This 1955 Alfa Romeo Model 1900 SS, Zagato (SSZ) was photographed at the Danville, Calif.-based Blackhawk Automotive Museum in 2010.
“The Alfa Romeo name dates to 1906 and the Darracq brand of cars built in France,” states a Blackhawk info graphic. “Allesando Darracq wanted to supply the Italian market with taxis, so he imported Darracq cars from France.
“In 1909, his garage was taken over by the Italian company, ALFA (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. In 1911, Italian industrialist Nicola Romeo took over ALFA and in 1918 that company was reorganized into Alfa Romeo S.p.A.”
Enzo Ferrari joined Alfa Romeo in 1919 as a test driver.
“The marquee began to establish its reputation through its great racing record during the 1920s and 1930s,” Blackhawk notes. “World War II bombing destroyed most of the Alfa factory, which was totally rebuilt.
“The four-cylinder dual-overhead-cam 1900 engine (1975 cc) was introduced after the war. It was identical to the six-cylinder 6C 2500 with two less cylinders! This super lightweight-bodied car was created by coachbuilder Zagato ~ a name synonymous with lightweight GT cars. It is one of about 40 double-bubble 1900 Sprint Speciale models that Zagato built.”
The in-line DOHC 4-cylinder engine has a 3.3-inch bore and a 3.45-inch stroke. It’s 120.6 cubic inches with 115 hp @ 5,500 rpm. The body/coachbuilder was Carrozzeria Zagato based in Milan, Italy, where Alfa Romeo was also located.
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© Glenn Thomas Franco Simmons