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. The 4-cylinder unit displaced 1,884 cc and produced 90 hp, an output sufficient to propel the four-door saloon to 93 mph.
Although ostensibly a humble family conveyance, the 1900 was endowed with sporting credentials that extended beyond its type of power unit, with 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 when the 1900’s potential was realized in the form of two high-performance derivatives. Launched in 1951, the 1900 Sprint featured bodywork by Pinin Farina (cabriolet) and Touring (coupe), both models utilizing the 100-hp engine of the 1900TI sports saloon.
An immensely influential design, Touring’s Sprint was designed to offer family-sized accommodation in a two-door sports coupe format, and its heart-shaped vertical grille with flanking horizontal intakes would become an Alfa trademark on later models. Shortly after the Series II arrived in early 1954, the model was mildly restyled and upgraded as the Super Sprint, gaining a 1,975-cc, 115-hp engine and 5-speed gearbox.
This 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint was acquired in 1969 by Kent-based enthusiast Anthony Cazalet, who hastily had it repainted in its original red livery. Mr Cazalet used the car for a few years before selling it to the immediately preceding owner.
At the time of acquisition, the original engine appeared unusable and was replaced with a contemporary 1306-series 1900 unit (number 50201), which in turn was replaced with a slightly later 1,975-cc unit. The latter remains in the car and is fitted with two twin-choke Weber 45DCOE carburetors to enhance its performance. The previously fitted engine (50201) is included in the sale.
While in the preceding owner’s hands, the 1900C Sprint was restored by Church Green Engineering of East Knowle, being refinished in the present understated pewter livery with blue and gray interior, a combination that suits it well. The Alfa Romeo remained on the road until the owner’s advancing years made it no longer possible for him to enjoy it.
Nevertheless, the car had been serviced only a couple of months before its sale to the current vendor in June 2006. The Alfa 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.