|“The family car that wins races”|
In 1910, a group of Milanese businessmen took over a factory in Portello, an industrial suburb of Milan, to produce Darracq four cylinder taxis. This group was called Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, or ALFA. The company entered production at a time when the sporting world was re-focusing its attention on regular production vehicles such as sporting passenger cars with small, high-efficiency engines. In 1916 the mining industrialist Nicola Romeo joined ALFA and the Alfa Romeo marque was born. Alfa Romeo won almost every major motor competition in Europe. From hill climbs to Grand Prix, Le Mans and Mille Miglia, Alfa Romeo's cars set standards by which others were judged. The early Alfas were considered to be among the world's ultimate road cars, even surpassing Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Bugatti. Alfa Romeo worked frequently with the major coachbuilders like Zagato, Touring, and Pininfarina to produce luxury vehicles for wealthy people. The new 1900 was the company's first entirely new post-war design, and it was advanced in chassis concept as it represented Alfa's first production car without a separate chassis and its 1,900cc, four cylinder, twin camshaft engine remained largely unchanged until very recently. The 1900 was offered in a range of body styles by different coachbuilders, among them the crème de la crème of Italian designers such as Zagato, Touring and Ghia, whereas the no less attractive standard in-house saloon was designed by Orazio Satta.
In the immediate after-war period, while the reconstruction work was going on
everywhere, the interest from foreign and home markets for a medium-capacity high-performance car advised Alfa Romeo to develop a modern compact car with an eye to easy maintainance and operational features.
Particularly, a reduced cost was sought for in order to meet the requirements of a wider range of customers. The car offered a considerable reduction in weight, specially thanks to its unibody feature. Savings on production times and costs were made possible because of the large use of parts and accessories made by specialized companies. The 1884 cc 4-cylinder engine which had been widely accepted even by the most exacting customers, had the standard characteristics of Alfa Romeo engines as well as their high performance enabling it to top 115 Hp at 5000 rpm in the T.I. (International Touring) version.
The body shape was studied for a long time and subjected to severe tunnel tests. It represented the tendency of the italian taste in that period, for its simple and compact profile.
The Super version equipped with a 1975 cc engine was launched in 1954. In view of this brillant characteristics, this model took part in several class races, always with good results.
For this very reason, it deserved to slogan: "The family car that wins races".