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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear Alfisti,

I just recieved the information that Charles Rezzaghi from San Francisco owned some very interesting Alfa Romeo cars in the 1950ies.
Located in San Francisco he imported Alfas and Ferraris and was something like the main dealer for the Westcoast.
Does anyone have any informations about him.

I know for sure that he participated in:

1954 Concours D'Elegance Mt. Diablo Country Club, Calif.
1955 Sonoma Country Airport, Calif.

With the car below.

@ JoeCab, maybe this was the car in Tom Zats' garage???

Any help is appreciated

Ciao Carlo:cool:
 

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Please

Keep us posted on this wounderful car. I will spread the word out here in S. F. Calif also
Are Getting it?
Good Luck
PSB
 

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I believe this car is probably one of the 1900 C52 prototypes that were built in 1952/53 as part of the Disco Volante studies (see Fusi, 3rd Ed. p. 483-486). If I'm correct, this would be the Disco Volante "a fianchi stretti" (with straight sides) that was built for hill climbs.

It seems that the car in the picture did indeed belong to Charles Rezzaghi, as indicated in the picture below. The picture stems from an eBay auction in Nov-2002, where this picture taken by San Francisco Bay Area photographer Kenneth Clyde Jenkins, was for sale with its original 4x5" negative. I made a bid but the seller canceled my auction because I live in Canada, despite having a mailing address in the USA. I'm still fuming over these pictures getting away.

BTW: Charles Rezzaghi must have been quite a colorful figure, importing all kinds of Italian cars (I've heard stories about Alfas, Maseratis and Ferraris) and must have had very good connections to Italy. I've heard that he was able to get cars that had a long waiting list long before the official importers could deliver.

Through this link, I stumbled across an interesting piece of information: It lists a Ferrari that was owned by Rezzaghi in 1966 and then, in 1967, reposessed by Golden Gate National Bank "in bankruptcy of estate of Rezzaghi". Looks like he might have passed on around then.

I was always keen to find out more about Rezzaghi (as he may have been the importer of my car). So, anyone who can share stories or has information about his history and where and how he passed on, please come forward.

Cheers,

Ruedi
 

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Oh, heck ... Let's get a better look:

I think this care rightfully should live in the Alfa Romeo Historical Museum. Does anybody know where this car is now? If it was in T.Z.'s garage, he sure would have reason brag about it.
 

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Just looking at these pictures again, you can barely decipher that it says "Disco Volante", followed by something else, possibly "2000 cc" (or maybe even "3000 cc") on the side under the Alfa Romeo script. Either way, if this car still exists, it must be worth a fortune.

On a different note, the fact that Rezzaghi got his hands on one of these cars is probably a good indication of how well connected he must have been.
 

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I think that this car or one just like it traded hands in Belgium last year. I will try and dig up the listing. I was taken with its simple classic beauty and thought an affordable re-creation might be in order.
 

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Another very nice picture, but this seems to be the car that is shown in Fusi's book with the horizontal bars in the grille windows and slightly raised rear fenders.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dear Alfisti,

first of all many thanks for your feedback!

@ Tubut, you are right about the source of the pics. I also scanned them at ebay. If I remember it right, the seller accepted only domestic bidders:mad:
I am sure he would have achieved higher prices if he would have allowed us to bid;)
This seller also had a pic of the Alfa Romeo BAT 7, this car was also owned by Rezzaghi!!!
Further Rezzaghi is recorded as owner of many Ferraris. That's evident because he imported the cars, so his name was in the documents. Chinetti was also first owner of each Ferrari he brought to the States.

Now to the car: We are here on a very small edge between knowledge and mystery!
The bodywork of the Rezzaghi-car is different to those Disco Volantes by Touring.
At Arese there are the Disco Volante Coupe, the Spider 1900 C52 and the Spider 6C3000CM with that Fangio won at Merano. Another Spider is in the museum Carlo Biscaretti.

