Snows are thrilled to have recently acquired Alfa Romeo as one of our many franchised dealers, introducing a new team, new models and a new attitude!
We now take a trip back in time and look at the history of this reputable brand and their beloved cars that will live on forever...
Since the very beginning, Alfa Romeo made it known that incredible performance was at the heart of their name, with the serious ability of the first Alfa Romeo model ever created. Passion is what drives a car, and Alfa Romeo have applied their passion to every design since 1910.
An interesting and little-known fact is that Alfa Romeo first started under the Darracq name in 1906, with cars marketed under the A.L.F.A. brand from 1910. Those initials stood for 'Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili', or 'Anonymous Lombard Automobile Factory'. It wasn't until 1920, five years after the company came under the direction of entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, that the Alfa Romeo name was born and first appeared on a car – the Torpedo 20-30 HP open tourer.
Alfa Romeo’s creations have always expressed a design that is pure, essential, free of redundant details. Each vehicle designed during the course of a century of history can be recognised at the very first glance thanks to a few distinctive traits. The “trilobe” is probably the most iconic front in the automotive industry. The side of each Alfa Romeo is a clear line, enriched with sculpted proportions that mark its aerodynamic grace. The rear is always muscled, to show immediately where the power is unleashed.
In 1938, the elegant 8C 2900 model was released by Alfa Romeo, featuring a quirky front 'face' design and a sleek long body. This proud creation simply exemplified the glory of pre-war Alfa Romeo. Most famous in its Grand Prix car form, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 was one of the last cars run by the Scuderia Ferrari racing team. The love of the race has lived in Alfa Romeo engineering over the years, resulting in fabulous success. In sports racing form, the 8C 2900 saw greatness on the road, including the infamous Mille Miglia.
Introduced after the war at the 1950 Paris Motor Show, the 1900 was the car that effectively rebuilt Alfa Romeo as a major force in European car production. It was initially first available as a saloon model and then later made in coupe and convertible forms. This was the first car built by the brand that offered left-hand drive as well as being without a separate chassis. In 1954 it would receive the next-generation Alfa Romeo twin cam engine that powered cars from the marque all the way up to 1994.
Produced from 1966 to 1994, the Alfa Romeo Spider 1600 is arguably the most famous and memorable roadster of all. The Spider was first launched at the 36th Geneva Motor Show. Styled by Pininfarina, and made famous by the film The Graduate, its appearance has changed markedly through four separate major updates. The first, in 1970 when the curvaceous rear end was replaced with a square 'Kamm' tail. The 1,570cc twin cam engine produced a splendid 108hp, a performance and character that made many people fall in love with the driving experience.
In 1970 we saw the rakish Alfa Romeo Montreal hit the roads with a design that moved on from any car the Italian firm had made before. The styling was inspired from a Gandini-styled 1.6-litre 33 Stralade car, that was displayed at an international exhibition held in Montreal (Expo '67). The Alfa Romeo Montreal was a well received vehicle with its exotic body and even bolder engine, including retractable louvred covers that partially concealed the four headlamps and distinctive cutaway slats in the side pillars.
The Alfa Romeo Alfasud worked well in giving the Italian company a presence in the mass market, due to its small family car appeal. Introduced in 1971, the Alfasud's name was inspired by the all-new factory in Naples of which it was built in. The Alfasud soon became renown for its sheer driving capability, showing it off as much more than just a simple family companion. It used a charismatic flat-four petrol engine, front-wheel drive, four-wheel disc brakes and a low centre of gravity, making it an exciting car to drive with impressive grip and nippy performance.
Finally, in 1996 we have the more familiar Alfa Romeo style that is now recogniseable in the current models being released. The Alfa Romeo 156 is arguably the first of the company's recent saloon cars produced, featuring the voluptuous looks that Alfa was famous for back in the day. As well as being one of the first saloons to conceal its rear door handles in coupe-style. Despite the use of a front-wheel-drive configuration, drivers and owners quickly came to love the 156 for its sharp and fluent handling.