The 47th edition of Rétromobile in Paris, the oldest European event dedicated to antique cars, is projected to draw 130,000 spectators, host over 600 exhibitors worldwide, and feature more than 1,000 vehicles.
The Porte de Versailles is hosting a significant event, and Alfa Romeo and the Stellantis Heritage division are the show's stars. Founded in Turin in 2015, Stellantis Heritage is committed to reclaiming, protecting, and promoting Alfa Romeo and its historical heritage by participating in industry events and providing services aimed squarely at vintage car enthusiasts and owners. Two of the most valuable classic vehicles ever made are on display at the Rétromobile booth: an Alfa Romeo SZ (1989) and an Alfa Romeo 1900 Super Sprint (1956).
There are few examples of the specimen on display anywhere else. It was one of the first models made and is considered "ex-works," meaning it was previously owned by the manufacturer and used by them at their Balocco test circuit to try out new features and ideas. It's a genuine "laboratory" vehicle; it's so distinct from the other SZs that came after it that it may be called a prototype. Aiming to revive the company's heritage of rear-wheel drive sports cars while incorporating cutting-edge innovations, Alfa Romeo commissioned a thousand ES30s built by the Zagato body shop and assembled them in a factory on the outskirts of Milan. In this way, the thoroughbred sports vehicle known as the Alfa Romeo SZ (Sprint Zagato) came into being. External bodywork is composite materials mounted on a steel underbody; the base and mechanics are derived from the Alfa Romeo 75 racing (Group A); the three-liter V6 engine is enhanced to 207 horsepower; the top speed is 245 km/h. Computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM) are relatively recent building technologies that have drastically shortened development timelines and made it easier to make alterations and improvements on the fly.
In the Officine Classiche, the car was taken apart piece by piece and given a full restoration. Both external and internal organs have been removed, and the body has been treated. A fresh, conservative look was applied to the rooms. After receiving a particular treatment, the gasoline tank was cleaned. Accurate inspections also required a baseline configuration for the engine. After thorough washing, the wheel rims look as good as new.
The "Super Sprint" version of the 1900 Sprint was introduced in 1955 and stayed in production until 1958, selling 599 units in total. The new five-speed gearbox is at the helm of the 1900 Super Sprint, much like in the previous model, but the gear ratios are more closely spaced. Mechanically, it's identical to the 1900 Super TI sedan, down to the 1975 cm 3-cylinder size and two inverted twin-barrel carburetors. The in-line four-cylinder engine generates a maximum speed of 190 km/h at 115 HP (5500 rpm).
The design of the Touring bodywork, in conjunction with material research, gives the car the features of lightness and a low aerodynamic coefficient, which are also perfect for the best performance in the race and a trademark of all Alfa Romeo vehicles.
The on-display vehicle is privately owned, but thanks to a Certificate of Origin granted by Heritage of Stellantis - Alfa Romeo Classiche, we know that it was manufactured on 14 July 1956 and sold three days later in Paris. Its original owner kept the blue finish, and the current engine is factory standard.