Alfa Romeo is a name that is equal to luxury, style, and class. Since the company was founded in 1906 by Frenchman Alexandre Darracq, they have become one of the best luxury car manufacturers in the world. They are known for manufacturing sporty vehicles, and they are also involved in car racing. Today, Alfa Romeo continues to produce luxury cars that never fails to deliver comfort, quality, and performance. That’s why in this article, we are going to find out the important events that helped shape Alfa Romeo and how they achieved the status they have today.
Important Events in Alfa Romeo’s History
Alfa Romeo was founded by Alexandre Darracq, and its first name was SocietaAnominaItalianaDarracq. The company initially manufactured and sold special Darracq car models in Italy. However, Darracq started to perform poorly in the market, that is why Alexandre’s business partners decided to hire GuiseppeMerosi to help them design their new cars. And in June 1910, they officially founded a new company named AnominaLombardaFabbricaAutomobili or A.L.F.A and initially, they are still in partnership with Darracq. The first car that they produced was the 24 HP, which was released in 1910. After that, the company decided to venture into motor racing. In 1924, they released the GP1914, which was specially designed and built for the Grand Prix. It has a four-cylinder engine along with double overhead camshafts and twin ignition. However, the first World War happened, and it halted A.L.F.A’s production of cars for over three years.
In 1915, the company was bought by a Neapolitan entrepreneur named Nicola Romeo, and he decided to turn the company’s interest in producing military hardware for Allied and Italian war efforts. In 1920, the company was eventually renamed to Alfa Romeo, and the first car model that they released under their new brand was the Torpedo 20-30.
Alfa Romeo entered a golden age when they started producing high-class racing cars and consumer road cars. But in 1928, Nicola Romeo decided to leave the company, and it left Alfa Romeo struggling throughout the 30s just to be able to retain its position. In 1933, Alfa Romeo was rescued by the government, which then had effective control of the company. This is why Alfa Romeo became a national emblem.
It was during this period when Alfa Romeo released several unique and exceptionally stunning cars such as the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider Corsa and the Alfa Romeo 2900B Type 35. In 1940, Italy decided to enter World War II, and it left Alfa Romeo to suffer through organizational difficulties. That’s why to protect its assets, Alfa Romeo decided to hide their cars at a farm in Melzo, Italy.
In 1944, and aerial bombardment put an end at Alfa Romeo’s production plant at Portello. That’s why they were once again forced to cease their production. But once the war was over, Alfa Romeo started their recovery process by producing aircraft engines, electric cookers, and marine engines. When they started making profits, they resumed their automotive production.
In 1947, Alfa Romeo released their first post-war car, which they called The Magnificent Frecciad’oro. After a few years, the company decided to return to motorsports racing, and they were able to win their first Formula 1 World Championship with their new Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 Alfetta.
Alfa Romeo cars started the 60s with a bang by beginning a large-scale production to meet consumer demands and increase their yearly outputs. The first Alfa Romeo car that was produced on a large-scale was the Guilia, and it was able to sell more than 1 million units in different configurations and versions. Plus, they have several successful models throughout the decade, which are the Alfa 2600, 1600 Spider Duetto, Guilia Sprint GT, and the Alfa 1750.
When the ‘70s came, Alfa Romeo was rocking in sales. This was also the time when they released their famous 8-cylinder engine on their all-new Alfa Montreal. At the end of the ‘70s, the company was able to win several races, world records, and to top it all off, they also introduced one of their famous car model, the Alfa 6.
To boost their sales, Alfa Romeo started to add something new in the market, and they released a V6 version of the Alfetta. In 1985, the company also released several car models such as the Alfa 33, Alfa Arna, and Alfa 75, which all became successful in the market. By the end of the ‘80s, Alfa Romeo decided to merge with the Fiat Group, and they released the famous Alfa 164.
When the ‘90s came, Alfa Romeo became successful in several races, and they had a yearly production output of 208,336. However, during the start of the 2000s, sales did not go exactly as they wanted to because it fell from 213,638 in 2001 and 101,000 in 2012.
Today, Alfa Romeo is planning a comeback in the US car market by introducing several new models of their cars, such as the Mito, 4C, and the Guilletta.