By Rod Ward
The name of Alfa Romeo resonates among enthusiasts; its history is laced with superb car designs and racing victories. Alfa Romeo made sporting machinery accessible to a wide public, producing exciting cars which were popular for decades, yet apparently the company never made any money. It was already bankrupt when Mussolini’s Italian government rescued the firm in the 1930s, and it continued to make losses. Fiat took over in the 1980s, but they seemed unable to bring it to profitability. The new Fiat-Chrysler Group, however, intends the Alfa Romeo marque to spearhead its expansion in the 21st century. The story is not over yet. Note: In this publication we have tried to employ the company title as it was used at the time. From 1910 the firm’s ALFA initials were used. Under Nicola Romeo’s control his name was added and hyphenated, the change occurring around 1919, as Alfa-Romeo. From 1972 the hyphen was dropped, and the name became Alfa Romeo.