Twin cam offroad: 1951 Alfa Romeo AR51 “Matta”


Alfa Romeo didn’t just use to build twin cam vans like the F-12, but also some almost unknown cars like its offroad series, called AR51 “Matta”.


This series was born at the beginning of the fifties to replace the Jeeps leaved by the US Army in order to provide Police and Fire departments around the country with some versatile vehicles to be used especially in country and mountain environments: back then the road net in Italy was not much extended so they needed a car for the job.


This car is pushed by the famous Alfa 1900 twin-cam unit but, for the AR51, it had a dry sump with an external oil tank in order to provide a proper lubrication even on sloping roads. The seller says that it was registered the first time in 1971: we can’t understand why as these cars were produced from 1951 to 1956. The seller also says that the car runs and it is complete, so the new owner could restore it or use it as is. Find it for sale at €5,500 (today $6,000) here in Bardolino, Italy.

2 thoughts on “Twin cam offroad: 1951 Alfa Romeo AR51 “Matta”

  1. Hi, some clarification to the article above:

    AR 51 were produced in 1952 and 1953, nearly 2,000 the total;
    AR 52, the rarer civilian version, were produced in 1954, only 154 made.

    Being destined basically to public departments depending corps, such as Police, Forrest Guards, Fire Chiefs, Custom Guards, Italian Army, Navy, these still have a personal special license plate.

    So, probably, this Matta went first to a public department depending corp and later, after its duty, sold in 1971 to a private who provided for a new civilian license plate.

    And about roads situation in Italy, the problem was not a reduced net (the first motorway ever is Milano – Gallarate, and in 1959 Italy had the widest motorway net in Europe), but the dramatic consequences of WW II.

    I suggest to pay a visit to , go to 1900s page and click photobase.

    Mine are AR 52*00082*, and to-be-restored AR 51*00609* and AR 51*00834*.

    Best regards,

    Giuseppe Maranghi – Laveno (VA) – Italy


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