The Spider shown by Mezzeta is in the Schlumpf collection.
This is the "narrow sided Spider" or called in Italian "Spider a fianchi stretti".
Take a closer look at the hood and you see the badges of Touring. This is very important.
This narrow sided Spider was sold to a consortium of three owners. They let Ducrey, a swiss driver, race this car in several local events like hillclimbs and others. Later the car went to the Schlumpf brothers.

BUT, there has been another Disco Volante (if the name is correct for this car should be discussed in another thread) that was used in the USA.
Some people mix this car with the narrow sided Spider.

This mystery Disco Volante Spider must have been a Spider with 2000cc unit built by Colli.
This car is only mentioned in the records of Colli. Other sources are unsure about this car, as no records or documents are availiable.

My first thought was, that the Touring Spider (a fianchi stretti) was built by Colli and his son at the Touring factory.
Taking into consideration that Colli and his son learned their profession at Touring.
Further Touring and Colli were simply in the opposite side of the road, so there would have been no problem for Colli to go to his old friends across the road.
Could have been possible that Colli built the car and Anderloni put his Touring badges on the hood.
But this are just rumour or guesses!

Now that I found more details about the Rezzaghi-car, I think that this is THE Colli Spider with 2000cc! Remember that Colli officially just built the 6C 3000CM cars for Alfa.

My informations are that this car was built on a modified 1900 chassis with a 2000cc engine.
It seems to me that the car was immediately sold to Rezzaghi without being driven in Europe.

To get more details about the mystery car, I would be glad if anyone had additional informations.
Further, I will contact Mrs Ruocco at the Alfa archive, maybe she has more informations.

I will keep you updated on this mystery.
Btw, it would be a pity if this car got lost :eek:

@ mezzeta,
be careful with the Belgian dealer you talked about. I don't want to offend him and I don't want to drop his name in here.
But he is more famous for his fakes than for anything else.
Better count your fingers after shaking his hands, lol.

To come to an end I have to thank you again for your support and any additional help is very welcome.

Ciao Carlo:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi guys,

while I was writing my last comment you have been very active:)

Another very nice picture, but this seems to be the car that is shown in Fusi's book with the horizontal bars in the grille windows and slightly raised rear fenders.
@ Tubut, you are absolutely right. This car is the narrow sided Spider as stands in the Schlumpf collection.
Look at the differences in the bodywork, when comparing this car to the Rezzaghi-Spider. Further it has the badges of Touring on the hood.

@ Mezzata, I expected that you mean this "Barchetta".
Nice creation by Conrero, but this car has no historical value.

They sold already one of these Barchettas, but they seem to have more cars availiable:confused:
Sounds to me like in a Supermarket:D

With best wishes
Ciao Carlo
P.S. I will add a pic of the narrow sided Spider this evenig.
 

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Carlo,

According to the California Death Index, Charles L. Rezzaghi died in San Francisco on 4 August 1966.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I was always keen to find out more about Rezzaghi (as he may have been the importer of my car).
@tubut, did you try to contact Mrs Ruocco at the Alfa archive for infos about your car?
If not, here is her addy: [email protected]

If she has your chassis number she can tell you with which specs your car left the factory.

If you did already contact her forget about this post;)

Ciao Carlo:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Dear Alfisti,

here is a scan from the Anderloni book about the Disco Volante.

This photo shows the narrow sided Spider I refered to.

Anyone wondering who is on the photo?

At the wheel of the Spider is Consalvo Sanesi - THE Alfa Romeo testdriver. The guy close to the car is noone else than Tyrone Power.
Comparing the car of Rezzaghi with this Spider the differences are obvious.

Ciao Carlo
Ciao Carlo:cool:
 

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Carlo,

I did contact Elvira about my car (a 2600 Touring Spider) but not about about this Disco Volante.

Very interesting background about Carrozzeria Colli. I only knew they made the steel hardtops for the 2000 and 2600 Touring Spider but I did not know where they were located.

