THE ALFA ROMEO VISCONTI, THE COLORS OF MILAN AND THE BAY OF SPORTS VICTORIES: THE HISTORY OF A BRAND REMAINED TRUE TO HIMSELF
The creation of the Alfa Romeo brand dates back to 1910 when Milan was founded Alpha.
Both known symbols that constitute it, the red cross of the standard municipal and Alfa Romeo Visconti , become emblems of the automaker Lombard. From the early nineties, the brand has always remained true to himself, suffering only minor mutations.
The first title dates back to the period from 1910 to 1915, the name ALFA , originated as an acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili , it appears from the beginning flanked by heraldic symbols of the House of Visconti, in a circular shape. The circle is divided into two parts in the left half shows a red cross on a white background; in the right one, the serpent-dragon of the Visconti, who devours an enemy.
A separate words Alfa and Milan, two nodes of Savoy, that the brand will continue until the fall of the monarchy in Italy.
The original title of the Alfa Romeo undergoes a first change in 1915, when the engineer Nicola Romeo took over the company and its name is added to the mark: so was born the name “Alfa Romeo”.
Meanwhile, the conquest first world title with the P2 adds a new element to the brand: the laurel wreath in silver metal , which runs the entire circumference.
austerity of the immediate post-war period – together with the destruction as a result of the bombing, the mold original- lead to a simplified brand and monochrome. With the proclamation of the Italian Republic, the two Savoy knots disappear from the championship round, replaced by wavy lines. In the 50s the brand regains its previous rich colors, while in 1972 the decision to eliminate the written Milan, following the opening of the factory Alfa Sud, near Naples.
THE LAST RESTYLING
The last restyling of the 80s: the brand increases in diameter and disappears laurel wreath. For all alfisti the world, Alfa Romeo has always been a marriage of passion and sportsmanship ; symbol of true values and authentic love, a love without end.
A distinctive feature of a car, the front makes the car recognizable and model at first sight.
‘s the case of Alfa Romeo, a brand traditionally sports, in which the front looks nice and aggressive at the same time, conveying the quality and the sophistication of a mechanical excellence.
In the 24 HP of 1910, the big vertical radiator brass is flanked by the two “lanterns” side operated on gas. After twenty years, the front instead has a more inclined position already, with a protective grille in front.
With the advent of new manufacturing processes the forms become more fluid and aerodynamic: we can see that – in the 8C 2900 B Lungo before and in the Villa d’Este then – the shape of a shield with the additional slots.
E ‘only Giulietta who was born the famous “ three-lobed “, with a central shield and side whiskers classics, accompanied by round headlights.
In the modern era, or “rational”, the entire width of the front is occupied by an intake ‘air , into which are inserted Scudetto and lighthouses. It is precisely the latter to vary more: round headlights are in the GTA, rectangular and trapezoidal nell’Alfasud in alpha 75.
If the 164 and the GTV / Spider Scudetto back to lean on the bonnet, the 156 captures this again its role as the “dominant” in the front, moving the license plate to the side.
past few years, Alfa Romeo cars often have revived the classic trefoil – for example, the 147 or the 8C Competizione – with the Brera to score a sort of new “family feeling”.
THE MODERN ‘
Even for the last born of the house of the Alfa Romeo front dieviene distinctive element .
Specifically, the front of the Alfa Mito is characterized by wide air intakes necessary to “breathing” the exuberant powertrain: a stylized classical and a shield grille positioned on the bonnet.
The front of the new Giulietta, however, developed from the classic shield, an essential element, which finds here a new position, suspended between the air vents.
The circles of Alfa Romeo cars, so precise and rich, are unmistakable harmony and elegance.
This distinctive feature is the result of research of shapes and materials over the years.
The rim of the first example of the House of Alfa, the 24 HP, with its 12 rays in solid wood, is the starting point of the path that has enabled Alfa Romeo to develop its existing circles.
‘s high weight of this rim is soon led to a need to develop something lighter here so the rays metal tangents, with central fixing nut of the two flaps. In some cases the rays are covered with luxurious hemispherical caps in aluminum , as in the charming Villa d’Este concours d’elegance winning namesake.
production series, which began after the Second World War, requires iron wheels, molded with holes and chrome covers .
And ‘the case of ’54 Giulietta and the Giulia sedan ’62. Without neglecting the 6C CM-ray tangents, with the front wheels “cantilever” to accommodate the bulk of the disc brake calipers.
From racing cars will have even more snappy comes the need for alloy wheels : as those applied to the TZ, the TZ2 and the 33 Stradale. Of note, in the latter model, the concave surface.
hoops were later adopted in the versions “rich” of production cars such as the 156 (alloy wheels star-shaped with round holes) and the 147 GTA.
