Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. Italy

 

Established
24 June 1910; 107 years ago
Founder
Alexandre Darracq, Ugo Stella, Nicola Romeo

Headquarters
Turin, Piedmont, Italy

 

Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. is an Italian car manufacturer. It was founded as A.L.F.A. ("Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili", "Anonymous Lombard Automobile Factory"). It was founded on 24 June 1910, in Milan. The Alfa Romeo is known for sporty vehicles and has been involved in car racing since 1911. Alfa Romeo was founded as Società Anonima Italiana Darracq (SAID) in 1906 by the French automobile firm of Alexandre Darracq, with Italian investors.  In August 1915, the company came under the direction of Neapolitan entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who converted the factory to manufacture military hardware for the Italian and Allied war efforts.The headquarter is situated in Turin, Italy. The key people of the company are John Elkann (President) and Reid Bigland (CEO).

 

History

Foundation and early years

In 1909, the Italian Darracq cars were selling slowly and Stella, with the other Italian co-investors, founded a new company named A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili), initially still in partnership with Darracq. The first non-Darracq car manufactured by the company was the 1910 24 HP. It was designed by Giuseppe Merosi, hired in 1909 for designing new cars more suited to the Italian market.  In 1914, an advanced Grand Prix car was designed and manufactured, the GP1914, with a four-cylinder engine, double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and twin ignition.

The company name was changed to Alfa Romeo in 1920, with the Torpedo 20-30 HP the first car to be so badged. Their first achievement came in 1920 when Giuseppe Campari won at Mugello and continued with second place in the Targa Florio driven by Enzo Ferrari. Giuseppe Merosi continued as head designer, and the company kept on to produce solid road cars as well as successful race cars (including the 40-60 HP and the RL Targa Florio). The first Alfa Romeo under Jano was the P2 Grand Prix car, which won Alfa Romeo the inaugural world championship for Grand Prix cars in 1925.
 

Enzo Ferrari proved a better team manager than driver, and when the factory team was privatised, it became Scuderia Ferrari. When Ferrari left Alfa Romeo, he went on to manufacture his own cars. Tazio Nuvolari often drove for Alfa, winning many races before the Second World War. In 1928 Nicola Romeo left, and in 1933 Alfa Romeo was rescued by the government, which then had effective control. Alfa Romeo became an instrument of Mussolini's Italy, a national symbol. During this period it manufactured bespoke vehicles for the wealthy, with bodies normally by Touring of Milan or Pinin Farina. This era peaked with the Alfa Romeo 2900B Type 35 racers.

 

Post war

Once motorsports resumed after the Second World War, Alfa Romeo proved to be the car to beat in Grand Prix events. The introduction of the new Formula One for single-seat racing cars provided an ideal setting for Alfa Romeo's Tipo 158 Alfetta, adapted from a pre-war voiturette, and Giuseppe Farina won the first Formula One World Championship in 1950 in the 158. In 2005 Maserati was bought back from Ferrari and under Fiat's full control. The Fiat Group plans to create a sports and luxury division from Maserati and Alfa Romeo. There is a planned strategic relationship between these two; engines, platforms and possibly dealers will be shared in some markets.

 

Design and technology

Alfa Romeo has initiated many technological innovations over the years. The company has often been among the first users of new technologies. Its trademark double overhead cam engine was used for the first time in the 1914 Grand Prix car, the first road car with such an engine, the 6C 1500 Sport, appeared in 1928. Newer innovations include complete CAD design process used in Alfa Romeo 164, robotised/paddle control transmission Selespeed used in the 156; the 156 was also the world's first passenger car to use Common rail diesel engine. The Multiair -an electro-hydraulic variable valve actuation technology used in MiTo was launched in 2009.

 

Symbols

Logo

Alfa Romeo's logo incorporates two heraldic devices traditionally associated with its birthplace, the city of Milan: a red cross, from the emblem of Milan, and the biscione, a crowned viper swallowing a Moor—emblem of the House of Visconti, rulers of the city in the 14th century. The logo was originally designed in 1910 by a young Italian draughtsman from the A.L.F.A technical office, Romano Cattaneo.

 

Origin

Cattaneo, was inspired by the coat of arms he had seen on the gates of Castello Sforzesco to include the biscione in the logo. Merosi liked the idea, and together with Cattaneo came up with a sketch, then approved by managing director Ugo Stella; Cattaneo was entrusted with doing the final design. The original badge was round, of enamelled brass, measuring 65 mm (2.6 in) in diameter, and carried already all the present day accoutrements: the red cross on a white field of Milan on the left, a green biscione on a light blue field on the left, all surrounded by a blue ring inscribed with the words "ALFA" at the top and "MILANO" at the bottom. In 1918, after the company had been bought by Nicola Romeo, the wording "ALFA" was replaced with "ALFA-ROMEO".

 

Motorsport

Alfa Romeo has been involved with motor racing since 1911, when it entered two 24 HP models on Targa Florio competition. In the 1920s and 30s it scored wins at many races and motoring events such as Targa Florio, Mille Miglia and Le Mans. Alfa Romeo has competed both as a constructor and an engine supplier, via works entries Alfa Corse, Autodelta and private entries. Alfa Romeo's factory racing team was outsourced to Enzo Ferrari's Scuderia Ferrari between 1933 and 1938. Drivers included Tazio Nuvolari, who won the 1935 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

 

Trucks and light commercial vehicles

Alfa Romeo presented a light truck in addition to heavy LCVs based to Büssing constructions in 1930. In the Second World War Alfa Romeo also manufactured trucks for the Italian army and later also for the German Wehrmacht. After the war, commercial motor vehicle production was resumed. The last Alfa Romeo vans were the Alfa Romeo AR6 and AR8, rebadged versions of Iveco Daily and Fiat Ducato. Later, Alfa Romeo concentrated only on passenger car manufacturing.

 

 

List of few top most popular Alfa Romeo models on JCT :

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