Looking Back – The Early Days Of Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo history

Alfa Romeo is an iconic brand. It’s a well-known and well-respected company in the car industry. With lots of iconic cars and unforgettable models, who wouldn’t get interested in what this company has to offer.

However, we are here today for a different reason.

Our focus for today is about their history. Every great company started somewhere and today, we’ll get to know what it was like in the early years of the Alfa Romeo.

A Legend Was Born

In 1906, The Societa Italiana Automobili Darracq was founded. It is an Italian plant of a French car maker and it has seen it’s fair share of challenges. Due to the economic challenges in 1909, the Italian aristocrat Cavalier Ugo Stella acquired the company shares. The plant was renamed as Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (A.L.F.A. or Alfa) and relaunched on the 24th of June 1910. 

In the same year, the very first car designed by Giuseppe Merosi for the company was released. The 24 HP was a vehicle that could reach top speeds of up to 62 mph. It had a single block 4.1 engine with a single drive shaft. 

Later on in 1914 developed the Alfa Grand Prix. It was the first ever car that has a twin spark ignition. With a 4-cylinder engine that has a 4.5 liter capacity, this vehicle reached top speeds of up to 87 mph. 

Effect Of The War

World War 1 greatly affected many companies and industries. The Alfa was one of them. At this time, they didn’t have enough funds to convert their car manufacturing company. It was Nicola Romeo who purchased Alfa and other companies to produce portable compressors and airplane engines. Now, the name was changed to Alfa-Romeo Milano.

Due to the war, the production of cars was stopped and Merosi was transferred to Naples, Italy. However, the company still flourished. The name “Alfa Romeo” was made public in 1918 as a decision made by the investors. Officially, they were registered under that name on February 3, 1918.

Back To Car Production

After the war, Alfa Romeo continued with the production of their cars. They first focused on assembling parts for those that were still in stock and then moved on to design new models.

Car racing was quite popular at that time and Alfa Romeo joined many Italian races such as the Parma-Berceto, Mugello circuit, and the Brescia circuit. In 1923, there was a racer named Ugo Sivocci who would always be in second place with his Alfa Romeo RL. As a good luck charm, he drew a four-leaf clover inside a white square. He finally won in Targa Florio. 

In an unfortunate accident, Ugo Sivocci died when his car, that didn’t have the four-leaf clover crashed. This had a great impact with the Alfa Romeo and so the succeeding race cars always had the four-leaf clover painted on them. This was also done in memory of Sivocci.

This tradition that started way back then is still done today.

The quadrifoglio logo is now placed on every high performance model that they release. 

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