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Alfa Romeo is an Italian manufacturer of luxury vehicles. It’s headquartered in Turin, Italy. Since 1986, it’s a wholly owned subsidiary of FCA Italy S.p.A. (former Fiat Group Automobile S.p.A.).
Not Alfa Romeos
History of the Alfa Romeo marque’s creation goes back to 1905 when a famous French automaker Alexandre Darracq, together with a group of Italian businessmen, built a factory in Portello, not far from Milan.
The factory was an Italy-situated department of the French enterprise, erected for licensed production of two models: one was equipped with a 1-cylinder 8 or 10 hp engine, another – with a 2-cylinder 14 hp one.
Società Anonima Italiana Darracq (SAID), as it was called, was a new, Italian market for Darracq autos. However, the business didn’t do as well as they hoped; the autos made here weren’t in demand. That’s why Darracq decided to sell it.
Cars under the Alfa Romeo Marque
In 1909, the factory got a new owner. It was Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (A.L.F.A.) (translated as the Lombardy Automobile Factory joint-stock company). A year later, Italian autos under the A.L.F.A. marque began to be produced. These weren’t just passenger cars but sports and racing as well. Later, they made aircraft engines.
During the WWI, Nicola Romeo ran the company. The factory profited by the reforms he carried out here. Since then, the company has been named Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo cars were associated with perfect driving performance and technical specifications. They could give a head start to vehicles of any automaker.
Alfa Romeo Masterpieces
Giuseppe Merosi was Alfa Romeo’s engineer between 1910 and 1923. He’s best known for the masterpiece he made in 1920 – Alfa Romeo RL. The model was produced till 1927. At the London Motor Show, it was even compared to Rolls-Royce. Vittorio Jano, the second outstanding engineer in the company’s history, substituted Merosi in 1923. He left his position in 1938 Orazio Satta Puliga to obtain it.
In 1950, at the Paris Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo 1900 Berlina made its debut. It had a 1.9-litre 90 hp engine and sped up to 150 km/h. The model was rather successful among middle-class customers. In a couple of years, the 1900 Coupe and the 1900 Spider were introduced.
In 1954, another highly successful model saw the world – the Giulietta Sprint acquired features common for passenger and sports cars. It was followed by the Giulietta Berlina, the Sprint, the Sprint Veloce, the Spider, and the Spider Veloce.
Alfa Romeo signed a cooperation agreement with Renault in 1958. Together they launched the Dauphine Alfa Romeo soon.
In 1962, the Giulia TI was delivered. A couple of years later, at the motor show in Montreal, the Alfa Romeo Montreal was unveiled.
Alfa Romeo Gets On Its Feet
Due to serious financial difficulties, the company was purchased by Fiat in 1987. You’re to judge how advantageous the tandem is.
The Alfa Romeo 156 (1997) was acknowledged to be the most beautiful car in the world; it was awarded the title the “Car of the Year” in 1998.
At the International Motor Show Germany in 2001, the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA and the Sportwagon GTA, which are the Giulia Sprint GTA’s successors, were unveiled. The same year, another Alfa Romeo car – the 147 – became the best car of the year.
The Alfa Romeo GT was introduced at the motor show in Bologna in 2003. This car embodied the company’s best sports traditions. A year later, at the Geneva Motor Show, the Crosswagon with full-time all-wheel drive premiered.
Represented in 2005, the Alfa Romeo 159 made a splash in the automotive industry. The same year, the Brera was unveiled. Although driving performance of this car is a lot lamer than of its rivals and it costs a pretty penny, no auto is as attractive as this coupe.
As of 2015, the company’s model ranger includes the 4C, the Giulietta, the Mito, and the Quadrifoglio Verge.
Alfa Romeo in Motor Racing
History of Alfa Romeo is inseparable from racing. A legendary racing driver Giuseppe Campari made an Alfa Romeo car the French Grand Prix winner in 1925. He was at the wheel of the P2 model, the first racing car of the brand. It had an 8-cylinder engine and was designed by Vittorio Jano.
As soon as the Alfa team was organized, it became a leading one in motor races. Before the WWII, the Alfa team won 11 Mille Miglias and 4 Le Manses. The greatest victory of that time was gained by Tazio Nuvolari in the German Grand Prix in 1935 when he overcame the best teams, Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union.
In 1950, Giuseppe Farina in the Tipo 158 model won the first Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
The Giulia GTA sports car with a lightweight body was built in 1965. This car is the only one in the world to win in 24-hour races seven times in a row, between 1970 and 1976.
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