One of 1281 delivered to the Italian military, this 1952 Alfa Matta is yours for $55,000.It’s a steal.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is the company’s first SUV, but it’s certainly not its first truck. Alfa actually started building trucks in the 1930s, and in the early 1950s, it built some Jeep-like vehicles for the Italian military. This one, a 1952 AR 51, is headed to Gooding and Company’s Pebble Beach auction next month, where it’s expected to sell for around $55,000.
The AR 51 and its civilian sibling, the AR 52, gained the nickname “Matta,” the Italian word for “crazy.” Apparently, this name was a reference to its impressive off-road abilities.
It’s powered by a version of Alfa’s 1900cc twin-cam four-cylinder that was also used in the 1900 sedan. It makes around 65 horsepower, and interestingly, is dry-sumped. This was an advanced road-car engine for its day, and there was certainly nothing else like it in any other military vehicles.
The engine is hooked up to a four-speed manual transmission with a low-range gearbox that sends power to all four wheels. The Matta also has independent front suspension, which is unusual for an off-roader like this.
This Matta was first delivered to the Italian military in 1952, with its first private registration coming in 1978. It was recently restored to original military specifications, and shows 69,000 km on its odometer.
This is a fascinating part of Alfa Romeo history that looks like it could be a ton of fun to drive. Gooding & Company says its Mille Miglia eligible, and we’d bet that it’d be the only one there. And considering it costs about as much as a nicely-optioned Stelvio, it seems like a good value too.