This post is also available in: Italiano
“Alfa Romeo isn’t a simple car industry: its cars are something more than conventional automobiles. It’s a kind of obsession , the enthusiasm for the means of transport. It’s a lifestyle , a unique way of conceiving motor vehicle . It’s something that endures the definitions. Its elements are like those irrational parts of human spirit that cannot be explained with a logical terminology.” (Orazio Satta Puliga)
There are Italian stories worth telling, as the one of Alfa Romeo Italia, a tricolour pride that has crossed the last century, an automaker that on and off, has given to the world not only simple cars, but real philosophy of life. Let’s find out where and how Alfa Romeo myth is born!
Alfa Romeo’s history : from Milan to the achievement of global market
Everything starts on June 24th , 2016: in Milan the notary deed of the the founding company Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (A.L.F.A.) is written down. The new company assimiliated the previous French firm Darracq, after that the shares were taken over by a group of Lombard entrepreneurs, including the gentleman Ugo Stella, that became CEO. The first car , developed by the designer Giuseppe Morosi, is rightfully part of historic Alfa Romeo group: we are talking about 24 HP, with a 4.0 to 42 horsepowers engine , which reached 100 km/h.
After conquering the Italian market, the foreign expansion project was slowed down by the outbreak of the First World War. The company was entrusted to the engineer Nicola Romeo, owner of a company that produced munitions , aeronautical engines and equipment for mining. In 1918 Romeo took over the firm : Alfa Romeo arised. In the 20’s the sports achievements start: Alfa Romeo models conquer the racetracks: in 1925 the stable won the first automotive World Championship in the history with Gastone Birilli Peri.
In the 30’s the State contributes to the Alfa Romeo’s shares and starts to run directly the firm: Alfa Romeo is incorporated in the Iri ( acronym for Institute for Industrial Reconstruction) under the direction of Ugo Gobbato. The engineer Jano designed two automobile models with giant performances, these cars were luxury , technological and aesthetically perfect: Alfa 8C 2300 and Alfa 8C 2900. As for the sports Alfa Romeo, the building and the cars were left to Scuderia Ferrari. Behind the wheel of P3 Tazio Nuvolari , legend of the Italian racetracks, won impossible competitions against German great power.
After the Second world War Alfa Romeo completed the passage from the handcrafted dimension to the industrial one. The market was invaded from the new Alfa Romeo models. The assembly line was introduced and the main designer became Giuseppe Busso, back in Alfa, creator of the legendary engine V6, that was produced until 2005. In the same years Alfetta rules Formula I world championships , then retaing permanently from the races. The market pressed for an average and brilliant model: in 1955 it’s up to the saloon Alfa Giulietta with a 79 horsepower 1.3 engine. The ideal car for the middle class.
In 1960 Giuseppe Luraghi was appointed president of the company that inaugurates the new factory in Arese, to which flanked Balocco and Pomigliano d’Arco. The symbol of the 60’s is , no doubt, Alfa Romeo Giulia. A body with a unique shape, a big aerodynamic efficiency and for that it was called “drawn by the wind”. Engines 1.6 and 1.3 with a commercial and unprecedented success . From this model arised several variations , such as Alfa Spider , nicknamed Duetto, that contributed definitively to the international fame of Alfa Romeo, that was present in the movie The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bacroft.
In the 70’s from Pomigliano D’Arco ‘s factory arises Alfasud, the first front-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo and the first to assemble a boxer engine. From Rese’s facility arises Alfetta, Giulia’s heir, a car with a front engine, a transmission and a clutch built in the back engine. Alfa Romeo continues to collect sports triumphs in the sports prototype category, where Alfa 33 wins two world championships. After several turbulent events , in 1986 Alfa moved to Turinese Fiat group.
In 1997 there is Alfa 156 ‘s launch , a model with a unique design , signed by Walter De Silva with a semi-automatic gearbox Selespeed and the first diesel common rail in the world . Great sales , as the ones of Alfa Romeo 147. The beautiful Alfa Brera , a coupé car with elegant and innovative lines , perfect for the luxury cars lovers. In 2005 Alfa 159 doesn’t achieve the same success . It’s necessary to return to the origin: into the catalogs reappears for the third time Giulietta and Biscione’s house reconquers the streets with Alfa Romeo Gt.
Alfa Romeo’s logo: Lombard biscione(large grass snake) through the centuries
The brand’s history deserves a separate space. The first ALFA emblem was a brand with a badge characterized by floral and sinous presences , according to the liberty style’s precepts. In 1912 starts the first graphic evolution: Milan’s emblem and Visconti’s biscione. Despite the years and the following reviews ,the snakes and the crosses, Lombard symbols , will remain a logo’s fundamental point. In 1925, after the victory in the First automotive world championship with “Alfa P2” car, Alfa Romeo’s emblem was adorned with a laurel crown.
In 1972 Alfa Romeo’s logo went trhough an additional transformation: Milan’s caption was removed and only Alfa Romeo’s inscription remained. The current logo is from 2015 and it is so described: “ the external midnightblue ring intensifies the house’s exclusivity while the use of the chromed steel in the contours and in the logotypes, composed by the ITC Blair revised character, emphasizes the modernity and the technological vocation”.
Alfa Romeo today : projects and new models
Speaking of actuality and peeking amonng AlfaRomeo News , what emerges is the sports image’s relaunch. All set for the launch of two extraordinary models: Alfa Giulia 2020 and the new Alfa Romeo Tonale , a compact Suv that will be produced in Pomigliano’s plant , with an investment of a billion of euros. To fully enjoy Alfa Romeo’s myth, to the brand is associated a 360° line of merchandising that offers clothing , objects and car accessories : everything can be found online on Alfa Romeo Store.
Let’s speak of Alfa Romeo’s prices , for the 4 models currently in production. The cheapest is Alfa Romeo Mito that starts from 13.900 euros. After there is Alfa Romeo Giulietta , strarting from 19.104 euros. How much does Alfa Romeo Giulia cost? It starts from 36.400 euros for the Italian automotive house’s symbol. In the end , to bring home an Alfa Romeo Stelvio, it starts from 41.400 euros.
The awarness of a glorious past , the gaze open towards a brilliant future. Lines that have made the automobile’s history, cars that made also Henry Ford took off his hat, engines that have conquered hearts and circuits. And that sweet familiar name, given to the best model, to the star of Alfa’s house: Giulia. Since cars like this makes everyone in love , yesterday , today and tomorrow!
This post is also available in: Italiano