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Alfa Romeo

From Academic Kids

Alfa Romeo logo

Alfa Romeo is an Italian automobile manufacturing company, founded as "Darracq Italiana" by Cavaliere Ugo Stella, an aristocrat from Milan in partnership with the French automobile firm of Alexandre Darracq. The partnership refurbished an idle Darracq factory in Portello, a Milan suburb, but at the onset of World War I the company converted to a munitions factory and the partnership was dissolved. Alfa Romeo has been a part of Fiat SpA since 1987. The company was originally known as ALFA, which is an acronym meaning Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. (First logo: [1] (http://www.asaf.co.il/alfa/images/19101915.gif))

When Nicola Romeo, a mathematics professor, bought ALFA in 1915, his surname was appended to the company name. Within a few years of Nicola Romeo taking control, the company began to participate in Grand Prix motor racing.

The company's first automobile was the 24 HP [2] (http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/AlfaTom2/galleria1/24hp.htm), which appeared in 1910, and the following year entered the Targa Florio, the special competition in Sicily.

Contents

Racing history

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Alfa_Romeo_badge.jpg
The badge on the front of an Alfa in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum
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Afetta_159.jpg
Alfa Romeo 159 detail
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Alfa_Romeo_6C_1930_Italy.jpg
Alfa Romeo 6C
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1938_Alfa_Romeo_8C_2900_Mille_Miglia_34.jpg
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia from the Ralph Lauren collection

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Alfa Romeo scored many prestigious victories in all the different categories: Formula 1, Prototypes, Touring and Fast Touring. Private drivers also run some rally competitions with fine results.

In the 1930s, Tazio Nuvolari won the Mille Miglia in a 6C 1750 [3] (http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/AlfaTom2/galleria1/24hp.htm), crossing the finishing line after having incredibly overtaken Achille Varzi without his lights (at nighttime).

The 8C 2300 won the Le Mans 24 Hours from 1931 to 1934. In 1935 Alfa Romeo won the German Grand Prix with Nuvolari.

In 1950 Nino Farina won the Formula One World Championship in a 158 with compressor, in 1951 Juan Manuel Fangio won while driving a Alfetta 159 (an evolution of the 158 with a two-stages compressor). Other titles won in 1975 and 1977, while the 33 dominated the Prototype category from 1967 to 1977.

In the 1960s Alfa Romeo was bought by the Italian government and became famous for its models specifically designed for Italian police ("Panthers" [4] (http://www.poliziadistato.it/pds/chisiamo/storia/pantere/scheda3.htm), [5] (http://www.poliziadistato.it/pds/chisiamo/storia/pantere/scheda2.htm), [6] (http://www.poliziadistato.it/pds/chisiamo/storia/pantere/scheda9.htm), [7] (http://www.poliziadistato.it/pds/chisiamo/storia/pantere/scheda5.htm), [8] (http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/AlfaTom/polizia/155pol2.jpg)) and Carabinieri ([9] (http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/AlfaTom/polizia/156carab1.jpg)); among them the glorious "Giulia Super" [10] (http://www.alfaclubdc.com/sprbrch1.gif) - [11] (http://www.alfaromeo-classic.com/giulia/super_schaer/Bilder/giulia_super.1.jpg). Or the 2600 Sprint GT [12] (http://www.motorbase.com/vehicle/by-id/63/), which obtained an expressive nickname of "Inseguimento" (this car is wrongly supposed to be the one that the famous Roman police marshall and unrivalled driver Armandino Spadafora brought down on the Spanish Steps in 1960 while following some robbers - it was instead a black Ferrari 250 GT/E - this pic of Giulia [13] (http://www.alfaclubdc.com/suprflm3.jpg), one of the dozens about this legend, is taken from a movie and not at Spanish Steps).

After the 1970s, a economic issues caused the government to sell Alfa Romeo to Fiat, which still owns it.

Before being bought by Fiat, Alfa Romeo always had a daring commercial policy, constantly experimenting with new solutions and using them in its series production, even at the risk of losing market share. On an English sales brochure:

The Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 SS - For the man who has everything, here is the car to keep him company. ... The price is GBP 2394.1.3 including tax. Expensive? Naturally! What else would you expect a hand-built Alfa to be? [14] (http://web.utanet.at/berwidge/images/SS/ss_brochure.gif)

It represented the make of those cars which could allow some sport driving on common roads, provided the driver was clever enough to let them express their particular "sound".

