6C 1750s in Africa - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 01:41 AM
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1935 in northern Africa

During 1935, Mussolini's Italy invaded northern Africa. It was not a truly difficult task, as the people there were largely quite peaceful. They'd not previously experienced the ways of the West.

Italy's invasion of northern Africa did not sit well with some other countries. As a result, there were sanctions and blockades that resulted from a group of countries that would later become known generically as "The Allies". This was perhaps a part of the reason why Mussolini felt there was no choice but to become allied with Hitler's Germany during World War II?

Regardless of the "big picture", a large number of Italians faced mandatory military service in Northern Africa ... as it became known as "A.O.I" (Africa Orientale Italiana) to the Italian people who were called to serve there. A number of these folks were of Italian nobility who'd raced previously in Italy. They took their cars to Africa as part of their service. As a result, a good number of cars that are interesting to us today became part of the landscape of northern Africa for at least a limited time period.

Beginning 1937, the Italian system of licensing became adopted in northern Africa. Hence, there are quite a number of Italian cars that became registered in A.O.I. once their owners were assigned to various posts in the area. Until the outbreak of WWII, this sort of service was not particularly dangerous. A good number of cars were modified rather casually ... and then some of them became modified rather more dramatically. Each story is its own.

As Italy was driven out of northern Africa during WWII, the interesting cars were found and appropriated by various Allied forces, largely British and American. Hence, many of the most interesting cars were sent to the UK and to the USA during the 15 to 20 years that followed WWII.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 12:45 PM
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Well, I am looking for more information about a Lancia that was ordered new in 1939 by the importer in Asmara.
It also went to the US in 1955.

The historical section of the Italian number plate registration in Rome is missing after a reorganization... or does anybody know where to find it?
And what is the chance to find the registration in the US?
All I know is the chassis number, make and model. And the year it went to America, according to the story..

Any help would be appreciated!

Mario
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 04:54 PM
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Lancia, ex-Asmara to USA circa 1955

Hello IMario,

I guess we know something now, based on your description of a Lancia car that was imported 1939 (when new?) to Asmara and sold 1955(?) to the USA. Until you share something more about the car's specific identity and what you know specifically of the history, I really cannot suggest a generic research path at this time. I believe there may be some archives for plate numbers from Asmara (Eritrea) that are not easily accessible, but I've not yet found the pathway to do studies base on Eritrean license plate numbers. That said, I have collected some information (not just Alfa Romeo-centric) that I would like to study further and hope to find a study path one day. I'd be happy to add your Lancia interest to the larger study. I will keep the info private if you like. And, thank you for the private message using Dutch. Unfortunately, I do not know Dutch even though my father was born in Amsterdam. I speak some Spanish (learned in school many years ago and used only occasionally) and I believe I am a bit better at Italian ... having learned most of it in Italy over many lengthy trips beginning 1986. Si puo provare l'Italiano se la preferisce.

Ho gia' notizie su una Lambda con una targa dal 1937.

Anche una Dilambda targata forse nel 1938.

Anche anu Pentaiota targata nel ottobre 1938.

Anche una Astura targata verso 1939/40.

Anche un'altra Astura (forse un'altra ... in forma diversa) targata nella dopoguerra.

John
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 05:41 PM
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When I lived in Addis Ababa all the barbers were Italians, go figure. I wouldn't think they would be the most accepted nationality in Ethiopia. Either way I always hoped I'd see a pre war or even post war Alfa while I was over there but alas I never did.

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

currently
2017 Giulia Q4
74 GTV restored daily driver
71 Berlina in 2L restored driver
the ones that got away:
1959 750 series Giulietta Spider Veloce
1962 Giulietta Spider normale
1965 Giulia Sprint normale
1972 GTV
1974 GTV
1974 GTV
1977 Spider
1974 Spider
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 08:07 PM
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I think I may have something you may be interested in, and I'd appreciate the identification. my grandpa SGT James Edward Day was stationed in Asmara in kagnew station from 57-58. he bought this car, hot rodded it(with the help of a jolly old italian man he said, haha), and raced it around quite alot. he claimed it was an alfa, or had an alfa inline 8. I think this info may have been gotten mixed up and twisted by the time it went from him, to my dad, to me. it doesnt really look like an alfa. when he finished his service, he wanted to take it home, but couldnt, so he sold it to a guy at base, and never heard anything about it again. what is this thing? I'm new to all these cars, but the grille shell looks like it has a Lancia emblem? I have searched my butt off, and just happened to find this thread.
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Last edited by frigglebiscuit; 01-22-2019 at 08:12 PM. Reason: change story
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 12:59 PM
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Lancia special

Welcome "frigglebiscuit"!

The badge does seem to be Lancia. The front suspension seems to be Lancia. The rest? I do not yet know.

I have downloaded your photo and will play with it a bit and scratch my head a bit more.

Thank you for sharing!

John
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 02:16 PM
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Engine? Perhaps Lancia as well?

The engine may well be Lancia Astura, a narrow angle V8 that is not Alfa Romeo but might appear to be (almost) in-line?
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 05:35 PM
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Asmara, didn't the Army have a big radio facility there? I guess that was Kagnew? I didn't know the name but I do remember the radio commercials for the cigarettes, "His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie smokes Silver Star".

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

currently
2017 Giulia Q4
74 GTV restored daily driver
71 Berlina in 2L restored driver
the ones that got away:
1959 750 series Giulietta Spider Veloce
1962 Giulietta Spider normale
1965 Giulia Sprint normale
1972 GTV
1974 GTV
1974 GTV
1977 Spider
1974 Spider
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 07:35 AM
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it was Kagnew station. he said there was even still old tanks, artillery, and small arms buried in the sand and out in the junkyards. I've looked all I can, and all I can guess is that it was an astura convertible that had the doors trimmed down on. I found some old Kagnew photos that may have been the car after he bought it. it is car #4(I may be wrong though)
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Last edited by frigglebiscuit; 02-12-2019 at 07:53 AM. Reason: story change
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