It was 1974 and I was a student at New England College living above the gas station my brother and I would eventually own after graduation.I had recently purchased my first Alfa Romeo, a 1971 GTV 1750 when a fellow student and Alfisti told me about an old Alfa Romeo with wire wheels he discovered in a barn outside of town.We raced over to have a closer look.
The car was like nothing I had ever seen and I had to research old Road and Track magazines to figure out it was a 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900css Superleggera with a Touring of Milan coachworks body.Only 119 were made and only about 20 or 30 are known to survive today.The 1900 was mostly original and unmolested.Although I never hoped to actually own the 1900, over the next year and a half I checked the barn monthly to make sure the car was still there and undisturbed.
After about eighteen months the owner of the 1900 approached me with an offer to sell the car.Having just graduated I was broke, but the owner was eager to sell and we arrived at a price. The 1900 was mine and not a minute too soon since the barn burned down two months later.
Since then the 1900 has accompanied me through a 30+ year career in the automotive industry moving from New Hampshire to Maryland.Two years ago I opened my own repair and light restoration shop catering to (of course) Italian and other European automobiles.The 1900 sits proudly among the Ferraris, Maseratis and other Alfa Romeos that flow in and out of the shop.
When we had our first open house in 2007, I thought the 1900 should join the party so, after 32 years I decided to start her engine.We put in a battery and checked the fluids, sure enough, after a few false starts, the engine roared to life to the cheers of the many attendees.
Today, the 1900 still waits patiently for the time when she will be lovingly restored and returned to the road.
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