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Eye-catching ‘50s Alfa worth £640k heads to auction

'One of the rarest jewels in Alfa Romeo's post-war portfolio' is easy-on-the-eyes and has superb racing pedigree

Published: 12 Sep 2023

This rather stunning 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Supergioiello is the last of six cars built by Ghia and one of three known to still be on the planet. That rarity, coupled with its racing prestige, means it could fetch as much as £640,000 when it heads to auction.

To fully understand why this car could be valued so highly, we need a bit of a history lesson. 

The 1900 was Alfa Romeo’s first post-war production car. It was a four-door saloon that would prove a gamechanger for Alfa. Like all those other Alfa models that make us smile, the 1900 was beautiful. But it was also considered a proper ‘family car’, with mass-market appeal and production value. It was also the final Alfa to be offered to coachbuilders in volume. 

The 1900C Sprint was the shorter coupé version of the 1900. Carrozzerias Pininfarina, Zagato, Touring and Ghia – yes, all those famous coach builders we know and love – all had a go at creating 1900C Sprint bodywork. Tiny numbers of these variations on a theme exist today.

In the case of Ghia's version – widely considered the best – only six were made (from a planned 18-20). This particular example was built in October 1953. It was bought and shipped to Spaniard Gumersindo Garcia Fernandez, a keen rally driver in 1954.

Fernandez rallied numerous times, entering his Supergioiello into the 1955 Monte-Carlo Rally. He then passed the reins to another rally driver, Salvador Ros, who competed until 1961 when an accident took it off the road, or so the story goes. 

In recent years, Cognolato, a restoration company in Italy, brought it back to its factory finish in ‘metallic copper’, using photographic evidence collected by its owners throughout the 1990s. It’s been out-and-about at a number of prestigious motoring events, winning ‘Best in Show’ at Essen Motor Show in 2016.

Car & Classic’s Dale Vinten said: “As one of the rarest jewels in Alfa Romeo’s post-war portfolio, the 1900 enjoyed success in high-profile rallies, including the Targa Florio, but the twin-cam 1900C Sprint with Ghia bodywork is even more special.

“The final chassis to emerge from Ghia has a fascinating competition history, its immaculate condition and eligibility for prestigious modern day events such as the Mille Miglia Storica will merely add to its appeal."

The seven-day auction starts on 17 September.

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