1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SSZ - Coachwork by Zagato
Estimate $1,500,000 - $2,000,000
The Ultimate Alfa Romeo of Its Era; One of Only 39 Examples Built
Period Racing History Includes Two Outings at the Legendary Mille Miglia
Retains Original Tipo 1308 Engine and Zagato Coachwork
Exquisite Restoration by Motion Products Inc. in Elegant Original Color Scheme
Displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and Cavallino Classic
Offered with Extensive Documentation, Owner’s Manual, Tool Kit, and Jack
1,975 CC Tipo 1308 DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin Solex 40 PII Carburetors
115 BHP At 5,200 RPM
5-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Finned-Aluminum Drum Brakes
Front Independent Suspension with Coil Springs and Shock Absorbers
Rear Live Axle with Trailing Links, Coil Springs, and Shock Absorbers
Alfa Romeo’s first all-new postwar model introduced innovations that influenced the Italian automaker’s next half-century of sports car production. The 1900 series paired modern unibody construction with a twin-cam, inline four-cylinder engine featuring an aluminum head with hemispherical combustion chambers. Variants were constructed by Italy’s leading coachbuilders: Pinin Farina, Touring, Ghia, and notably, Zagato. Their aerodynamic aircraft-inspired designs and lightweight construction methods, using aluminum panels with Plexiglas windows, shaved hundreds of pounds from traditional steel and glass coachwork.
Assembled on the 1900 “Corto” (short) wheelbase platform and equipped with the twin Solex-carbureted tipo 1308 engine and five-speed gearbox, the Super Sprint was an immediate success as both a stylish, modern road car and a competitive racer in the under two-liter GT class. Zagato produced only 39 of these featherweight gran turismos, and it is believed by the International Alfa Romeo 1900 Register that only 29 original cars survive today. Despite their extremely limited production, these high-performance 1900 SSZs rekindled the historic collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Zagato, which led to the creation of the Giulietta SZ and Giulia TZ, two of the most successful small-displacement GT models of the 1960s.
Completed in March 1955, this 1900C SS Zagato, chassis 01915, was originally finished in the elegant color scheme of Grigio Metallizzato (Metallic Grey) with green upholstery, and equipped with engine no. 1308.01048, which remains in the car today. According to Automobile Club d’Italia registration records, this Alfa Romeo was sold new via dealer Franco Venturi to Sergio Bettoja, a young Roman driver who raced under the nom de course “Pegaso.” Bettoja had been named the Italian University Motorsport Champion in March 1955 and wasted no time putting his SSZ to good use, entering it in the grueling Giro di Sicilia that April.
Later that month, he sold the Alfa Romeo to fellow Roman driver Vittorio Randaccio, who had previously entered a Fiat 1400 and a Lancia Aurelia in the Mille Miglia. Continuing this tradition, Randaccio entered his new SSZ in the XXII Mille Miglia, where it appeared as race no. 503, featuring a centrally mounted spot lamp. Although he failed to finish that year’s competition, Randaccio entered the race again in 1956, with his Alfa Romeo now repainted a lighter color and wearing race no. 335.
The SSZ subsequently passed through two Italian owners and was sold, in 1959, to Captain Richard P. Hall, a US Navy commander stationed in Europe. An avid car enthusiast, Capt. Hall imported the Alfa Romeo into the US and kept it at his home in Garden City, New York, until 1962, when he replaced the aging 1900 with a new Jaguar E-Type. The car’s next owner, Marvin Katz, drove the SSZ for about a year before a road accident lightly damaged the left front fender, leading it to be placed in static storage.
In 2001, the long-hidden Alfa Romeo was sold to Arthur Leerdam, a Dutch-born Alfa Romeo enthusiast living in Florida. During his ownership, the minor body damage was repaired and the SSZ received sympathetic mechanical attention, returning it to the road for the first time in four decades. In 2003, Mr. Leerdam exhibited the largely unrestored Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo at several East Coast concours d’elegance, earning the Spirit of the Mille Miglia Award at Amelia Island and Judge’s Choice at Winter Park. The SSZ remained in Mr. Leerdam’s ownership until 2013, when it was sold to noted Chicago-based collector Joe Hayes
The current caretaker, an American collector with a stable of significant Italian sports and racing cars, acquired the SSZ in 2017 and commissioned the renowned Motion Products Inc. of Neenah, Wisconsin, to perform a complete, concours-quality restoration. Over the next two years, the Alfa Romeo was painstakingly restored – including all mechanical and cosmetic aspects – to its original, as-delivered color scheme. Throughout the process, the car’s well-preserved unrestored features were carefully studied to ensure that even the smallest details were faithfully addressed.
Since completion in 2019, this jewellike Super Sprint has been selectively exhibited, including appearances at the Zagato centenary celebration at Pebble Beach and at the Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, where it formed part of a special Alfa Romeo display. Today, the car remains in exquisite, show-ready condition and is accompanied by an original 1900 owner’s manual, tool kit, and jack, as well as a comprehensive history file.
An exclusive and sophisticated mid-1950s GT, the 1900C Super Sprint was the first in an important line of sporting postwar Alfa Romeos that revived the marque’s glorious competition heritage during the 1950s and 60s. One of just 39 ever built, this SSZ possesses a fantastic period racing history, including two outings at the legendary Mille Miglia, a well-documented provenance, and a brilliant restoration overseen by one of the most respected names in the business. Arguably the finest example of this rare breed, this Zagato-bodied Super Sprint ought to appeal to the connoisseur of fine Italian sports cars and is worthy of a place in the most esteemed collections.
Please note that this vehicle is titled 1956 and as 01915.
Other lots include:
1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Cabriolet
1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint
1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint
1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider
1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT Veloce
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