Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Zagato Berlinetta

Alfa Romeo’s first all-new post-war model was dubbed the 1900 and debuted at the 1950 Paris Motor Show to become an immediate commercial success. A departure from the heroic large displacement twin cam Alfas of the pre-war era, the 1900 is notable for having employed a number of innovative features including monocoque chassis and a new dual overhead cam inline four with hemispherical combustion chambers and an aluminium alloy head.

The introductory series of the 1900 was offered with sporting coupé or sedan coachwork and was powered by the 1,884-cc twin cam four that put out 90 horsepower. A year after its introduction, the 1900 C was introduced, the “C” standing for corto, or short, so named due to the wheelbase having been reduced from 2,630 mm to 2,500 mm. The next iteration for 1951 was the 1900 TI which had higher compression, bigger valves and dual carburettors for an output of 100 horsepower. In 1953 the model evolved a step further with the introduction of the 1900 Super as well as the 1900 TI Super, which had an enlarged 1,975-cc engine with a final output of 115 horsepower mated to a four-speed gearbox.

The ultimate iteration of the 1900 came in 1954 as the 1900 CSS, which was constructed on the shorter 2,500-mm chassis with the 115 horsepower twin cam four mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. This was the perfect platform on which coachbuilders like Bertone, Touring, Vignale and Zagato could express their art form. While the standard steel-bodied 1900 S weighed 2,400 pounds, the alloy-bodied Zagato CSS was considerably slimmer at less than a ton. The performance afforded by its larger engine and lightweight construction made the Zagato-bodied 1900 CSS a favourite among racers both of the period and the present day.

115 bhp, 1,975 cc DOHC four with twin Solex downdraft carburettors, five-speed manual gearbox, double wishbone front suspension with coil springs and hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers and live rear axle, Alfin four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,500 mm .

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Zagato Berlinetta