Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS Zagato

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Throwing together the names 'Alfa Romeo' and 'Zagato' is always bound to create something ineffably stylish, isn't it?
Alfa's 1900 was a post-war change of direction for the company; with a global finance squeeze and a more austere general outlook, the car sphere was shifting away from the large, luxurious six- and eight-cylinder tourers and sports cars that were Alfa Romeo's bread and butter. In developing the 1900, they created something more accessible and affordable, and in effect secured the company's financial future. The model featured unitary construction and an 1,884cc four-cylinder twin-cam, and was an elegant and aerodynamic thing that was as desirable as it was practical.
So the company was being sensible, but they still retained that age-old ingrained sense of style and individuality, allowing the likes of Pinin Farina, Ghia and Touring to reinterpret the lines of the model. Oh, and Zagato, of course...
In total, just thirty-nine 1900s were rebodied by Carrozzeria Zagato; built with an overtly sporting focus, they were constructed from lightweight aluminium and featured the styling house's trademark double-bubble roof. Alfa Romeo was flourishing with its stylish new model, then, but they hadn't forgotten the small but significant core of consumers who craved coachbuilt specials - which is good news for us today, as they're really rather nice to look at.

Spotted at the St. James's Concours - click here for more photos.

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