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essential Beauty

essential Beauty
By Benedetto Camerana -

Alfa Romeo is a true symbol of Italy, translating the best the country has to offer into design and metal. Astonishing style, sports handling, power at the ready, and active technology, the marque is a cocktail of elements that, with its unique flavor and spirit, stands out from the crowd and pushes the boundaries. Alfa Romeo makes cars that have even given life to a new category of driver: the Alfista, a car enthusiast with a touch of the philosopher. It has been a long and epic journey since the company was established in Milan in 1910 as Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (Anonymous Lombard Automobile Factory, public company) or A.L.F.A. Milestones along the road include Neapolitan engineer Nicola Romeo’s purchase of a majority holding in the company in 1918, the arrival of Enzo Ferrari and his work to lure Vittorio Jano from FIAT (where owner Giovanni Agnelli had, by that stage, lost interest in racing after winning everything), and state ownership under Mussolini’s government (Il Duce was one of the marque’s biggest fans). Then there were the extraordinary coachbuilders (beginning with Castagna and Touring in Milan), big wins at legendary races, the Targhe Florio endurance races, the four-leaf clover logo, the Mille Miglia races, race driver Tazio Nuvolari, and Alfa’s legendary duels with Mercedes. After World War Two, the company came of age with the complete domination of the Alfetta 158 and 159, driven by Antonio Ascari and Juan Manuel Fangio, at the first two Formula One World Championships (1950 and 1951). Later, though, despite producing some true automotive gems (such as the 33 Stradale and the Zagato SZ / TZ with its cut-off tail design) that consolidated the marque’s fame worldwide, including in the United States, standardized production was introduced, with the opening of the Arese plant, Alfasud, and the FIAT takeover. 1987 saw the multiple birth of the Alfa Romeo 164, Lancia Thema, and FIAT Croma, which shared the...

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