One of the most alluring brands in the automotive market has been Alfa Romeo for many years. This brand brings to mind the power, beauty, grace, and prestige that you want in a vehicle that’s been built right while giving you the ride you’ll love whenever you get behind the wheel. As a car that has the feeling you want when you drive, if you choose an Alfa Romeo model, you might want to know a few things about the brand and where it came from; here are some fact that come to mind:
The brand started in 1906 in a suburb of Milan with a French automaker named Darracq. Unfortunately, the economy soured and the managing director, who was an Italian aristocrat, acquired the company and renamed it in 1910 to the name that we know now.
The First Alfa had 24 Horsepower
The first car from the Alfa name was called the 24HP but it actually delivered 25 horsepower and made it possible to drive up to 62 mph. This speed could be reached on the wooden-spoke wheels on the rough roads of the time, giving drivers a harrowing experience.
Alfa is an Acronym
The Alfa name came first with Romeo joining later. Alfa was an acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili which means the Lombard Automobile Factory Company. It’s certainly much easier to just say Alfa than to try and put the Italian together when talking about this brand.
Romeo Saves the Day
In 1915, Nicola Romeo added his name to the mix by acquiring the firm and building aircraft and engine parts for the wartime effort in Europe. At this time, he added his name to the title of the company changing it from jus Alfa to the Alfa Romeo name we know now.
Honoring the Hometown
The logo of Alfa Romeo is a coat of arms to give us an excellent logo. The left side is a red cross on a white field which comes from the Milanese coat of arms and the right shows a snake eating a man which is borrowed from the Visconti family crest, the family that once ruled the city.
For several years, the lore of the Alfa Romeo name was built on the racing success the brand found at the track. Traditionally, Alfa Romeo has made cars lighter and with better handling and durability than other models on the track. The brand won several races with one of the most famous early wins being in the Targa Florio in 1923.
The Quadrifoglio Heritage
An early racer adorned his car with the four-leaf clover in a square after a series of losses and he finally won the race. Unfortunately, he was killed soon after in a car that didn’t have the clover on it. Since that time, every racing car has had a white triangle, to signify the loss of this racer, with the clover inside.
For nearly a decade, Enzo Ferrari ran the Alfa Romeo racing team and his logo appeared on these cars. His involvement in Alfa Romeo made a huge difference in the racing lore and helped to continue to offer more success to the brand.
A Push for Production
After the Second World War, Alfa Romeo began to introduce more models and create a stronger production line with models that included the 1900 and the Giulietta. These cars were built the right way from the start and gave us more of what we want when looking for an elegant and sophisticated drive.
A Government Brand
In 1933, the Alfa Romeo Company was acquired by the Italian government and was under the national control until 1986 when it was purchased by Fiat. That means there were several decades of development and design by the team while it was an entity of the government.
Twenty Years Away
Starting in 1995, Alfa Romeo stopped exporting cars to the US with the exception of the 2007 model year when the 8C Competizione was brought to our shores but only in 100 models. Thankfully, this brand came back to the US in 2015 with the 4C and continues to grow.
More Powerful now than Ever
The Quadrifoglio models of the Giulia and Stelvio are the most powerful Alfa Romeo models ever built. These vehicles make use of a strong V6 engine that produces 505 horsepower for the drive. This power ranking includes the Formula 1 race cars. Find your next car today at your local Alfa Romeo dealer!
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