Italian coach-builder Ghia clothed an estimated twelve Alfa Romeo 1900 chassis with this Giovanni Savonuzzi designed coachwork.
The 1900 was Alfa Romeo’s first post-war production model, and it showed the direction that the Milan-based company would take in the coming decades. The 1900 was smaller and more compact than the pre-war designed 6C 2500, and it was powered by an iron-block and aluminum-head four-cylinder with chain-driven dual overhead camshafts. It was introduced as a sedan in 1950, and a year later, the sedan was followed by the more sporting 1900C Sprint Coupe, which rode on a five-inch shorter wheelbase. Alfa continued to extract more power from the two-liter engine, which culminated into 115 horsepower for the SS (Super Sprint).
The 1900 was Alfa Romeo’s first car to utilize unit-body construction, which made it more difficult for Italy’s coachbuilders to practice their creativity, but not impossible, and a variety of one-off and limited-production designs from Bertone, Ghia, Touring, and Pinin Farina demonstrated the capabilities of these now legendary artisans.
The 1900 Super Sprint offered here was designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi for renowned Italian coachbuilder Ghia, and it reflects many of the advanced aerodynamic ideas that Savonuzzi was developing at the time, including the trend-setting Gilda concept.
This example is unique in that it is the only one built on the long wheelbase chassis. It was shown at the 1954 Paris Motor Show before it was sold to the Lionel Corporation in New York. Chassis 01089 eventually resurfaced in Los Angeles where it was completely restored by Robert Thalman. Having only covered 40,000 km from new, it was shown at Pebble Beach in 2006. A year later it was offered by the Blackhawk Collection in their annual Pebble Beach Exposition Sale.
Ghia is known to have built a series of similar bodies on the 1900 SS, with each subtly different from the next. This one features headlights that “hang” inside a larger fender opening that resembles an air intake, which was a theme that Savonuzzi and Ghia would further explore in the designs for Chrysler’s Turbine car
. The front bumper is also believed to be unique, as it was a design proposed by Ghia for the original Karmann Ghia Type 3 Coupe. The interior features a Nardi steering wheel and floor-shift linkage, and the 1900 SS rides on lightweight Borrani alloy-rim wire wheels.
Alfa Romeo 1900 SS #01089, один из примерно 12 кузовов, созданных ателье Ghia, в отличии от других экземпляров, был построен на стандартном, а не укороченном шасси модели 1900. И хотя все автомобили 1900 SS Coupe от Ghia деталями отличаются друг от друга, конкретный экземпляр легко выделить по отсутствию декоративного воздухозаборника на заднем крыле и более классической форме передних крыльев.
Данный экземпляр выставлялся Ghia на Парижском автосалоне 1954 года. Среди остальных автомобилей серии его можно отличить по горизонтальному молдингу вдоль кузова (на большинстве машин было просто горизонтальное ребро начинающееся за дверьми), оформлению передней части: под фарами нет подфарников, высокие "усы" бампера (доходят до середины фар), воздухозаборник под бампером разделен на две части горизонтальным элементом (на других машинах деление идет по вертикали), задним вертикальным прямоугольным фарам (вместо круглых).
По материалам: Wouter Melissen - www.ultimatecarpage.com; www.classicitaliancarsforsale.com