Alfa Romeo Cars: The Story
Alfa Romeo is one of the world’s best and most expensive cars. This Italian brand is known for performance and quality. Founded in 1910, it has developed a reputation for fast cars with unique stylings priced for the well to do. The name ALFA stands for Anonima Lombardi Fabbrica Automobili (Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company). The Romeo was taken from Nicola Romeo, the Neopolitan businessman who took over the company in 1915 and converted it to produce military hardware as part of the war effort. That hardware was destined for both the Italian and Allied armies. The company’s name was officially changed to Alfa Romeo in 1920 with the release of the Torpedo 20 30 HP. It was the first vehicle to have the now famous Alfa Romeo badge.
Ever since it’s founding Alfa Romeo has been involved in racing. It’s hand-built cars have always been in the forefront of engine innovations, aerodynamic body design and comfort. The Alfa Romeo is a driver’s car. It combines superior performance with amazing handling and unique style. The first racing model was made in 1913 and since then they have competed in Formula One, touring car racing, sportscar racing, rallies and Grand Prix motor racing. Enzo Ferrari, the famous race car driver, began his Farrari racing team while working with Alfa Romeo.
Alfa Romeo has produced cars like the RL Tanga Florio, the P2 Grand Prix car, the legendary Alfa Romeo 2900B, Type 35 racers, the 158 Alfetta, the Project 13-61, the GTA, the Tipo 33 and the Giulietta Spider, the car America fell in love with. All these vehicles had the classic Alfa Romeo ovehead twin cam four cylinder engine. It remained in production until 1995. The company also produced a front-wheel drive vehicle that was a foreshadowing of the modern front-wheel drive vehicles. Alfa Romeo has debuted many automobile technological advances. Besides the overhead twin cam, they experimented with electric injection systems (1940), variable valve timing (1980), all-wheel disc brakes, a plastic radiator header tank, 50-50 weight distribution, alloy wheels and a transaxle. It was also the first car to use a common rail diesel engine in a passenger car.
The high cost of Alfa Romeo and the low number of customers constantly put the company in financial crisis. That played a role in the take over of the company by Italian automaker Fiat in 1986. But even with those changes Alfa Romeo continues to be a leader is automotive innovation. The company has even leant it’s expertise to the building of aircraft engines and to a series of super maxi yachts that have won over 200 major races.
But incredibly stylish and powerful cars remains the heart and soul of Alfa Romeo. Their superb line of automobiles in recent years include the front wheel drive GT (2003), the mid-size saloon 159 (2005), the Brera (2005), the amazing roadster called the Spider (2006), the Supermini MiTo (2008), 8C Spider (2009) and the 5-door hatchback Guilietta (2010). Alfa Romeo also has several exquisite vehicles slated for release within a few years. There is the Guilia sedan and station wagon, the 4C and the C SUV all expected in 2012, with the new Spider expected soon afterwards.
All of these models have proven that Alfa Romeo is still the head of the class.