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A Brief history of Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo may be one of the best-known Italian car manufacturers today, but its earliest beginnings can actually be traced back to France. Car manufacturer Alexandre Darracq started a factory in Portello near Milan that assembled vehicles from parts and engines that were imported from Paris. This venture however was not as successful as Darracq envisioned and in 1909 he sold this factory to the Italian Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, this company would shortly become known as A.L.F.A.

In 1915 the A.L.F.A. company came under the guidance of a very skilled engineer and entrepreneur called Nicola Romeo who quickly converted the factory to produce various military hardware for the Italian war effort, vehicles, munitions, aircraft engines and heavy locomotives were all produced throughout the period of the first world war. At the end of the war Nicola Romeo took full control of the A.L.F.A. company and in 1919 again began the production of motor cars. The following year the name of the company was changed to Alfa Romeo.

Over the following years Alfa Romeo had various successes both on and off the racetrack, many attributed to a young Alfa Romeo racing driver called Enzo Ferarri, however the young Ferarri soon proved to be an even better team manager than he was a race driver, this resulted in the race team being privatised and renamed Scuderia Ferrari, Ferarri then went on to build his own cars.

1928 saw the Alfa Romeo car company going broke as lucrative defence contracts came to an end and finally Nicola Romeo left and the company was rescued by the Italian government. Over the following years Alfa Romeo became a showpiece of Mussolini's Italy, producing custom built extremely expensive cars for the rich and famous.

With the outbreak of World War II, the Alfa factory was converted to produce aero engines and after being bombed struggled to return to profit at the end of the war, so the luxury cars became a thing of the past and Alfa Romeo returned to the manufacture of smaller mass produced cars.

After the war had finished and life began to return to normal, motorsports again started to flourish and in 1950 Alfa Romeo won the first Formula One World Championship, this was followed by a second victory the next year, masterminded by the one and only Juan Manuel Fangio.

Successful production continued from Alfa throughout the fifties and sixties, but by the seventies Alfa Romeo was once again beginning to struggle financially, until in 1986 the Fiat Group bought into Alfa Romeo. Production of larger saloons was cut back with Alfa Romeo concentrating its efforts on smaller sportier cars. With more successes in this marketplace Alfa has rebuilt its image and has gradually returned to the executive sport market with models such as the 147, 159, GT and Brera models that we see today.

 

 
 

New Alfa Romeo 147 Prices  
New Alfa Romeo 147
The Alfa Romeo 147, European car of the year in 2001 has recently undergone a facelift to bring it up to date with the rest of the Alfa range.
  New Alfa Romeo 159 Prices  
New Alfa Romeo 159
With their tag line “mediocrity is a sin”, Alfa Romeo launched the stunning new 159. Designed in collaboration with Maserati by Giorgetto Giugiaro.
             
New Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon Prices  
New Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon
No Estate car has the right to be this good looking, but then again Alfa Romeo seem to have a habit of building beautiful looking cars.
  New Alfa Romeo Brera Prices  
New Alfa Romeo Brera
The Alfa Romeo Brera has gone from a concept car in 2002, to release in 2006 and what a looker this car is. Pure Alfa styling at its best.
             
New Alfa Romeo GT Prices  
New Alfa Romeo GT
The Alfa Romeo GT is based on the platform of the 156 but this Coupe really does show the best in Alfa Romeo styling.
  New Alfa Romeo Spider Prices  
New Alfa Romeo Spider
Sharing much of its underpinnings with the Brera (not the suspension), the new Spider is the latest convertible in a line that goes back almost 80 years.
 

 

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