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Discussion Starter #3
Wow . . . so you're saying, in some respect, that the owner is trying to pull a fast one?
 

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pro·to·type noun \ˈprō-tə-ˌtīp\
: an original or first model of something from which other forms are copied or developed

: someone or something that has the typical qualities of a particular group, kind, etc.

: a first or early example that is used as a model for what comes later



In this sense, a "prototype" can be a one-off that has the typical qualities of a group. I see no fraud in use of the term. A prudent buyer will determine what the are really buying. I like the looks of it, actually.
 

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If you want to be generous you could probably call this some kind of prototype, but it's certainly no actual prototype for a 1900 variant. We all know who made the 1900 coupes, and unlike contemporary US cars it wasn't the factory. I'll bet you a tenner genpop car enthusiasts with little or no knowledge of Alfa Romeo (which means most of them) will walk away thinking they've just seen a factory coupé prototype from 1958. They didn't.

It's a very nice looking car though ;)
 

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pro·to·type noun \ˈprō-tə-ˌtīp\
Sorry, but right from your definitions, we can definitely state that calling this car a "1958 prototype" is at least misleading.

: an original or first model of something from which other forms are copied or developed
It is not, since it was built 25 years after the end of production of the 1900. Of course, one can argue that further 1900 based "specials" (notoriously "barchettas") have been built later. They are most of the time plain scams, offered with forged identities.

: someone or something that has the typical qualities of a particular group, kind, etc.
It is certainly not since it does not fit anything that existed at the era it is supposed to belong.

: a first or early example that is used as a model for what comes later
How can a 1982 car be the first example of a range whose production ended in 1958?


In this sense, a "prototype" can be a one-off that has the typical qualities of a group. I see no fraud in use of the term. A prudent buyer will determine what the are really buying. I like the looks of it, actually.
I dissent. Just like the first poster here, 99% of the watchers will go home convinced - wrongly - that they have seen a 1958 Alfa Romeo prototype. They haven't. From a cultural point of view, it's indeed a fraud. Money is not my point here.
 

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I dislike people telling others what they should and should not do, as though there is only one set of rules and all must follow them.

I must be among the 1% that is not confused about the car, nor is my opinion of it affected because of his choice of description. It is impossible that any buyer would be fooled. The car most certainly has many qualities of other 1900 one-offs.

Why complain? Do something constructive and positive, not the opposite.
 

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I have no clue , but to me the styling looks a bit "Zagato" like....but I could be wrong...I often am , my wife says...lol

but its a "copy" of a prototype...
 

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If the interior is nicely done, I'd call it a winner.
 

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I dislike people telling others what they should and should not do, as though there is only one set of rules and all must follow them.

I must be among the 1% that is not confused about the car, nor is my opinion of it affected because of his choice of description. It is impossible that any buyer would be fooled. The car most certainly has many qualities of other 1900 one-offs.

Why complain? Do something constructive and positive, not the opposite.
I try again: this car - no matter how much one finds it attractive or not - IS NOT, NOR DOES LOOK LIKE anything Alfa Romeo or any italian coachbuilder has built in period. I find it a cultural fraud to pass it as such. I'm not talking about money or buyer.

If your lack of Alfa/italian coachbuilding culture, or of sensitivity doesn't allow you to understand this, I'm sorry for you.

And I despise the attempt of moral lecture included in your last sentence.

Have a good day.
 

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Have you walked the streets of Italy? especially in the 60s...LOTS of 'one' built cars , by both Fiat and Alfa....I saw many "one offs" in 58 ,64 and 68 when there ...all along the streets...its like prototypes were sold off to the public.
not saying that tis is a prototype, but a copy of one most likely
 

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"Moral lecture..."?

Yep. That's about right. Very happy here. Nothing to be sorry for.

Enjoy the day



I try again: this car - no matter how much one finds it attractive or not - IS NOT, NOR DOES LOOK LIKE anything Alfa Romeo or any italian coachbuilder has built in period. I find it a cultural fraud to pass it as such. I'm not talking about money or buyer.

If your lack of Alfa/italian coachbuilding culture, or of sensitivity doesn't allow you to understand this, I'm sorry for you.

And I despise the attempt of moral lecture included in your last sentence.

Have a good day.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I gotta agree with GTV2000 here.

For a placard, perhaps "prototype" serves its purposes, but it's not an authentic custom-bodied 1958 Alfa, from what's been indicated above.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Someone has built a great looking car. Unfortunately the 1900 underpinnings probably don't live up to its exterior. A veritable sheep in wolf's clothing.
 

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There are plenty of "replica" and "tribute" cars, and also plenty of simulacrums of what someone thinks could have been built in the era. While it has a certain attractiveness, I would have to call this car a pastiche, made up of disparate elements of cars designed by different designers at different times.

As for "prototype", I feel the use of the term is at best misleading. If the owner uses the term as shorthand on a club show placard, perhaps there is minimal harm done. That said, there is a general understanding of the term, especially in the automotive world, that is at odds with the reality the car presents. At best, it then becomes cultural misrepresentation.

If the term is used as a sales descriptor, then I think it verges into explicit false representation and fraud.

The second definition that Don proffers also leaves me unconvinced. In no way, shape, or form would I call this an "archtype". It is neither standard nor typical. I end up back at pastiche. A pretty one, maybe, but still, just someones' fantasy...
 

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If the owner was honest and not trying to mislead people, he would label it a 1980s creation of a '50s style sports coupe, mounted on 1958 Alfa 1900 chassis/engine and mechanicals.
Personally I like the look of it, but it is what it is, a more recent period build-up and should never be described or alluded to as anything else. This is plain dishonest.
As for impossible any potential buyer would be fooled......you just have to look at auction results to see that is not the case.
regards,
Vince.
 

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If the owner was honest and not trying to mislead people, he would label it a 1980s creation of a '50s style sports coupe, mounted on 1958 Alfa 1900 chassis/engine and mechanicals.
Strictly speaking, you're right. But, I'm having trouble working up much outrage - it's just a car being displayed at the Manhattan Beach Show-n-Shine. It's not like it was being offered for sale and some prospective buyer might be misled into thinking it was a genuine 1958 prototype.

I have been involved with a LOT of local car shows and this sort of thing happens all the time. Well-meaning volunteers, who know nothing about cars, take the owner's write-up and try to summarize it onto a placard. The owner probably described how the chassis was built in the 50's and the body in the 1980's with 100% accuracy, and then some minivan-driving volunteer summarized it into what you see. Note that they even misspelled owner's name, and you get a sense for the quality standards at these events.

If this happened at Pebble Beach, the Mille Miglia, or a Bonhams auction, I might get worked up. But for this level of event, it is within the normal range of acceptability.
 

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I'm having trouble working up much outrage about this - it's just a car being displayed at the Manhattan Beach Show-n-Shine. It's not like it was being offered for sale and some prospective buyer might be misled into thinking it was a 1958 prototype.
Trouble is, this car was repeatedly misrepresented as an Alfa Romeo prototype (which it isn't) when it was for sale a few years ago. So, the buyer either didn't do the homework to know the difference, or didn't care about it. I disagree with the notion that "no harm done" argument may be applicable, as the car was clearly misrepresented to create a false history of the marque -- and that is damage, whether or not it is related to a sale of this specific car and/or whether it can or cannot be expressed in monetary terms. Lying is lying and should not be tolerated or condoned (which I thought was gtv2000's point in the first place).
 

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I respectfully disagree. While it started out as a question about a specific car of the type, that was quickly answered, and then turned to the larger issue of fakes and misrepresentation.
 
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