1922 Alfa Romeo RL

After manufacturing for the war effort, Alfa Romeo’s new owner Nicola Romeo, had designer Giuseppe Merosi design their next touring car. Called the RL, it was a race model designed to promote their four cylinder road cars.

The RL came with a pushrod OHV 6-cylinder engine that sat in a ladder frame chassis with semi-elliptic springs all around.

Produced in Normal and Sport versions, the Portello manufacturer also used the RL in competition, entering it in national competitions on road circuits, hillclimbs and endurance races. The sport version, called the RLS, featured a shorter chassis and a twin carb engine that produced 71 bhp. This was good enough to win the 1923 edition of the Targa Florio. An ever shorter, more powerful, RLSS was made in 1924 before the car was replaced by the straight-eight grand prix cars.

The RL chalked up success after success and guaranteed the commercial success of Alfa Romeo’s first products. 2640 examples were built in various versions and very few surive today.

Specification listed is that of the 1925 RL Super Sport (RLSS)

Story by Alfa Romeo & Supercars.net

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
engineInline-6
valvetrainPushrod OHV
fuel feedTwin Carburetor
displacement2916 cc / 177.9 in³
bore76 mm / 2.99 in
stroke110 mm / 4.33 in
power61.9 kw / 83 bhp @ 3600 rpm
specific output28.46 bhp per litre
driven wheelsPress Steel Chassis
wheel typeRudge Witworth
front brakesDrums
f brake sizemm / in
rear brakesDrums
r brake sizemm / in
f suspensionSemi-Elliptic Springs
r suspensionSemi-Elliptic Springs
wheelbase3120 mm / 122.8 in
front track1460 mm / 57.5 in
rear track1460 mm / 57.5 in
gear ratios:1