Founded as ALFA (Anonimo Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) in Milan the company began its life producing vehicles and aircraft engines. The engineer Niccolò Romeo was employed from 1914, although his surname was not added to the company's name until after the Second World War. However, Alfa's involvement with automobile racing from the outset did much to establish its reputation and capture public interest. In the 1930s it employed the Italian car body stylists Touring for the BC 2900 B Superleggera (1937) and the BC 2500 SS Duxia (1939) and Pininfarina for the 6C 2300 Pescara Coupé (1939). In the 1950s the company moved into mass production, again employing Pininfarina for a number of designs, including the Giulietta Spider (1956) and iconic Spider 1600 Duetto (1966). Bertone also contributed some notable designs including the Giulietta Sprint (1954) and Montreal Coupé (1967). Another celebrated designer, Giorgio Giugaro, styled the front‐wheel drive, four‐seater Alfasud (1972), for the production of which a new manufacturing plant had been established a few years earlier. However, in the 1970s and 1980s the company experienced a number of economic difficulties culminating in its takeover by Fiat in 1987. The firm's reputation for style and performance has been continued with the Alfa Romeo 156 (1998).
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.