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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 12:18 AM
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iicarJohn's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,508
Alfa Romeo 1900SSZ

There are serious questions about the origins of at least one car claiming chassis number "AR1900C*01747". In fact, it has been the butt of some joking amongst some AR1900 enthusiasts even a few years ago.

I believe there are two cars claiming the identity of AR1900C*01840. One may be the genuine article and the other ... is not.

No real mystery about AR1900C*01955 which is indeed ex-Fornasari and is also genuine despite the change in the roofline. You may be interested to know that Fornasari also raced a Zagato bodied Maserati A6G (chassis 2150) that was born as a double-bubble but became smooth-roof within a couple of years while with a subsequent owner.

EDIT: I have been informed by Walter Baeumer that the Maserati A6G Zagato N. 2150, although shown in the Maserati ledger as having been sold/invoiced/delivered to Luigi Fornasari's father on the same date as the start of the 1956 Mille Miglia, was NOT the car raced by Luigi Fornasari on that event .. so some changes may be in store for those of us who are attempting to determine the histories of some similar cars. Although Walter indicates he knows the identity of the car that actually was used by Fornasari, he is not free to divulge that information yet. So, we must be patient ... or do some additional research on our own.

This stuff happens on cars that are being actively campaigned. I did some PRA research many years ago on both of these cars, partly because of a heightened interest through personal contact with 01955 and through having seen the A6G 2150 on display somewhere. Although I followed the trail in Italy through 1956, I have not gone farther yet on 01955. However, I have a couple of photo advertisements of the Alfa when it was advertised in 1959 by a dealer in Oakland, California in a local sports car magazine. I have known the car personally since the 1970's when it raced with CSRG and HMSA in California both at Sear Point and Laguna Seca. The owner-driver was Jim Cesari at the time. He (01955) and Martin Swig (02060) used to have a good go at it at times. And my father and I could generally beat them handily at Sears Point with our Siata 1100's, but not so easily ... if at all, at Laguna Seca where the two Alfa 1900SSZ had just enough speed to make up for their less nimble handling. It seems to me that Martin's Corto Gara (01047) was more capable than either of the Zagato cars? In any case, 01955 was sold in the 1980's and has since traveled to Texas and Switzerland and back to California. I last saw it while playing a concert/recording with a big band a few months ago. The car was on display at The Blackhawk Museum. I don't know if it is still there.

Although I could do a tally of AR1900SSZ cars that are known to have existed, I'm not sure there is any real point to it now. That exercise has been performed many times over the last twenty years and each time the result only seemed valid until information on another car or two or three turned up. A tally made now will be much closer to the actual number than a tally of twenty years ago, but we are still learning details all the time and it would be misleading to present a tally as if we actually knew enough to back it up as some sort of meaningful total. For all I know, Peter Marshall has collected information on a couple of cars I know nothing about. Yet.

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry

Last edited by iicarJohn; 11-08-2009 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Updated info changes the nature of information shared
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