The Early Numbering System (ENS)…

   The ENS a frustrating, hard-to-understand numbering system and there is no particular advantage to knowing the details of how it works…there, I’ve said it!

    In his book, Millenove, H.-J. Doehren cites Peter Marshall’s explanation that “after the first six berlinas were constructed, it was the intention that for the fourth figure in a five figure number to be a constant ‘3’ for the berlina, a ‘5’ for the Sprint and a ‘7’ for the cabriolet by Stabilimenti Farina.” Following that, “the second figure indicates the 1000s, the first the 10s and the fifth the units.”

   Yeah, right. It must have quickly become apparent to Alfa Romeo that this was a wickedly confusing numbering system, as it was soon discarded in favor of the 5-digit progression seen on all subsequent 1900s save for the Matta, which was a slight variation of this second, normalized system.

   In the Early Numbering System section that begins this PhotoBase, I have highlighted that fourth digit in order to reinforce its presence and meaning, and I have ignored the other digits for the sake of my sanity. You may want to do the same!

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