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Lot 594: Alfa Romeo 1900 Sprint 1st Series Berlinetta

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

Alfa Romeo'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 1900 Sprint featured bodywork by Pinin Farina (cabriolet) and Touring (coupé), both models utilising the 100bhp engine of the 1900TI sports saloon. An immensely influential design, Touring's Sprint offered family sized accommodation in a two-door sports coupé format and its heart-shaped vertical grille with flanking horizontal intakes would become an Alfa trademark. A very special, 1st-Series 1900 Sprint Berlinetta, this car was campaigned by its first owner, Giovanni Zalukar, in the VII Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti in Italy. Zalukar finished the gruelling 303.8-kilometre race, which spanned some 4,129 metres of altitude and more than 156 kilometres of uphill racing, in a highly respectable 3 hours, 50 minutes and 47 seconds, finishing behind none other than Elio Zagato. Chassis number '01035' has some very rare features including an original Abarth kit with two Weber carburettors, an external fuel filler cap, a large-capacity fuel tank and - probably unique to this car - two lateral air vents and a curtain in front of the radiator, which is operated from inside the car and can be lowered or raised depending on the temperature. The car is described as being in largely original, un-restored condition, having spent the best part of 40 years unused in the previous owner's private collection. Offered with the Italian Estratto Chronologico, this fantastic Alfa Romeo should provide its new owner with exhilarating motoring and would be a competitive entrant in many of the prestigious 'Retro' long distance events such as the Mille Miglia and Coppa d'Italia.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
TypeCar
Lot Number594
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€160000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€184000
Year1952
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number1900 C 01035
Engine number96
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors