Historical Alfa Romeo Museum

Christina/ November 14, 2023/ Culture

Loud engines, rugged men, attractive women, and a lot of emotions – these are the associations that come to mind when I think of car races. Certainly, the history of racing also includes the models of Alfa Romeo. At the Museo Storico in Arese, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of roaring engines. The exhibition spans four floors, taking you through the eventful (auto racing) history of Alfa Romeo. In addition to the pursuit of horsepower, models from the Italian manufacturer have also made appearances in various films. Even today, the Carabinieri use the Giulias for chasing criminals.

In the thrill of speed
The Alfa Romeo brand grew significantly through its participation in car races. Founded in 1849 by Carlo Cartagna under the name A.L.F.A, the company was renamed Alfa Romeo after World War I. Cartagna’s sons, Ercole, took over the business in 1919. With its models, he quickly became the number one in the Italian market. However, the world of automobiles evolved rapidly, leading Ercole to cease his venture in 1954. That marked the beginning of industrial production at Alfa Romeo with the Giulietta 6C model.

The era of great racing drivers
The era of great racing drivers brought Alfa Romeo its first major international success through the racer Ugo Sivocci. In 1923, he first competed in the Targa Florio with the four-leaf clover symbol on his racing car. He drove the Alf RLS model with a six-cylinder engine of 3.2 liters. Unfortunately, Sivocci died shortly afterward in a training accident in Monza.
Another highly successful racer for Alfa Romeo was Giuseppe Campari. Campari had two passions: opera and car racing. He was one of the best drivers Alfa Romeo ever had. He died in 1933 in Monza during a race. He drove the P2 (Alfa Romeo 8C) to its first victory in Lyon in 1924 and won the Mille Miglia in 1928.

The star designer Giorgetto
Giugiaro founded Italdesign in 1968 with engineer and business friend Aldo Mantovani. Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro created legendary automobiles in all vehicle classes with Italdesign. The master of automotive design produced masterpieces such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT and the Alfa Romeo Brera. Today, the company Italdesign is owned by the VW subsidiary Audi.

Alfa Spider: Known from Film, Radio, and Television.
Part of the exhibition is a kind of cinema where film clips are shown featuring Alfa Romeo car models playing a decisive role. Unforgettable for me is the small red sports car from the movie “The Graduate.” Dustin Hoffman chauffeurs his Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto with a memorable engine and music sound so often through the film and San Francisco that it seems impossible not to perceive the sports car as the vehicle of a young, dynamic protagonist whom one ultimately wants to emulate. I believe this film was a win-win situation, both for the main actor and for the car manufacturer Alfa Romeo.

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