Owners of an A.R. call themselves "Alfista", in Italian. Alfa Romeo is sometimes worshipped by its owners, and many models have become cultural symbols [15] (http://www.alfaromeo-classic.com/occ/alfetta/Bilder/alfetta1.jpg). There are many thriving Alfa Romeo owners clubs and Alfa Romeo Model Registers.

In 1967 the famous Dustin Hoffman's film "The Graduate" gave worldwide unforgettable celebrity to the "Spider" (best known with the Italian nickname of "Duetto", or as "Osso di Seppia" or Round-tail), and its unique shape. See here [16] (http://home.wanadoo.nl/thomas-j.visser/galleria2/duetto.htm) - [17] (http://hem.passagen.se/veloce/wpe28.jpg). The Spider was designed by Pininfarina.

Production models

Until the 1980s, Alfa Romeos, except for the Alfasud, were rear-wheel-drive.

In 1995 Alfa Romeo ceased exporting cars to the US. While rumours occasionally surface of their intent to return to that market, no formal plans have ever been announced. The most credible is a rumour that, with Maserati's help, the Alfa Romeo 159 and Alfa Romeo Brera will be the make's pilot models should it reenter the North American market.

Cloverleaf are variants of Alfa Romeo cars, where the name denotes the high-end of the range in comfort and engine size, but previously denoted Alfa Romeo racing cars in the pre-second-world-war era. The image first appeared in 1923 when Ugo Sivocci presented one prior to the start of the 14th Targa Florio as a good luck token to the team. Some modern Alfas wear a cloverleaf badge which is typically a green four leaf clover on a white background, but variants of blue on white have been recently observed.

Some models

An exhibition celebrating 50 years of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in Milan, 2004
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An exhibition celebrating 50 years of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in Milan, 2004

1950–1960:

1960–1970:

1970–1980:

1980–1990:

1990–2000:

2000– and onwards:

Concept Cars:

Alfa Romeo 8C (2004)

Engines

External links

  • A love story for Duetto: [19] (http://hem.passagen.se/veloce/STORY.HTM)
  • Evolution of the logo: [20] (http://www.asaf.co.il/alfa/images/19101915.gif)
  • A typical A.R. dashboard: [21] (http://www.asaf.co.il/alfa/images/gtvdash.jpg) (1750 GTV - 1970s)
  • A complete list of links to discover Alfa Romeo's world: [22] (http://www.asaf.co.il/alfa/links.html)
  • The Alfa Romeo Webring: [23] (http://j.webring.com/webring?ring=alfaromeos)
  • The Montreal: [24] (http://www.alfaromeo-classic.com/montreal/orange/Bilder/montreal.jpg), [25] (http://www.alfaromeo-classic.com/montreal/technik/Bilder/montreal1.jpg), [26] (http://www.alfaromeo-classic.com/montreal/prototyp/Bilder/montreal3.jpg), [27] (http://www.alfaromeo-classic.com/montreal/technik/Bilder/montreal.jpg), [28] (http://www.alfaromeo-classic.com/montreal/technik/Seiten/montreal4.htm), [29] (http://www.alfaromeo-classic.com/montreal/gallery/Bilder/alfamontreal13.jpg)
  • The Alfa Wiki [30] (http://alfa.denovich.org)
  • Short history of the 158/9 GP Car [31] (http://members.ozemail.com.au/%7Erodeime/158/)
  • Category at ODP (http://dmoz.org/Recreation/Autos/Makes_and_Models/Alfa_Romeo/)
  • The Alfa Romeo Owners Forum [32] (http://www.alfaowner.com)
  • The Alfa Romeo Fan Site Alfa-Romeo.com (http://www.alfa-romeo.com)

See also:

cs:Alfa Romeo de:Alfa Romeo fr:Alfa Romeo it:Alfa Romeo nl:Alfa Romeo no:Alfa Romeo ja:アルファ・ロメオ pl:Alfa Romeo sv:Alfa Romeo

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