Alfa Romeo is known for making stylish cars which are a joy to drive. However, this reputation comes from cars that were built a long time ago. Unfortunately, in recent years the company has struggled to get enthusiasts excited. They’ve given us some very memorable cars in 100 years of existence, making Alfa Romeo the car maker we all love.
1952 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante
The product of a request from the US for an Alfa barchetta sports racer, the Disco Volante was loosely based on the 2000 saloon’s humble underpinnings.
The design was very uncommon for the era, with its rounded fenders, low slung profile and convex tail. In many ways this aerodynamic shape predated the Jaguar D-Type which would shared many of the Disco Volante’s lines.
Powering all the Disco Volante variants was a revised version of the four-cylinder engine found in the Alfa Romeo 1900. It was light alloy rather than iron.
2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
This Alfa may be one of the greatest. Automotive expert and enthusiast, Chris Harris have declared “I think I want one” which says a lot.
It has a very special 2.9-litre V6 with 503bhp and 443lb ft. The smooth V6 engine, sharp steering and balanced handling make this a very impressive return to form for Alfa.
Built on an all-new, rear-wheel drive platform with an emphasis on light weight and agility, the sporty underpinnings of the new Giulia define its shape and strongly influence its design with Alfa Romeo stylists wrapping the mechanical components in a taut, muscular package dominated by its long bonnet, short overhangs, muscular haunches and the longest wheelbase in its class. Simple, natural lines enhance its shape and proportions, while the surface is finished with elegance and restraint, exuding the purity and style one comes to expect of Italian design.
1967 Alfa Romeo T33/2 Stradale Prototipo
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 was a sports racing prototype raced by the Alfa Romeo factory-backed team between 1967 and 1977. These cars took part for Sport Cars World Championship, Nordic Challenge Cup, Interserie and CanAm series. A small number of road going cars were derived from it in 1967, called Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale.
The 1967 33 Coupe Stradale used a version of the same V8 engine. This streamlined coupe, designed by Franco Scaglione, sits very low on the road, being less than a metre high. Only 18 examples were ever produced.
1966 Alfa Romeo 1600 Duetto Spider
The Alfa Spider set the benchmark for Italian cars and driver cars alike, one of the most beautiful cars ever produced.
Although the Duetto was only manufactured for three years, its incredible styling remained in vogue for decades, and revised forms of the car were produced through the 1990s.
The sporty demeanor of the Duetto made it the chosen ride of Dustin Hoffman’s character Ben Braddock in the iconic 1967 movie The Graduate.
1968 Alfa Romeo T33/2 ‘Daytona’
Alfa Romeo heavily revised the T33 with their first major revision. These new cars, called T33/2, Mk II or Series 2, had substantially different bodywork that was available in both short and long tail configurations. All the short tail cars were referred to as ‘Daytona’ in either coupe or spyder form.
For Le Mans, Alfa Romeo fitted new long-tail bodywork with small fins near the trailing edge. This was meant to increase overall top speed to 300 kph and gave Alfa Romeo a chance to beat much larger competition such as the GT40. The factory cars placed 4th, 5th and 6th overall and won the 2-liter class.
1954 Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva
The Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva is a 2-litre sports car made by Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo in 1954. Although developed to be built in a small series, just four were made — two coupés and two spiders.
Designed by Scaglione for Bertone in the early 1950s, it featured a tubular space frame and a hot version of the DOHC engine sourced from Alfa’s immediate post-war family saloon, the 1900.
1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
A winner at Le Mans in 1931 and 1934, a version of this Vittorio Jano-designed car was also successful in the 1931 Italian Grand Prix taking first and second places with the Nuvolari-Campari and Borzacchini-Minoia partnerships in the driving seat, and earning itself the nickname ‘Monza’ in the process.
The car notched up more than 50 victories in its time with the heroes of the era, Nuvolari, Campari, Borzacchini, Caracciola, Etancelin and Sommer.
The engine was a 2.5-litre supercharged, double overhead cam, inline 8-cylinder. Capable of producing 178bhp, and coupled with a very light body, the car was a force to be reckoned with in the 1930s. Those lucky enough to own an example still extol its handling and performance to this day.
1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Sport
Alfa Romeo created the first Italian sports car with the design and manufacture of the 6C 1500. At the base level was a smooth running six-cylinder engine that used a single cast-iron block with integrated cylinder heads. It displaced 1486.6 cc and initially offered 46 bhp @ 4000 rpm which was more than ample for the car’s lightweight design.
This model became Alfa Romeo’s most successful and underwent a stepwise evolution that eventually won all the great road races leading up to the immortal 2.9.
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ
Unquestionably one of the most desirable Alfa Romeos ever made, the Giulietta Sprint Zagato. Because of its small size (it weighed just 770kg) and aluminum bodywork, the SZ was much faster than its steel-bodied production counterparts.
The 1.3-litre engine pushed the SZ to a top speed of 120mph. Pictured above is one of the last 30 Sprint Zagatos. It featured the ‘Coda Tronca’ bodywork. The entire body was much longer, and was designed to penetrate the air better. Detail changes included a cut-off Kamm tail, narrower front air intake, a lower roof and the use of disc brakes up front.
1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Turismo
Built for road-going clientele, Alfa Romeo offered the Gran Turismo, a detuned version of their successful Gran Sport race car. These were sold for customers requesting saloon and cabriolet bodies.
Having the same DOHC engine, the Gran Turismo was a high specification road car that shadowed performance of the Mille Miglia-winning 1750. This model first appeared in 1929 as the 6C 1750 Sport and was renamed Gran Turismo for the 4th and 5th-series cars.
In period Alfa offered the Gran Turismo Tourer for 50,000 lire while a Saloon was 54,500 lire. The bare chassis was also available for 42,000 lire.