1957 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint Cabriolet by Touring
- A one-off Alfa Romeo, as confirmed by the Registro Internazionale Touring Superleggera
- Displayed by Touring at the 1957 Salon de l'Automobile de Genève
- A fabulously elegant design on the ultimate 1900C Super Sprint chassis
- Formerly of the famed Righini Collection in Italy
- Featured in Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera by Giovanni Bianchi Anderloni
The Alfa Romeo 1900 C
Alfa Romeo produced the 1900 platform from 1950 through to 1959. The car was available in many styles, and bodywork was available in a variety of designs, from coachbuilders including Touring, Pinin Farina, Zagato, Ghia, Boano, Ghia-Aigle, Stabilimenti Farina, Bertone and Vignale. There are a very small number of significant 1900s which are highly collectible in today’s world. Let’s not forget, when marketing the car, Alfa Romeo used the slogan “The family car that wins races”, reminding the world of its success in the Targa Florio and Stella Alpina.
The year 1951 saw the introduction of the 1900 C (C for Corto, which means short in Italian), with a reduced wheelbase of 2,500 mm, producing a sportier ride and improved handling. In 1955, Alfa Romeo updated its hugely successful 1900 one last time, creating the Super Sprint. The most significant improvement over the previous series was the enlarged engine, now 1,975 cc. A higher compression ratio and four valves per cylinder all contributed to the Tipo 1308 engine delivering a sporty 115 brake horsepower. Quite a lot of power for 1955, let’s not forget!
This Carrozzeria Touring 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet Concept
The Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet by Carrozzeria Touring we are presenting here is a one-off. It was Carrozzeria Touring’s perception of a 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet and they built only one to showcase their design concept, making this car unique.
When the 1900 C Super Sprint Series II was launched, Carrozzeria Touring created a cabriolet concept and presented the design to Alfa Romeo, which was already at an advanced design stage for the 2000 Spider, for which they would award Carrozzeria Touring the contract. With this in mind, Alfa Romeo chose not to commission the 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet presented by Carrozzeria Touring; however, the Milanese coachbuilder chose to assemble only one example, to showcase exactly how elegant the design concept could have been. This is the only car they built.
This car, chassis AR1900C 10562, was assembled by Carrozzeria Touring early in 1957 and displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in March. However, the car was only just finished in time, even missing the first day of the show whilst it was being completed and delivered to the Carrozzeria Touring display overnight! This car was photographed upon completion at the Carrozzeria Touring workshop and on the stand at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show. Copies of these images are contained within the car’s history file.
Giovanni Bianchi Anderloni is the grandson of Felice Bianchi Anderloni, who founded Carrozzeria Touring, and the son of Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, who ran the company. Giovanni Anderloni maintains the Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera Register, which houses many original records and images of the many cars designed and built by Touring over the years. We have spoken with Mr. Anderloni, who has confirmed this to be the only example built by Carrozzeria Touring. He has also kindly supplied images of the car on the shores of Lake Geneva, as taken by his father, Carlo.
The car officially completed manufacture in June 1957, with its Certificate of Origin issued on 19 September. Built using a 1900 C Super Sprint chassis, this car was fitted with a 1,975 cc, double overhead camshaft, four-cylinder, 16-valve Tipo 1308 Alfa Romeo engine.
The first owner, Arnaldo Candini, a resident in Prato, close to Florence, registered the car in September 1957 with the licence GE 112210. Copies of the Italian registration records are contained within this car’s history file, confirming every occasion the car changed hands within Italy. The engine currently fitted to this car, number AR1308 10556, was confirmed to be the original by Alfa Romeo Automobilismo Storico. The engine number is also noted on the early registration records.
Having changed ownership and briefly registered on a different Italian registration, FI 101780, this Super Sprint moved to Rome, passing through several further owners before being bought by Giuseppe Sprimigi Stripoli in 1969. At this point, the car was wearing Roma 350607 plates, and it remained in Stripoli’s ownership until August 1992, a staggering 23 years! Stripoli was clearly an Alfa Romeo enthusiast, as he also owned a 1954 1900 Super Sprint by Zagato at the same time.
The next owner was Mario Righini, a knowledgeable and famed Italian collector, in 1992. The Righini Collection, tucked away in a 15th century castle just outside Modena, is one of the world’s most exceptional private car collections, housing such gems as the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 that Tazio Nuvolari raced to victory at Monza and the Targa Florio in 1933, the Auto Avio Construzioni Type 815 (the first car Enzo Ferrari built after leaving Alfa Romeo), an ex-Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 312 T4, a Ferrari 500 Mondial Pinin Farina Spyder and an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato. Of course, there are many more cars, including a Lancia Stratos, Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ, SZ and Sprint Speciale, along with a Ferrari 275 GTB, but the one consistency throughout the collection is the quality. This collection truly is one of the very best in the world.
This Alfa Romeo remained within the famed Righini Collection for nearly 10 years before being purchased by a Frenchman. During its time in French ownership, this 1900 C Super Sprint was restored in Italy. April 2003 saw a feature in the German magazine Motor Klassik, which covered the story of this very special Alfa Romeo before the car returned to its native Italy in 2007, having passed through another Parisian-based owner.
Returning to its Italian homeland, this Alfa Romeo was registered on the licence ZA 571 WP and joined yet another collection of important classic cars, this time sitting alongside a Ferrari 275 GTB, 330 GTS and Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Villa d’Este.
Today, this 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet by Carrozzeria Touring is presented in exceptional condition, clearly having been well maintained and loved as it passed through various important classic car collectors. During its most recent ownership, this Alfa Romeo was awarded its Automotoclub Storico Italiano Certificato d’Identità and gold plaque, whilst also being featured in Italian classic car magazine Automobilismo D’Epoca in 2011.
The most impressive documentation to accompany this hugely important Alfa Romeo is its Registro Italiano Alfa Romeo Certificazione di Autenticità. The RIAR (Registro Italiano Alfa Romeo) was founded in 1962 and now operates from within the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo in Arese, Italy. The Certificate of Authenticity, rarely awarded by RIAR, is designed especially for Alfa Romeos of particular historical value and is well regarded as one of the most important and respected certification programmes available in today’s classic car world. This Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint Cabriolet by Carrozzeria Touring’s Certificate of Authenticity, number 0011, confirms it still retains its original engine. The certification is presented in a beautiful red leather-bound book, within a red leather case — there really is no mistaking the importance of this documentation.
As Alfa Romeos go, this Carrozzeria Touring-bodied cabriolet is beyond special. With few people having ever even seen the example, this car is ready to be shown at many of the world’s leading concours. Or, if you would prefer to feel the unique “wind in your hair” experience offered by this Alfa Romeo, it would also be welcomed at a variety of the best tours. Either way, this car is ready to come out of hibernation — it’s ready to be seen, heard, driven and experienced.
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