For Alfa Mito were instead developed rims with wider channel, this choice has allowed a noticeable improvement in performance handling, due to the increased footprint of the tire.
hole design, with different interpretations, is then rirpeso by the new Giulietta with alloy wheels, versions Progressive , Distinctive and Quadrifoglio Verde .
Continued research, aimed both at the revival of ancient designs both solutions are still unexplored.
The handle is one of the details that has evolved in the history of Alfa Romeo.
In many cases, in the design phase, we tried to hide it, in others it has become part of the design.
THE EARLY MODELS
In the early models, it appears as an adapted version of the normal handle to the door of the house or as an adaptation of existing handles in other contexts: that of 24 HP resembles the handle of a wardrobe, while the 20-30 has a handle lever , which recalls those still visible in the homes of a certain level.
In the following years, by which time the car world is a well-established, we move to more properly handles “car” (that of the 2000 Sportiva is concealed), although characterized by a homemade flavor, at least until Second World War.
handles which we now call “classic” are those designed in the 50s and 60s: chrome, ergonomic and with push-button opening the find in the Giulietta Sprint and Giulia.
In the three decades 60s, 70s and 80s, sophisticated design brings to the design of handles recessed , flush with the body, they do not protrude from the vehicle. Three examples of all: the Giulia GT, Alfetta GTV and Alfa 164.
In the 90s the handle becomes the object of study and research: the front, and massive chrome, serves as a perfect blend of the two “pencil lines” of the side, while the rear is embedded in the door pillar, giving the car line from a sports coupe.
The same solution was also adopted on 147, and GT Mito, while for the new family of 159, the handle – chrome and triangular – it will be evident on the side, to give importance to a car “grown up”.
The distinctive features of the handles of the past are repeated also in the newer models: the new Giulietta has been designed elegantly concealed rear door handles.
The use of materials reflects the development of automobile technology . The search for strength, light weight and performance in the history of Alfa Romeo, has meant that every component was designed and developed using many different materials.
Fundamental in the first car of 1910 is the metal, used not only as a coating, but also for the structure of the automobile itself.
More or less present in all historical periods is the steel : a prime example of its use is the massive AR 51, also known as “Crazy.” While the titanium is used in the structural details of the machine frame from stroke, for example in the suspensions of F1 179 F 1982.
With time, the aluminum and its alloys are gradually increasingly used for both mechanical and structural components is in the bodywork. An example is the GTA in 1965.
The latest addition to the Alfa Romeo uses aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steels, reducing by 35% the weight of the components.
And ‘perhaps with “composites” – first used for the body, then the whole bodies of racing cars – you can see the results are really fascinating. And ‘the case of the 33 SC 12 (1977), which uses fiberglass or Group C (1986), a prototype in which dominates the kevlar; up to the 8C Competizione, in which the carbon elements make the car just beautiful, and the Alfa Mito, with aluminum and carbon fiber.
At one time, the plastics were a stopgap budget, are used instead of higher quality materials such as metal, wood and leather.
Today, however, this material has become a design tool ; technology has made it possible to obtain materials pleasing to the eye and to the touch. Matt and soft plastics, characterized by design, workmanship and finishes, alongside fearlessly to other materials, also for the interior of cars at the highest level.
Furthermore, the plastic for the exterior, once painted, are difficult to distinguish from the metal parts, while allowing a saving in terms of weight and costs.
In each car, and in particular those in Alfa Romeo, the bridge is one of the elements on which the changes are more marked. The dashboard follows, in fact, the development of the car, evolving with it over the years.
In 1910, just a few simple tools screwed on a wooden board to “make a bridge”. But already in the later models, the dashboard becomes more complex, the number of instruments increases, and the wood is replaced by a metal plate, first flat and then shaped.
Characteristic of the Second World War is the use of synthetic materials, such as bakelite and perspex for knobs and trims: we can notice them, for example, in the Villa d’Este and the Giulia TI.
begins to take shape as the classical scheme of the circular instruments , which still characterize the planks of Alfa Romeo cars, with tachometer and speedometer placed in front of the pilot. In the case of pure sports or racing cars – such as the TZ2 and the 33 Stradale – the speedometer is moved to the side, in front of the passenger.
then be added to these main secondary instrumentation (gas, oil and water), of smaller diameter at the center of the dashboard: examples are from the 1966 Duetto, the Alfa 156 and also from the 8C Competizione.
Recent developments lead to a bridge driver-oriented.
sensation for the driver is that of perfect control of the vehicle, a passenger compartment enveloping and safe, where everything is at your fingertips . In this sense of control was accompanied by the security and comfort for passengers.
Evolutions present in the planks of the last born at Alfa: a gritty dashboard with instrument panel immediately, equipped with advanced graphics in the service of the pilot in Alfa Romeo Mito; a plank horizontal development in the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta, with references to tight lines and read the historical Giulietta 50s.