1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Corto Gara Stradale / AR 1900C 01420 Chassis Information

1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 photograph

1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 photograph

1953 Alfa Romeo 19001953 Alfa Romeo 1900
Corto Gara Stradale
Coachwork: Touring
Chassis #: AR 1900C 01420
Sold for $311,091 (€240,800) at 2012 RM Auctions at Monaco.
Sold for $494,067 (€414,000) at 2018 Bonhams : The Monaco Sale 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco'.
Alfa Romeo's 1900 would bring some of the company's racing heritage to the masses beginning the love affair many would have with the company throughout the years. In the case of the 1900 Corto Gara, Alfa Romeo took a car for the masses and managed to fashion a car even the most affluent would desire.

Ever since Cavalier Ugo Stella acquired Societa Italiana Automobili Darraq, which was an Italian plant for a French car manufacturer, back in 1910 Alfa Romeo would become synonymously known for its racing and high quality automobiles that would be considered at the fore in their day and age. However, Alfa would decide to go a slightly different direction into rather unknown territory when it decided to withdraw from Formula One after the 1951 season. Up until that time, the Italian motor company had some of the most talented engineers and designers, but they were focused on building competitive race cars. Now, Alfa was entering the highly competitive world of production car making.

Perhaps the one thing Alfa did have going for them when they made the decision was the fact it had garnered so much racing experience. That meant it would easily blend into its production cars, which would make them highly desirable amongst the common man and woman wanting to experience the thrill of a racing car without having to shell out an excessive amount of money.

Alfa Romeo's 1900 would be that car that would bring the vast extent of Alfa's racing heritage to the masses with its 1.9-liter inline 4-cylinder engine producing between 80-90 bhp. This car would be well received and would lead to a number of evolutions of the 1900 including the TI, Super and the ultra-exclusive Corto Gara.

The corto, or, 'shortened' platform of the 1900 coupe would be produced in very small numbers. In fact, just eight of the Corto Garas would ever be produced. One of those seven would be chassis number AR 1900C 01420 and this particular chassis would be available for sale at the 2012 RM Auctions held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

The particular chassis offered at RM Auctions' event in Monaco would be all the more rare as it would be considered just one of three Corto Garas that were built as Stradale models. The Stradale model meant the car would be fitted with extra amenities such as tubular bumpers, air outtake from the cockpit, sliding windows, lightweight door panels and a short trunk door. Of all the believed seven Corto Garas to be produced, just three are known to exist and this particular chassis is obviously one of those three.

Built in July of 1953, the car was originally finished in Grigio/Azzuro and delieved to Tessiture Italiana Seriche SpA of Milano. A Mr. Detwiller of Switzerland would come to purchase the car and would hold it for a short time before selling it to a forgotten owner in Sweden. German driver, Hans Joachim Rossing would find the car in Sweden and would agree to purchase the car. When it was found it was resting in a barn without its original engine. Even throughout the 1980s the car would remain un-restored.

While the Corto Gara remained un-restored, Rossing would take part in a number of historic races driving another 1900 coupe. During one of these events he would meet Elviro Mario Govoni. They would develop a relationship and Govoni would end up purchasing the Corto Gara in 1989. Nearly four years later, the Corto Gara would begin the process of being restored to life.

The car's engine would be found and it would be sent to Officina Gamberini in Bologna to be cleaned and tuned. At the same time, the work to begin the restoration of the bodywork would be undertaken by Mario Galbiati and would begin in earnest. While the bodywork was with Galbiati, the car's current owner paid a visit and would see the car immediately falling in love with what he saw. Therefore, just a few months later, he would agree to purchase the car.

Unfortunately, when the car was sold the restoration would come to a halt since the car would move to France. Restoration would remain idle until 2007 when the car would be returned to Italy to undergo the final restoration processes. It would be an all-out effort as the trim would need to be polished, and then, re-chromed. The period-correct dark cobalt blue finish would be undertaken by Walter Giusti's Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena. Mechanical restoration would be completed by Mr. Ramenzoni while Gamberini would perform the final tuning of the 143 bhp engine. Steering, brakes and transmission would be rebuilt, Mr. Dazzi tuned the carburetors and Mr. Maurizio Ferrari completed the car's electrics. After three years and some of the best work by some of the most noted restorers in Italy, this rare and very important Alfa Romeo would reemerge in its grand state.

