This Alfa Romeo Matta AR51 is a beautifully restored example of the Italian marque’s rare utility vehicle, which would make a stunning car for classic events or even light off-roading. Under the bonnet is a 65hp 1.9-litre twin-cam inline-four engine, with four-wheel drive through a four-speed manual transmission. The odometer indicates 29,279 km, though this is not warranted.

Its AR51 military model name stood for ‘Autovettura da Ricognizione’, or ‘Reconnaissance Car’, and this lightweight 4x4 was built in very limited numbers - understood to have been just over 2,000 units for armed forces use, and between 50 and 150 for civilian use. This car was first registered in December 1951 in Italy, and more recently has been imported to Germany. It has been in the owner’s possession for around six months.

Having evidently been the subject of an extensive and high-quality restoration, the bodywork of this AR51 is in superb condition, with straight panels and even shut lines. The body has been resprayed in a smart blue hue, which is complemented perfectly by the red canvas soft top and the red vinyl interior. Its paintwork is very impressive, with a rich and glossy appearance all around the car.

Just like a Series Land Rover, the upper door panels can be removed if desired, and the windscreen can be flipped down. At the rear are mounting points for accessories, a towing hitch, and retainers for jerry cans. It rides on 16-inch steel wheels, which have been finished in satin black.

Inside, the individual front seats and the two rear benches have been re-cushioned, and fully re-trimmed in dark red vinyl. There is no wear or damage to the upholstery whatsoever, and it presents in as-new condition throughout. The resprayed interior surfaces are also in excellent order. Items such as the steering wheel, gear levers, instrument dials, and the switchgear all appear to be original with a handsome patina.

While the maintenance history from new is not recorded, given this Matta’s total restoration it is evidently in wonderful cosmetic and mechanical condition. The car was put through the rigorous German TÜV inspection process in May 2020, passing with no defects or other issues, and it is valid until May 2022.

Accompanying the AR51 are some original Italian papers, as well as the details of the most recent German TÜV safety inspection. Interestingly, as an original Matta participated in the 1952 Mille Miglia in the military vehicle category, this Alfa Romeo 4x4 would be an eligible candidate for the revival Mille Miglia event now.

This Alfa Romeo 1900M AR51 ‘Matta’ is a stunning, fully restored example of a very rare 4x4, which would make for an unusual addition to any collection, and a great conversation starter. For someone with a keen interest in classic off-roaders, this is an opportunity to acquire Italy’s answer to the Series Land Rover.

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

Car Overview

  • 29,270 miles
  • manual
  • LHD
  • Blue
  • Red
  • 1.8L
  • VIN00217

Lot Overview

  • Lot #02876
  • trade Sale
  • Bovenden, Germany


  • Helmut_G

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