|The Alfa Romeo brand started life as A.L.F.A (Anonima
Lombarda Fabbrica Automobile) in 1910 when Ugo Stella bought Darracq, a
French car manufacturer having little luck on the Italian market.
A.L.F.A. built its first racing car in 1911 and entered it in the Targa
Florio, where its technology caused quite a stir. With the outbreak of
World War I, A.L.F.A. put car manufacture on hold and joined a group of
companies led by Nicola Romeo who were in the business of producing
||The Alfa Romeo emblem was created in 1918 and car
racing resumed in 1920 with legendary Giuseppe Campari at the wheel.
Alfa Romeo went on to win countless trophies in races including the
Targa Florio road race in Sicily, the Mille Miglia (thousand miles) in
northern Italy, the 24-hour Le Mans in France and of course Formula I.
Alfa Romeo became part of FIAT in 1986.
The Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, near Milan, Italy, opened in 1976.
The museum, spread over almost 5000 m2 on six floors, covered nearly a
century of Alfa Romeo and its products: cars, commercial and farm
vehicles, locomotives, buses, trams, marine and aircraft engines. The
main attraction was undoubtedly the valuable collection of over 250 Alfa
Romeo cars and 150 engines, most of which were still in working order.
The first A.L.F.A. car, the legendary “24 HP” was there, as well as the
“Alfetta 159”, driven to victory by Fangio in the Formula 1 World
Championship of 1951. There were also 1,000 model cars in glass cases
showing the technological development of Alfa Romeo cars.
|The museum claimed to have 14,000 visitors a year, but
it has been closed since 2010 “for maintenance”. Following an on-line
petition, and the urging of some Italian politicians for it to re-open
for the Universal Expo in Italy in 2015, it was announced in July 2014
that the museum would re-open in 2015. However some sources say no firm
decision has yet been taken by the parent company, FIAT. Alfa’s apparent
lack of interest in the museum may be connected with the Italian
Government blocking the sale of “non-essential” cars in the collection
in 2011, on the grounds that the vehicles were part of Italy’s heritage.
Fiat is taking a court case against the local Ministry of Cultural
Affairs for confiscating the museum building and its contents. Now the
land, formerly owned by Fiat in the north of Milan where the museum was,
is being re-developed for the Expo, but it is not clear whether the
museum will re-open there or move to the Monza racing track – assuming
the Italian legal system can resolve the dispute over the rights to the
Since it is currently impossible to see this historic collection of Alfa
Romeos, you may like to download these photographs, which can be used