The legend started in 1910, when Cavalier Ugo Stella acquired the shares of Società Italiana Automobili Darraq, the Italian plant of a French car maker. The first plant was at number 95 Strada del Portello in the north-west outskirts of Milan and the company was called “Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili” (Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company), hence the acronym A.L.F.A.
Alfa Romeo was able to amass a racing resume that became the envy of the motorsports world, including:
– 5 World Championships
– 17 European Championships
– 11 Mille Miglias
– 10 Targa Florios
– 4 Le Mans
– Plus many more…
Alfa Romeo has introduced many technological innovations over the years, and the company has often been among the first users of new technologies. Its trademark double overhead cam engine was used for the first time in the 1914 Grand Prix car, the first road car with such an engine, the 6C 1500 Sport, appeared in 1928.
Alfa Romeo tested one of the very first electric injection systems (Caproni-Fuscaldo) in the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 with “Ala spessa” body in 1940 Mille Miglia. The engine had six electrically operated injectors, fed by a semi-high pressure circulating fuel pump system.
Mechanical Variable Valve Timing was introduced in the Alfa Romeo Spider, sold in the U.S. in 1980. Electronic Variable Valve Timing was introduced in the (Alfetta).
Newer innovations include complete CAD design process used in Alfa Romeo 164, robotised/paddle control transmission Selespeed used in the 156; the 156 was also the world’s first passenger car to use Common rail diesel engine. The Multiair -an electro-hydraulic variable valve actuation technology used in MiTo was introduced in 2009.
Alfa Romeo Cars
Alfa Romeo Icons
Over the course of history, the guys at Alfa Romeo have built some amazing cars. Over 70 models and hundreds or variants have graced the showrooms, tracks, back-roads in the last 100+ years. Below is a list of all Alfa Romeo cars that we consider the icons, the best ever made.
There are some classics and even some more recent Alfa’s that are getting attention in the press as we pulled this together. For a full list, please check out our in depth Alfa Romeos Legends – The Definitive List of the Best Alfa Romeos Ever.