History of Alfa Romeo
Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo Automobiles was founded as A.L.F.A. on June 24 1910. However, beforehand the company started life as SocietÓ Anonima Italiana Darracq (SAID) in 1906 by French automobile manufacturer Alexandre Darracq with the support of some Italian investors. Cavaliere Ugo Stella was named chairman of SAID in 1909 and he subsequently decided that Milan was a more suitable location for the company. The first car produced under the Alfa Romeo name was the 24 HP which featured a straight 4-side valve engine, 4 manual gears and a top speed of over 100 kilometres an hour. The vehicle was a commercial success for Alfa Romeo and earned them an instant reputation for building quality vehicles.
During the 1950s Alfa Romeo enjoyed success on the competitive racing circuit. Models such as the 158 Alfetta were ideal for the new style of Formula One racing. The company then went on to win its first Formula One championship in 1950 with Italian driver Guiseppe Farina. Throughout 1952 Alfa Romeo researched the development of front-wheel drive vehicles. The company continued to experiment with this up until the 1960s. Sadly post war finances stalled the production of their first front wheel drive vehicle, the Tipo 103, which if produced would've preceded the Mini as the first modern front-wheel drive compact car.
In 1986 the Italian government company Finmeccanica left Alfa Romeo whilst the Fiat Group bought into it. This formed a new group known as Alfa Lancia Industriale S.p.A. In the 1990s Alfa Romeo produced several popular vehicles such as a GTA version of the 147 hatchback and the critically acclaimed Brera. Recently the company unveiled the Alfa Romeo 4C concept at the 81st Geneva International Motor Show in 2011. The vehicle weighs only 850 kilograms with most of the weight being distributed to the rear axle. This is combined with a 1.75 litre direct injected turbocharged engine. The car is expected to be in commercial production by 2012.