Paris

5-6 February 2014

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Lot 17

1952 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint by Touring

  • Chassis no. AR 1900C 01020
  • Engine no. AR 1308 00265

Sold for €196.000


100 bhp, 1,884 cc twin-camshaft inline four-cylinder engine with a downdraft Solex carburettor, four-speed floor-shift manual transmission, coil-spring and double A-arm independent front suspension, solid rear axle with longitudinal radius arms and a triangular lateral locator, coil springs, and tubular hydraulic shock absorbers, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,500 mm

  • Mille Miglia eligible
  • Desirable early first-series Touring design
  • Expertly restored; multiple-award winner
  • One of a handful of examples delivered new to the United States


The higher-performance version of the Alfa Romeo’s 90 horsepower 1900 engine, known as the 1900 TI, for Turismo Internazionale, appeared in 1951. This version produced 100 horsepower and had a top speed of 105 mph. This engine, when combined with the shorter 2,500-millimetre wheelbase, produced the 1900C Sprint. The Sprints performed exceptionally well in competition, as they were capable of 112 mph in race trim, and they were driven by such legends as Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1952 Mille Miglia, notably achieving an impressive overall result, along with a 1-2-3-4-5 class win in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana road race.



The 1900 was the last Alfa Romeo chassis to be offered in quantity to the carrozzerias who regarded it as an irresistible platform for their fantastic designs. An impressive number of futuristic shapes resulted from these partnerships, including the radical series of B.A.T. Alfas by Bertone. Perhaps the best-known coachbuilt Alfa 1900s were from Touring of Milan, who produced the stunning Disco Volante and the revered Superleggera Berlinettas.



This lovely Superleggera Coupé, chassis 01020, is one of 650 first-series examples produced from 1951 to 1953 by Carrozzeria Touring. There were four separate series by Touring, and this is a very early first-series example, which, in the eyes of many enthusiasts, is amongst the most attractive of the coachbuilt Alfas of the period. It is greatly prized as the purest form for the model, and it features the highest level of bespoke detail.



According to information recently provided by Automobilismo Storico Alfa Romeo, 01020 was originally delivered on 9 May 1952 to Pennsylvania, in the United States, and it was originally finished in Black. Next, it is reported to have been in Florida around 1970, and then, in 1971, it was subsequently acquired by an electrician named Donn Booth, from Cortland, New York. Booth had intentions of restoring the car, but it ultimately sat in his shop for 25 years, until Conrad T. “Bud” Brickman talked him into parting with it in 1996. Included with the sale of the car is a 1978 letter from Booth to 1900 guru Peter Marshall, which confirms his ownership during that period.



This car was the subject of a three-year-plus nut-and-bolt restoration by noted Italian car specialists Restoration and Performance Motors in Vergennes, Vermont. No component was neglected, from a bottom-up engine rebuild, which included the transmission and suspension, and an update to the interior and trim, to the 12-coat final finish. Each step was exhaustively researched for authenticity, down to the signature Touring rosewood and aluminium steering wheel. The restoration was documented with a six-page “Restoration Profile” in the January 2006 issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car magazine. The car was then featured as the May image for their 2007 calendar.



With its stunning Ice Blue paintwork, complemented by an interior in monochromatic shades of blue and set off by its gorgeous Borrani wire wheels, which include a correct spare, this Alfa is elegance incarnate. Although the 1900C featured the shift lever on the steering column, it was a popular period modification to relocate it as a floor shift. This car is equipped as such, adding to the owner’s driving pleasure on each of the several rallies that it had participated in, which includes the 1,000-mile Forza Amelia. Of course, it is eligible for virtually any road event, including the Mille Miglia Storica.



It has been shown at the Amelia Island Concours, and it is also a two-time Best of Show winner at the Saratoga Automobile Museum Concours, in addition to the other accolades that it has received. Its current owner has had it serviced by a professional mechanic throughout the last five years to keep it in excellent running order, and as presented, it runs and drives very well. This Touring-bodied example is stunning to behold and thrilling to drive, and it is perfectly suited as a gentleman’s car.






Moteur quatre-cylindres, 1 884 cm3, 100 ch, deux ACT, un carburateur Solex inversé, boîte manuelle quatre rapports avec commande au plancher, suspension avant indépendante avec doubles-triangles ouverts et ressorts hélicoïdaux, essieu arrière rigide avec tirants longitudinaux, ressorts hélicoïdaux et amortisseurs hydrauliques, freins à tambours sur les quatre roues. Empattement: 2 500 mm.



