18-19 January 2018

A Century of Sports Cars

1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Speciale by Boano

  • Chassis no. AR 1900C 01846
  • Engine no. AR1308 01207

Without Reserve

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  • A Century of Sports Cars Collection
  • Best in Class, 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
  • A highly futuristic one-off design on the ultimate 1900C SS chassis
  • Formerly of the Mario Righini Collection
  • Exceptional authenticity and presentation

Mario Boano was known for wildly futuristic designs, and few of the young designer’s energetic creations exhibited his special flair as exuberantly as this Speciale, produced on Alfa Romeo’s high-performance 1900C SS chassis for the 1955 Turin Motor Show. Its styling was based upon another Boano creation, a 6C 3000 coupe that had been built for Argentinean president Juan Perón (a former racing driver and avid automobile collector). Boano had hoped to showcase the Perón car at Turin, but it was instead shipped directly to Argentina, leading to the creation of the 1900C SS version.

The design shows the influence of other futuristic show cars of the period, most notably the aerodynamic B.A.T. Alfas designed by Franco Scaglione for Bertone, and Touring’s famous 1900 Disco Volante (“Flying Saucer”). Its long, rounded curves are simple in their elegance, with classic “long hood, short deck” proportions set off by delicate chrome bumperettes and small round taillights. The curve of the greenhouse, with a B-pillar design that would later appear on Boano’s Ferrari bodies, was set off by a finish in black, contrasting to the creamy yellow of the lower body. Taken all together, the styling clearly speaks Alfa’s design language of the period, but in a more sensual voice. Accentuating its sporty pretensions, the car was fitted with a competition-style Tipo 1308 engine with large-diameter valves, a ram-type induction system of the type found on period Ferrari four-cylinder racing cars, and twin high-volume Weber 50 DCO3 carburetors, as well as a five-speed transmission.

Understandably, because its styling was so perfectly tuned to its time, the Boano Speciale was featured in Turin coverage in the March 1956 issue of Quattroruote, in which Boano’s “creation of a modern line” was widely lauded. Following the show, the 1900C SS was sold to Giuseppe Dalmazio Vallerga of Milan; several other Italian caretakers followed, ending in the 1980s with renowned Bolognese collector Mario Righini. A well-known European enthusiast acquired the car from the Righini collection in October 2013, and after exhibition at Rétromobile in 2014 and an appearance in the September/October 2014 issue of Retro Passion, brought it to the U.S. for the first time in its long, rich history.

In 2015 the car was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, in the Preservation Class, having remained, aside from an aging red repaint, an unrestored, original, and remarkably pure automobile. Indeed, an inspection noted that it retained the original engine and induction system, as well as the original tubular header, dual-outlet exhaust, and Borrani wire wheels. Even the brake-cooling scoops are original, while correct spark plugs, ignition wires, and breaker points were sourced and installed.

The current owner elected to restore the car to its original Turin livery, at the hands of the respected Fastcars Ltd. of Redondo Beach, California. Removing the paint revealed a very solid and intact body, which was properly restored in the correct yellow and black color scheme, using a sample of original paint located under the aging red finish. The original interior remains, in black leather piped in creamy yellow, accentuated by the original unique instrumentation, Nardi steering wheel, and Autovox vacuum-tube radio, which still plays. Photographs and receipts on file detail the restoration work, showing both the car’s excellent condition and purity prior to restoration, and the level of attention given to the task.

Following completion of the restoration, the car returned to the Pebble Beach Concours’ fabled lawn in 2017, and was rightfully judged Best in Class, recognizing the consignor’s determination to see it returned to flawless original condition. It has not been shown since, and therefore a world of new opportunities await the new owner interested in the highest level of international show competition.

Offering superb history, wonderful documentation, and a riveting design that attracted attention from auto show crowds and journalists alike, this is certainly among the most spectacular creations on the 1900C SS chassis. It is in the first rank of post-war coachbuilt Alfa Romeos.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Michael Squire

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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