Alfa Romeo 1900
Released in 1950, the 1900 was the first all new car after the war designed by Alfa Romeo. A relatively conventional three-box, four door saloon, it was powered by a new 1884cc twin cam engine with a cast iron block and an alloy cylinder head producing 80bhp. It was the first Alfa Romeo designed to be mass produced, and their first production car to be of monocoque construction, with no separate chassis.
The front suspension used double wishbones, coil springs and hydraulic telescopic dampers, whilst at the rear a solid axle was located by two arms meeting above the differential together with coil springs and telescopic dampers.
Production initially began at a slow rate as the war damage was repaired and normality returned, but 1951 saw 1,220 saloons being built. That year also saw the introduction of the 1900 TI which received an engine with larger valves, a slightly higher compression ratio and a double choke carburettor giving 100bhp.
This engine was fitted to a shortened wheelbase chassis which was made available to numerous coachbuilders and known as the 1900 Sprint. The resulting cars included coupes and cabriolets by companies such as Zagato, Touring, Pininfarina, Stabilimento Farina, Boano, Ghia, Bertone and others.
In 1953 the 1900 Super and 1900 TI Super (also the 1900 Super Sprint) were released. These featured numerous modifications, including various detail improvements such as additional chrome trim, and more significantly an engine with a larger capacity of 1975cc (achieved by increasing the bore). In the standard saloon this produced the same 90bhp, but in the TI Super this engine, which also featured two double choke carburettors, an increased compression ratio and a revised exhaust manifold, produced 115bhp.
Another variant of the 1900 worth mentioning (since over 2,000 were built) was the 1900M, AR51 or 'Matta'. This was a four wheel drive Jeep-like vehicle designed for the Italian armed forces which used a detuned 1900 engine producing 65bhp. The suspension used torsion bars at the front and leaf springs at the rear and it was fitted with a limited slip differential at the rear, to which the drive was permanent, whilst the drive to the front was selectable manually (drivetrain). A few civilian versions were produced as the AR52.
A special version of the saloon was also produced for the Italian police force. Known as the 'Pantera' it had numerous modifications including a two piece bulletproof windscreen, small armoured skirts in front of the front wheels, an openable roof above the rear seats, stronger suspension, ti engine, extra communications equipment and an all black paint finish (hence the name).
Numerous coupes were produced by the various companies listed above, the majority being by Touring, Zagato and Pininfarina, the latter also producing a cabriolet. Some of the better known versions made in smaller numbers by various coachbuilders included a long wheelbase 'limousine' version, the 1900 Super 'Lunga', 92 constructed by Colli and the Granluce Primavera two door coupe (with lines similar to the saloon), 300 built by Boano. There was also the Gazzella by Boneschi, a five-seat, two-door version. For motorsport there was also built the C52 'Disco Volante', whilst for aerodynamic research Bertone produced the BAT cars. The 2000 Sportiva was a distant relative to the 1900.
Production of the 1900 continued until 1959 by which time a total of 21,304 had been built. The breakdown was as follows (plus the 91 Lunga and 300 Primavera mentioned above) :
1900 7,611 1900 Super 8,282 1900 Sprint 949 1900 Super Sprint 854 1900 TI 572 1900 TI Super 478 1900M AR51 2,050 1900M AR52 155
Click here for some special versions of the 1900.
Driveline longitudinal engine at front with rear wheel drive (or permanent four wheel drive) Engines 1884cc (82.55x88mm) dohc 4 cyl with 90bhp @ 5,200rpm (section)
1975cc (84.5x88mm) dohc 4 cyl with 90bhp @ 5,200rpm
In the TI & Sprint versions the outputs were 100bhp @ 5,500rpm & 115bhp @ 5,500rpm respectiveky.
In the Matta the 1884cc engine produced 65bhp.
Suspension front : double wishbone with telescopic dampers and coil springs
rear : solid axle with upper trianguler links, telescopic dampers and coil springs
wheelbase : 2630mm (Sprint : 2500mm)(Matta : 2200mm)
track (front/rear) : 1320mm/1325mm (Matta : 1300mm front & rear)
Brakes front : drums
rear : drums
Gearbox 4 speed manual (5 Speed manual in the 1900 Super Sprint) Kerb weight 1900 & 1900 TI : 1100kg
1900 Super & 1900 TI Super : 1140kg
model max speed 0-60mph 90bhp Berlina 106 mph 18.6 sec 115bhp TI Super 112 mph 17 sec
The original berlina had the model number 1483, the Sprint was the 1484 and the Matta was the 1412.
The various coupes, spiders and other models built by the carrozzieri on the 1900 floorpan used either 1483 (long wheelbase, 2630mm) or 1484 (short wheelbase, 2500mm) depending on which model they used as a basis.
The 1884cc engines were AR1306 (80bhp version), AR1307 (65bhp in the Matta) and AR1308 (100bhp).
The 1975cc engines were AR1306 (90bhp) and AR1308 (115bhp).
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