  • Éligible aux Mille Miglia
  • Désirable carrosserie Touring première série
  • Superbement restaurée ; détentrice de nombreux trophées
  • Un des rares exemplaires livrés neufs aux États-Unis




La version plus rapide de l'Alfa Romeo 1900 de 90 ch, connue sous l'appellation 1900 TI, pour Turismo Internazionale, est apparue en 1951. Son moteur développant 100 ch, cette voiture atteignait 170 km/h. La 1900 C Sprint, bénéficiait de la même mécanique, installée sur une plateforme plus courte, de 2 500 mm d'empattement. Capables d'atteindre 180 km/h en version compétition, les Sprint se sont extrêmement bien comportées en course, entre les mains de légendes comme Juan-Manuel Fangio aux Mille Miglia 1952. Lors de la même épreuve, l'année suivante, elles monopolisaient les cinq premières places de leur catégorie, faisant de même à la Carrera Panamericana 1954.



La 1900 correspondait à la dernière Alfa Romeo proposée en quantité significative aux carrossiers qui la considéraient comme une plateforme idéale pour recevoir leurs superbes réalisations. Un nombre impressionnant de formes futuristes sont nées de ce partenariat, dont la série très radicale des Alfa BAT par Bertone. Mais les Alfa 1900 à carrosserie spéciale les plus connues sont sans doute celles produites par Touring, à Milan, comme les étonnantes Disco Volante et les légendaires berlinettes Superleggera.



Cet élégant Superleggera, châssis 01020, est un des 650 exemplaires de la première série réalisée entre 1951 et 1953 par la Carrozzeria Touring. On compte quatre séries produites par Touring, mais cette voiture appartient aux premiers exemplaires de la première série, considérés par de nombreux passionnés comme parmi les plus belles Alfa Romeo de carrossier de cette époque. Elle représente le modèle dans sa forme la plus pure, et offre le niveau le plus élevé de détails de finition spécifiques.



D'après les informations fournies récemment par Automobilismo Storico Alfa Romeo, la voiture portant le n°01020 a été livrée neuve le 9 mai 1952 en Pennsylvanie, aux États-Unis, de couleur noire. On la retrouve en Floride en 1970, avant qu'elle ne soit achetée en 1971 par un électricien de Cortland, État de New York, du nom de Donn Booth. Booth avait l'intention de restaurer la voiture, mais elle est finalement restée 25 ans dans son atelier, jusqu'à ce que Conrad T. « Bud » Brickman ne réussisse en 1996 à le convaincre de s'en séparer. Le dossier de la voiture comporte une lettre de 1978 adressée par Booth au spécialiste des 1900 Peter Marshall, où il confirme avoir possédé cette voiture pendant cette période.



Cette voiture a fait l'objet d'une restauration qui a duré trois ans, avec démontage jusqu'au dernier boulon, par les spécialistes de voitures italiennes Restoration and Performance Motors, à Vergennes, dans le Vermont. Aucun composant n'a été négligé, depuis une réfection complète du moteur, en passant par la transmission, la suspension, l'intérieur et les garnitures, jusqu'à 12 couches de peinture finale. A chaque étape des travaux, des recherches étaient effectuées pour s'assurer de leur authenticité, jusqu'au volant Touring à branches en aluminium et jante en bois de rose. La restauration était documentée par le biais d'un article « Restoration Profile » de six pages, publié dans le numéro de janvier 2006 du magazine Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car. La voiture apparaissait ensuite pour illustrer le mois de mai de leur calendrier 2007.



Avec sa splendide peinture Bleu Glacé, complétée par un intérieur de teinte bleu uni et rehaussée par ses magnifiques jantes Borrani à rayons, cette Alfa Romeo est l'élégance incarnée. Bien que la 1900 C ait été équipée d'une commande de vitesses au volant, la modification pour un levier au plancher était à l'époque appréciée. Cette voiture en dispose, participant au plaisir de conduite de l'actuel propriétaire à l'occasion des nombreux rallyes auxquels il a pris part, dont le « 1000-mile Forza Amelia ». Bien entendu, cette voiture est éligible à pratiquement toutes les épreuves sur route, y compris les Mille Miglia historiques.



Cette voiture a été présentée au Concours d'Amelia Island et a remporté deux fois le Best of Show du Saratoga Auto Museum, en plus d'autres récompenses. Son propriétaire actuel l'a fait entretenir par un mécanicien professionnel au cours des cinq dernières années, pour qu'elle reste en excellent état de fonctionnement et, dans sa présentation actuelle, elle fonctionne très bien. Superbe à regarder et grisante à piloter, cette berlinette carrossée par Touring est une parfaite voiture de gentleman.

Addendum

Please note that this car is not currently registered in Switzerland as stated in the catalogue; it will be offered on a Bill of Sale.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more