Alfa Romeo “Disco Volante”

FCA Heritage and Alfa Romeo are backing the Japanese Concours d’Elegance, with a masterpieces of the past, a 1900 C52 Coupé, popularly known as the “Disco Volante”.

Nijō Castle, the 17th century Unesco world heritage site in Kyoto, has hosted a Concours d’Elegance that brought together some of the most prestigious and emblematic classic cars. Naturally, FCA Heritage, the department created to protect and promote the history of the Italian brands of the FCA Group, could not miss the appointment. FCA Heritage together with Alfa Romeo are actively backing the event created on the initiative of artist Hidemoto Kimura which aims at repeating the remarkable success of the first edition held in 2016. So, FCA Heritage will be present with a masterpiece of the past which is usually kept in the Alfa Romeo Museum – dubbed the “Time Machine”, playing on the Italian word that means both machine and car – in Arese (MI). It is the 1900 C52 Coupé, popularly known as the “Disco Volante” which will be displayed hors concours as guest of honour in the exhibition dedicated to Carrozzeria Touring. The Giulia Quadrifoglio, the car which embodies the new paradigm of Alfa Romeo, made of thrilling performance and exclusivity, will be by its side to reassert the indissoluble special link that ties a great history and a bright future.

Alfa Romeo 1900 C52 Coupé “Disco Volante”
The “Disco Volante”, made between 1952 and 1953, was designed by Gioacchino Colombo and based on the 1900 Sprint, from which some components were carried over. Unlike the normal production car – built with a monocoque body shell chassis – the “Disco Volante” was based on a tubular trellis chassis. The 1997 cm3 twin shaft engine was entirely re-designed with a light alloy crankcase and head, two overhead camshafts and single fuel supply. Delivering a power of 158 HP, this extraordinary car reached a top speed of over 220 km/h.

The body of the “Disco Volante” deserves a special mention. Made by Touring, it combines aerodynamic research with the essentially American trend that saw car design taking inspiration from the world of flight. The car has original bulging wings over the wheels which seamlessly join with the streamline low-slung line, making it look like a sort of spaceship, hence its name. Only five were made in total, namely a Spider, a Coupé, a slimmer “fianchi stretti” (narrow side) version with wings closer to the wheels, and two Spiders with 6C 3000 mechanics.