Eligible for the vintage rally events like the Mille Miglia Storica, this striking Alfa would certainly be a sight to behold. And amongst the Alfa Romeo purists it would certainly become a favorite and a highly honored member of the Alfa legend. As a result of its exclusivity, which was actually rare for the 1900, and the place it takes within Alfa Romeo history, this particular chassis would end up selling for 240,800 EUR at auction.

Sources:
'Lot No. 366: 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Corto Gara Stradale by Carrozzeria Touring', (http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r321&Currency=EUR). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r321&Currency=EUR. Retrieved 18 May 2012.

'Alfa Romeo History', (http://www.alfaromeo.com/com/#/history/timeline). Alfa Romeo. http://www.alfaromeo.com/com/#/history/timeline. Retrieved 18 May 2012.

'1952 Alfa-Romeo 1900C News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z8965/Alfa-Romeo-1900C.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z8965/Alfa-Romeo-1900C.aspx. Retrieved 18 May 2012.

By Jeremy McMullen


2018 Bonhams : The Monaco Sale 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco'

Pre-Auction Estimates :
€380,000-€460,000 
Sale Price :
$494,067 (€414,000.00)

2012 RM Auctions at Monaco

Pre-Auction Estimates :
€250,000-€300,000 
Sale Price :
$311,091 (€240,800.00)

2019 1
2018 1
2016 1
2013 1
2012 1
2011 1
2009 1

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1953 sales)
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Coupé by Pinin Farina
Chassis#: AR 1900C 01507
Sold for $415,335
  2019 RM Sothebys : Paris
 
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Corto Gara Stradale Coupé
Chassis#: AR 1900C 01420
Sold for $494,067
  2018 Bonhams : The Monaco Sale 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco'
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 image  1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 image  
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprint Touring
Chassis#: AR1900C 01247
Sold for $383,488
  2016 RM Sothebys : Duemila Ruote
 
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C 1st Series Sprint Coupé
Chassis#: 1900C 01583
Sold for $242,185
  2013 The Beaulieu Sale, Collectors' Motor Cars, Motorcycles & Automobilia
 
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Corto Gara Stradale by Carrozzeria Touring
Chassis#: AR 1900C 01420
Sold for $311,091
  2012 RM Auctions at Monaco
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 image  1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 image  
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Series 1 Sprint Coupé
Chassis#: AR1900C 01998
Sold for $118,986
  2011 Bonhams - Automobilia, Motos de collection et Automobiles d'exception au Grand Palais
 
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint
Chassis#: 01445
Sold for $91,404
  2009 Bonhams - Goodwood Revival, Chichester, Sussex
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1953 Alfa Romeo 1900's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C 1st Series Sprint CoupéAR1900C 014352019 Bonhams : The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale $260,000$320,000
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint CoupéAR 1900 C 016302017 Bonhams : The Padua Auction $350,000$450,000
1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Supergioiello by GhiaAR 1900C 015492016 RM Sotheby's : Monaco $490,000$580,000

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Vehicle Profiles

Chassis information for the Alfa Romeo 19001951 Barchetta
Coachbuilder: Touring
Chassis information for the Alfa Romeo 1900C1952 Corto Gara Coupe
Coachbuilder: Touring
Chassis Num: 01047
Chassis information for the Alfa Romeo 1900C1952 Berlinetta
Coachbuilder: Touring
Chassis Num: AR130800068
Chassis information for the Alfa Romeo 1900C1952 Berlinetta
Coachbuilder: Touring
Chassis Num: AR1900C*01227
Engine Num: AR1308*00218
Chassis information for the Alfa Romeo 19001953 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis information for the Alfa Romeo 19001953 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Pininfarina
Chassis information for the Alfa Romeo 19001953 CS Coupe
Coachbuilder: Touring
Chassis information for the Alfa Romeo 19001953 Corto Gara Stradale
Coachbuilder: Touring
Chassis Num: AR 1900C 01420


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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