500C standing the Milan marque in good stead until 1952. The firm's first all-new offering of the post-war period arrived in 1950. Designed by Dr Orazio Satta Puliga and intended for volume production, the 1900 was the first Alfa to employ unitary construction and - in keeping with the company's sporting heritage - was powered by a twin-overhead-camshaft engine. A four-cylinder unit, the latter displaced 1,884cc and produced 90bhp, an output sufficient to propel the four-door saloon to 93mph. Although ostensibly a humble family conveyance, the 1900 was endowed with sporting credentials which extended beyond its type of power unit, owners enjoying the benefits of wishbone and coil spring independent front suspension and an exceptionally well located live rear axle. It should have surprised nobody therefore, when the 1900's potential was realised in the form of two high performance derivatives. Launched in 1951, the 1900C Sprint featured bodywork by Pinin Farina (cabriolet) and Touring (coup�), both models utilising the 100bhp engine of the 1900TI sports saloon. The Touring-bodied Sprint Coup� attracted such public acclaim that it was subsequently adopted as the basis for all future 'aerodynamic' Alfa Romeo coup�s. One direct descendant was, of course, the lovely little Giulietta Sprint in which the family resemblance is immediately obvious. The Sprint Coup� was designed to offer sporting performance together with '2+2' accommodation - guaranteed to appeal to the sports car enthusiast with a family - while the heart-shaped vertical grille with matched horizontal side intakes became an Alfa trademark on later models. In June 1954 the engine was enlarged to 1,975cc and the model re-designated as the 'Super Sprint'. With 115bhp on tap and possessing an excellent power-to-weight ratio courtesy of the aluminium-alloy body, these cars could top 118mph. They shone in competitions of all kinds. A total of 949 Sprints and 854 Super Sprints had been made by the time production ceased. This lovely example of a landmark model from one of motoring's most charismatic marques is finished in the elegant combination of ivory with dark sage green leather interior. Fully restored in Italy in 2004, the car participated in several classic events in 2006 including the ING Ardennes Bleue, Silvretta Classic and International Trier Classics rallies, as well as the International Oldtimer meeting at Baden-Baden. The car is offered with FIVA passport (issued 2005) and is fitted with a Tripmaster, ideal for use in rally events. Offered today by its private vendor due to a necessary reduction in numbers of his collection, this coachbuilt 1950s Alfa Romeo would continue to make a highly desirable entry to numerous historic events.

Lot Details
Auction Weekend de l'Excellence Automobile
Bonhams, Reims - Circuit de Gueux en Champagne
TypeCar
Lot Number132
Estimate€60000-€80000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€55000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€63250
Year1954
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberAR1900C 01804
Engine number1308 00683
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2