Before World War II, Alfa Romeo was renowned for crafting high-performance sports cars, much like Ferrari's current position in the market. Yet, post-war, the automaker adapted to the European market by launching the Alfa Romeo 1900 in 1950, a pivotal shift towards mass-produced sedans. Breaking with tradition, the 1900 featured unibody construction, a solid axle replacing an independent rear suspension, and coil springs on all corners. It embraced left-hand drive, marking a departure from Alfa's earlier right-hand drive norm. The engine, a remarkable four-cylinder with dual overhead cams, carried Alfa's performance legacy. This practical yet agile car retained its racing spirit, earning the moniker "the family car that wins races." Alfa didn't disregard its heritage, presenting a shorter 1900 for custom work, which led to unique designs like the iconic Disco Volante.
The car was displayed at the 1954 Los Angeles Auto Show, where it was voted most beautiful car. The one-off body, designed by Gian Paolo Boano, bears a striking resemblance to the Abarth-Alfa Romeo 2000. This connection adds to its allure, despite its steep cost of nearly $20,000 compared to the standard 1900 coupe's $6,100. Owned by Frank Gabrielli of Danville, California, the Ghia coupe remains a showcase of timeless elegance and formidable performance, consistently earning top honors in shows and proving its prowess even among more powerful vintage race cars.
Images: blog.hemmings.com; www.alfabb.com