Alfa Romeo was founded on June 24, 1910, and in a few months, the company will celebrate 110 years of existence. This is a massive achievement and one that Alfa will be celebrating in a unique way: with a series of videos documenting the journey from then to now.
While Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (Alfa) was registered in 1910, the story began a few years earlier when its founder, Pierre Alexandre Darracq, began falling in love with cars. Darracq ran a bicycle shop but soon started producing cars in France.
But those early years weren't easy. After France, Darracq moved his full operation to Italy, but sales weren't going so well.
Alfa Romeo recalls: "To make things worse, compared to France, prospective customers in Italy had different expectations: Darracq's cars were light and inexpensive, lacking power for Italian tastes and in late 1909, Darracq put his company into liquidation."
Let's do this
Around the same time, Cavalier Ugo Stella, who worked with Darracq, sought funding from Milan's Agricultural Bank and hired more than 200 people as soon as the funds were approved. The risk paid off.
The services of Giuseppe Merosi, a quantity surveyor in Piacenza, was roped in, and Stella asked him to design and create two completely new cars with 12 and 24 HP, respectively. The 24 HP used a four-cylinder 4.0-litre engine with only 42 horsepower (31kW), and had a top speed of 100km/h!
The achievements that soon followed:
• 1911: 24 HP Corsa (less weight, more power)
• 1913: First motorsport victory in the Parma-Poggo di Berceto race
• 1913: 40/60 HP sees the light. 139km/h top speed
• 1921: New RL at London Motor Show - 3.0-litre (42kW) engine, 110km/h top speed
• 1923: Two Corsa versions of RL, weighing only 980kg
• 1925: First victory at First Grand Prix World Championship
1910 Alfa Romeo 24 HP. Image: QuickPic
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond