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Alfa Romeo History

Alfa Romeo began in 1910, originally as Anonima Lombarda Fabric Automobili (Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company), or A.L.F.A. The first car, made the same year was the 24 HP.  It had a 4 cylinder, 4 litre engine and reached top speeds of 62 mph. Three hundred 24 HP cars were produced, followed by the 15 HP Corsa in 1911, used for racing. Over the next few years, improvements to these models were made, resulting in the 15 – 20 HP models. By 1913, Alfa were producing the 40-60 HP, with 6 litre cylinder capacity capable of reaching 86 mph. Considered an ‘authentic sports car’, it was a racing sensation and placed first in a number of races, leading to production of the Alfa Grand Prix in 1914.

In 1915, Alfa Romeo was born, following ALFA’s acquisition by Nicola Romeo. During this period, car construction was put on hold, with the focus shifting munitions and war supplies until the end of the war in 1918 when automotive production resumed. 1920 saw the arrival of the Torpedo 20-20 HP, the first car branded Alfa Romeo, closely followed by the Targa Florio in the same year. Over the next twenty years, Alfa Romeo produced a series of successful cars including the RL, RM, World Championship winner P2, 6C, 8C, P3, Bimotore and Alfetta.

Alfa Romeo car

Alfa Romeo car

When Italy entered the Second World War in 1941, Alfa Romeo was beset by many difficulties, and production plants suffered three ariel attacks over the course of the war, resulting in an end to production, which was resumed in 1945 when the war ended. The Freccia d’oro was the first car of the post war years in 1947, followed by the 6C 3000 in 1948. These cars showed a vast change from the original models in 1910, with an impressive 168 HP at 6000rpm and top speeds of 140mph! Over the next decade, Alfa Romeo continued to produce a range of highly popular and successful automobiles.

1954 saw the arrival of the first Alfa with a proper, and female, name, the Giulietta. It was hugely popular and heralded the success of Alfa Romeo with more female customers. Large scale production began in 1963 with the Giulia which sold more than 1 million of its various versions, Giulia Sprint GT, 1600 Spider Duetto, TZ, TZ2 and the GTA.  So popular was the Giulietta, that a ‘new’model of the old favourite was released in 1977, where it became the star of the screen in the 1983 Goldie Hawn film ‘Viaggio con Anita’. Another of Alfa Romeo’s highly popular and long-lasting models was the Alfa 33, produced in 1983.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo

To celebrate 75 years of Alfa Romeo, the company released the Alfa 75 in 1985, and continued producing versions of this model until 1992.

In 1986 Alfa Romeo merged with the Fiat Group and the Alfa 164 was the first car produced in 1987 after the merger. It was a very successful in the USA and  six new models entered production in 1992. Since then, Alfa Romeo has continued to manufacture a wide range of models, from the Alfa 155, 145, 146, GTV Spider, 156 and 166 of the 90s, to the rebirth of the ever popular Giulietta in 2010 and the more modern Alfa 4C of today.

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