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History of Alfa Romeo

One of the most famous manufacturers in the world, Alfa Romeo has had to compete with other Italian makers such as Ferrari, Fiat and Lamborghini. While not as high end as the prancing horse and not as practical as the Fiat, Alfa Romeo have established themselves based on beautiful looking cars that bear the Alfa badge with pride.


The company was founded when the French car company Darracq was struggling to sell its cars. Created by Frenchman Alexandre Darracq, the Italian investors saw that the vehicles needed a change in style and hired Italian designer Giuseppe Merosi. The first car was the 24 HP, a stylish four-cylinder vehicle that quickly made an impression on the burgeoning motorsport scene.

The First World War saw the factories turn to munitions production. Post-WWI saw more difficulty as the bank that backed the company went bust. Government intervention helped save the company.


The state ownership took a dark turn with the rise of Mussolini and the fascist powers. The company struggled after World War Two and forced a change in direction. Where before they had focused on producing luxury vehicles, they changed focus onto well designed, beautiful yet practical small vehicles.


One of the early innovations was the development of the Alfa Romeo Twin Cam engine – a design that would be used up until the mid-1990s. Moving into the 60s and 70s, Alfa Romeo again started producing sporty cars. A big contract was the production of cars for the Italian police, a successful partnership that continues to thisday.

But, the government ownership failed to make a profit and soon the company was sold to the behemoth of Italian manufacturing – Fiat.

Present day

While the company continues to make quality vehicles known for their design and performance, sales have struggled since the turn of the century. With revised targets, the company hopes to see an upturn in sales. But with economic uncertainty, the question is just how long it will last?

published: 16/05/2017 09:38:11

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