Alfa Romeo Story

La storia inizia nel 1910, quando viene costituita da un gruppo di imprenditori l’Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (ALFA) utilizzando un capannone in una località alle porte di Milano denominata “il Portello”. Dopo alcune difficoltà iniziali, la nuova azienda iniziò a produrre alcuni modelli interessanti che si imposero all’attenzione del mercato nazionale: la 24 HP, la15 HP, la 20-30 HP e la 40-60 HP.

The story of Alfa highlights from the beginning a predisposition to the races. Indeed, the first models, already developed for Gran Turismo use, were transformed into powerful race cars for competition; this will be the characteristic of the Milan’s brand which will become the common denominator over the years; starting from normal production, they experiment and test on tracks all over the world the different technological solutions and then apply them to motor models.

Engeneer Jano

After the cars designed by Giuseppe Merosi (G1, RLSS, RM, etc.), to counter the dominance in the Grand Prix by Fiat, Eng. Romeo took to employ the designer Vittorio Jano that from that time can be considered the "father" of all the cars and the engines of production Alfa Romeo before the war. Racing car P2 was born and becomes an unbeatable car on all circuits, winning the first World Championships in 1925.

Later in the late '20s he produced a new engine with 6Cilinders to become the first of a generation of engines used for most of the series production and race cars of that period: it was a 6-cylinder in-line monoblock with initial displacement of 1500 cc and 1750 cc later, 2300 cc up to 2500 cc for the latest versions of the 40s-50s years.

Another wonderful creation of Jano was the 8C 2300 that was immediately entrusted to the most prestigious coachbuilders of the time for thorough preparations versions. Similarly it was brought in international competitions to revive the successes of the 6C 1750 Mille Miglia, Le Mans 24 Hours, Grand Prix of Monza and Monte Carlo, Tourist Trophy, 24H of Spa.

To maintain the supremacy obtained in Grand Prix, the direction of the Alfa Romeo asked Jano to prepare new cars more lightweight and easy to handle. The result was the Type B "P3" with 8-cylinder engine and 2,564 cc, then brought to 2905cc. This mechanical jewel was given to Scuderia Ferrari Modena who managed to best the racing department winning uninterruptedly for three years the most prestigious races.

War World II

The history of Alfa Romeo continues at the turn of the Second World War. It 'a delicate moment for the brand: economic problems increasingly reduce car production to give priority to the war equipment and does not allow to properly address the excessive power in Grand Prix the new Mercedes and Auto Union racing cars.

In this key phase for the survival of the prestigious brand, they create masterpieces motor that will remain as milestones in the history of world. Just remember only two models: the 8c 2900 Touring and the new car called the Type 158 "Alfetta" which won the first Formula 1 World Championship in 1950 and 1951.

After 6c 2500, series production of the '50s was characterized by the innovative 1900 and then by Giulietta. Both cars had sporting characteristics combined with elegance and practicability driving mixed with considerable success, marking the beginning of a new industry: that of medium-sized cars.

In the 60's comes the Giulia sedan in the fitting, spider and racing with the TZ1 and TZ2, achieving success in international competitions of the categories Gran Turismo entrusted to Autodelta of Eng. Carlo Chiti, which continued with the GTA, a car with great performance, a 1600cc with 115 hp, which is characterized by the body lightened obtained alloy sheet nailed to the frame: he won the European Challenge of 1966-67-68. The evolution of this car was the GT Junior and GTAm that won the European Championships of 1970 and 1971 Tourism.

The activity of the Racing Department Autodelta continued in Categories Sport Prototype cars of the series with 33 by winning the World Championships of 1975 and 1977 with the adventure of the return to Formula 1.


Production cars of the 70's are identified in the series with the Alfetta sedan and coupe followed in the '80s with the 75.

The nineties are characterized by the production of the 155, the first front-wheel drive Alfa Romeo totally designed by the new management technique of the Fiat Group.

The racing displays of this car won several Tourism Championships in various European countries that continued into the third millennium with 156 reviving the brand and success of the GTA.

In the second decade of the millennium the sporty Alfa Romeo continues with coupe and spider special of the 4C and 8C and now with the Giulia, Stelvio and Tonale.

"One Alfa Romeo Century"

It's been more than a hundred years since the sheds wooden door took his first steps before the Alfa 24HP that looked more like a horseless carriage than a car.

After more than a century, Alfa Romeo has always been a leader in the panorama of international motorsport, producing cars and engines are highly innovative and technologically advanced, feature lines, albeit bold, continue to school. This mix of sophisticated engineering is linked hand in glove to "myths" which historians Ascari, Nuvolari, Varzi, Caracciola, Enzo Ferrari, Vittorio Jano, Fangio, Andretti, Lauda and many others, melting into one like no other set of comparable value was never realized in the sports car.




by Franco Borin

(extract from Alfa Story articles published by Modelli Auto)


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