Ruedi
 

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Days of Old at Charlie Rezzzaghi's garage

I worked for Charlie Rezzaghi back in the summers of '61 and '62 as a kid for a few weeks during school vacation, washing cars and being a go-fer. My prep school pal, Steve Matchett (no, not the F1 guy!), used to hang around Charlie's garage on the last block San Francisco's Hyde Street, near Fisherman's Wharf and just a few doors up the hill from the famous Buena Vista bar/restaurant. Charlie was indeed, one of the great characters of automobilia back during the 50's and 60's. He was a friend and former teammate of "The Old Man," Commandetorre Enzo Ferrari, and was one of his very first American distributors. I believe he either drove with or worked as a mechanic on the old Scuderia Ferrar when Enzo ran the Alfa Romeo racing team.

Charlie's garage was always filled with wonderful cars, including bold, beautiful and a few boring Alfas, various cooking model Mercedes Benz and the occasional hot 300SLs, Lancias, Maseratis (Charlie wasn't impressed with them. He called them lorries, i.e., "trucks") and of course, Ferraris. Those were his greatest passion.

Charlie had a small but devoted clientel, including several business and professional men who bought new Ferraris from him on a regular basis. I remember that those men (I don't remember any women buying cars from Charlie in those days) always gave Charlie the greatest respect, which he relished. Charlie had great style and a personality simmering with Italian enthusiasm and passion. He always dressed in fine, perfectly tailored suits and ties. Mrs. Rezzaghi, his wife, ran the office, and Charlie's mechanics were masters at their crafts. Paolo was about Charlie's age and Giorgio wasn't too much older than me at the time, probably in his early 20s. They both came directly from the Alfa factory. Giorgio married a local girl from North Beach and they owned a small grocery store on Columbus Avenue. One of my fondest memories was going with Giorgio in one of the Ferraris and roaring through the streets of San Francisco to his and his wife's store, where we'd pick up sandwiches and drinks for lunch for the crew. I especially remember the prosciutto and fig sandwiches on San Francisco sour dough rolls. Anther mechanic was "Pete," who I only remember as an American guy of (probably) about 30-35, who, during our bench racing sessions once showed me his plans for a revolutionary 750cc sports racing car that featured a monocoque tub! This was in 1961 or 62, a long time before monocoque construction in racing cars became the rule. Ray, the Mexican/American shop guy took care of the details. They were a great group of fellows and what was really great was the fact that they put up with a curious, enthusiastic young car nut like me.

Charlie was famous for driving his customers' cars in and around San Francisco and the Bay Area like a wild man. If you're familiar with San Francisco's Embarcadero, in those days criss-cossed with railroad tracks leading to and from the piers and pavement rising and falling in lumpy mounds of haphazardly laid asphalt, you could well imagine what it must've been like going with Charlie on "test runs," flying over the aforementioned lumps, bumps and railroad tracks of The City's Embarcadero, at obscene speeds, the whine of those wonderful V-12's almost drowning out the sirens of the San Francisco Police motorcycles chasing us. They didn't chase too hard because they knew where Charlie was headed. I remember one time, as we turned into the garage after one of those road tests, how Chalie began to laugh uproariously as he spotted two motorcycle cops waiting for him, leaning against their Harleys parked in front of the office, with Mrs. Rezzaghi looking out the office window with a less than pleased look on her face.

Those were wonderful days for a car crazy kid, and they were also the days of the end of real youth, at least for me. After the summer of '62, I joined the Marine Corps and was married in '63 and began a life in the family painting business and as a father of two girls. Matchett flew the coop and went to England, where he became UK Formula V Champion and later went on to race in the old F3 and finally in the Can Am, racing Tony Dean's old Porsche 910 to some success in the non-Chevrolet powered class. These days he's involved with NASCAR back in North Carolina. and I'm headed over to Marin after finishing this, to take my three year old granddaughter out for the afternoon. Life is good and so was life back then, thanks to great memories of Charlie Rezzaghi's garage on Hyde Street.
 
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