My Car Quest

July 20, 2024

A Beautiful Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

by Mike Gulett –

I went to the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in July 2014 and was struck by the beauty, style and elegance of this Alfa Romeo 1900 SS.

1952 Alfa Romeo 1900 SS by Pinin Farina

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

Introduced at the 1950 Salon de l’Automobile in Paris, the Alfa Romeo 1900 was the company’s first model manufactured on a production line, the first to offer left-hand drive and the first without a separate chassis.

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

However, Iginio Alessio, then general manager was concerned for the viability of independent Italian coach builders so Alfa Romeo built variations of the chassis for various coach builders: Touring, Zagato, Pinin Farina, Boneschi, Boano, Colli, Ghia and others.

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

From 1951-1958 Alfa Romeo built five different variations of the 1900 unibody chassis specifically for these independent Italian coachbuilders. Alfa Romeo gave contracts to Touring to build the 1900 Sprint coupé and to Pinin Farina to build an elegant four seat Cabriolet and Coupé.

Zagato built a series of coupés with the unofficial designation of 1900 SSZ, designed for racing with an aerodynamic lightweight aluminum body and the Zagato double bubble roof.

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

The car is powered by a 1,884 cc inline 4-cylinder dual overhead cam, twin carburetor engine that develops 100 hp. It has a steel body with aluminum doors, hood and trunk lid and weighs only 2,400 pounds, enabling it to reach a top speed of 106 mph.

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

This example has a custom body by Pinin Farina, who built 102 in 1952 and 1953, of which only 17 are known to survive. This car was originally sold in Naples, Italy in 1953 and brought to the United States in 1955. It was restored to its current condition in 1998 and the current owner is only its third.

It was also a class winner at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS

Alfa Romeo Logo

A version of this article was originally published in August 2014. All photos by Mike Gulett.

A Beautiful Alfa Romeo 1900 SS
Article Name
A Beautiful Alfa Romeo 1900 SS
Here is a beautiful and rare Alfa Romeo 1900 SS designed by Pinin Farina.


  1. Paul Harvey says

    and the Zagato bodied version won the post-war preservation class.

    Now that is proper patina and the car had been prepared for the event with genuine love and care!

  2. Paul Harvey says

    I should have said – the Zagato car was at Pebble Beach!

  3. I’ve owned a 1954 1900 CSS with coachwork by Touring for the past 39 years. In my opinion these are the last real coachbuilt Alfas. It’s only been in the last few years, these Alfas are being recognized as the master pieces they are. My car was approximately $8,000 new in 1954, the average house in the US was $5,000. These cars came standard with radial tires, large and effective drum brakes with these beautiful finned aluminum drums, a five speed transmission, coil spring suspension and of course a twin cam Alfa motor. The series two CSS cars had a 1975cc motor with twin solex carbs. The 1884cc motors typically came with a single solex.

    Check out the 1900 Companion at

  4. Mark Lawrence says

    I have fond memories of working on this car with my dad (Paul Lawrence) as a kid; I am the son of the second owner. Dad bought and restored the car in the early sixties; I think he sold it to the present owner around 1990. The car was originally red with column shift and a single solex carb. When dad bought it double solex carbs had been installed with holes cut in the hood for clearance, dad added a hood scoop and fabricated the floor shift conversion. My recollection is that the body is steel, the hood, trunk and doors are aluminum. We used to take it out for early Sunday morning drives on HW 1 between Half Moon Bay and Pescadero, dad was a B26 pilot in WW2 and he liked to go fast, we saw 120mph many times. I used to have a Giulietta Sprint, we had father and son Alfas. Both Alfas were regrettably sold, but they both went to good homes and this one looks great, dad would be proud.

    • Mark,

      Those are great memories, thank you.

    • I have both a 1900 CS Pinninfarina as well as an Alfa factory Sprint Lightweight ( along with several other Alfas) but both are very beautiful cars but very different driving experiences. The 1900 is a stunning automobile and fairly fast by Alfa standards ( mine also has twin carbs and floor mounted 5 speed along with many other tricked out upgrades) but feels somewhat sluggish off the line. Once it gets going however it is a very fast car by standards of the time. This car by the way was bought from Larry Solomon who shows at that concours often and very successfully. The Sprint lightweight is extremely nimble and more tossable. It is a better car to drive on mountain roads ( think Cal Mille or Colorado Grand) but doesn’t have the high speed oomph of the 1900. Absolutely love both Alfas and both are beautifully built, extremely reliable cars which are a joy to drive.

  5. These are lovely cars, I have had the pleasure of owning 2 over the years, incredible build quality and wonderful good looks… the one pictured below belonged to a client and was originally built for Sophia Loren…

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