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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Very First Alfa Romeo Finds A Home

Old news (August 2001) but a cool story.

"The very first Alfa Romeo, the Alfa Romeo G1, and the only one left in the world has found a new home with Ateco Automotive, the New Zealand Alfa Romeo importer.

The Alfa Romeo Museum, the guardian of all things Alfa Romeo, has confirmed that it regards the Alfa Romeo G1 as the very first true Alfa Romeo - all cars prior to this were either Alfas, being built prior to the purchase of the company by Nicola Romeo, or Darracq cars built under license - and the museum has confirmed that Alfa Romeo G1 chassis and engine number 6018 is the only Alfa Romeo G1 left in existence."

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/BU0108/S00134.htm


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 01:19 AM
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Wow!! what a beutiful car. how much do you think it is worth? I say 4.5 million.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 01:37 AM
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Well, unfortunately the facts are a bit different than presented in this story. Alfa Romeo was founded in 1910. The G1 was built in 1920-22. Therefore, it is not the first Alfa, but the first 6 cylinder production car (of which 50 were built and sold to Australia, see http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/show...&threadid=2525).

I have some suspicions about the originality of this car. The pictures in the books of Fusi and d'Amico & Tabucchi look drastically different than the G1 shown on this web site.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Azzurri GTV
Wow!! what a beutiful car. how much do you think it is worth? I say 4.5 million.
if there is only 1 left in the world.... i think its priceless..
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tubut
.....Alfa Romeo was founded in 1910.....
Correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that ALFA (or whatever they were called in the late 19th century), built cars under license for Darracq from the 1890s until 1910 when they then produced their own car and badged it an A.L.F.A. It wasn't until after Nicola Romeo joined the firm in the late teens that 'Romeo' was added to the firms' name.
So, not wanting to pick nits, I agree that ALFA was founded in 1910 but the name Alfa Romeo didn't appear until 10 (or so) years later. If my understand of all this is correct, then the G1 could, in fact, be the first Alfa Romeo - as opposed to the first ALFA.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by papajam
Correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that ALFA (or whatever they were called in the late 19th century), built cars under license for Darracq from the 1890s until 1910 when they then produced their own car and badged it an A.L.F.A.
Now I may be wrong, but I thought A.L.F.A. was formed in order to purchase the failing remains the the Darracq enterprise, not that it existed and had a business arrangement with Darracq before 1910. From the Alfa Romeo website history section:

"The firm "Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili", A.L.F.A. was founded in 1910, in the ill-fated industrial complex built by Alessandro Darracq at Portello in Milan in 1907. Under the direction of Cavalier Ugo Stella, Alfa produces a series of models that soon help it to become competitive on the market and stand out for their performance and drivability: the 24 HP, the very first car to be called an ALFA (at a cost of 12,000 lire); and the various models derived from it, the 40-60 HP models with more powerful engines."

The Alfa website has quite an interesting history section, broken down by decade.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 01:41 PM
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You are both right! A.L.F.A. was formed and began building cars in 1910, this is true. And, yes...before that, the same craftsmen who built the first A.L.F.A. also did produce a few Darracq cars at the same facility, which was at least partly owned by Darracq.

The beginning of Alfa Romeo was in 1920, when Niccola Romeo bought control of the company and began producing cars wearing his surname. They went racing that same year!

Whether that G1 is the first Alfa Romeo or not is an interesting question, but the history I read about that very car tells me that it certainly is one of the very first few cars to wear the Alfa Romeo name.

Going completely from faulty memory...

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 01:58 PM
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With respect to the name change, let me quote from d'Amico & Tabucchi (the text is a legend to a picture):

Quote:
"An unusual poster from 1919 in which the ALFA name is skilfully shaped to take on the form of a stlised car. The most surprising fact is that it is accompanied by the Romeo name as if the new company identity had already been adopted. The new name was actually formalised the following year and appeared for the first time on the 20-30 HP model."
d'Amico & Tabucchi mention in several other locations that the 20-30 HP model was the first car with the Alfa Romeo marque.

Now, given that all all of d'Amico & Tabucchi's and the Alfa Romeo historical archive's research is based on hand-written records, I wouldn't want to bet which documentation is right or wrong, or which statement represents the latest state of research.

So, who knows, maybe the G1 is indeed the first model that was sold under the name of Alfa Romeo.

Ruedi

Last edited by tubut; 11-14-2003 at 02:03 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2003, 04:57 PM
 
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There was actually a company A.L.F.A. founded in 1906 that built a one-off prototype.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2003, 07:08 AM
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The date is 1st January 1910,the date of foundation of "Societa Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili" , the company was founded from the liquidation of "Societa Anonima Italiana Darracq" (S.A.I.D.), by letting the word 'Societa' being understood they only kept A.L.F.A.
Ing.Nicola Romeo was an industrialist who in 1915 bought all of the assets of A.L.F.A. when the company was put into liquidation by its management , in the end of 1915 the A.L.F.A factory stopped producing automobiles due to the 1st WW and was absorbed by Ing.Nicola Romeo e C. , the factory now produced artillery shells,grenades,air compressors,rock drilling equipment,flame throwers,tractors and at the ned of the 1st WW aero engines.
In 1918 Nicola Romeo decided that the company should go public and the Societa Anonima Italiana Nicola Romeo e C. was constituted . A goverment program for the mechanization of national agriculture led Nicola Romeo to undertake the manufacture of American Titan tractors under licence , need to add that Nicola Romeo was actually interested in the modernization of Italy`s railway system so he bought the German owned Costruzioni Meccaniche di Saronno the Officine Meccanichedi Roma and the Officine Ferroviarie Meridionali in Naples.
It is very interesting that automobiles were not part of this conversion from the A.L.F.A company because Nicola Romeo knew nothing about producing automobiles , the decision was taking in July 1919 to start producing automobiles based in the models before the 1st WW , which were the 15-20 , 20-30 , 40-50 these models were designed by A.L.F.A `s 1st technical director Giuseppe Merosi back in 1914 , the production resumed in 1920 and from then on the automobiles were named Alfa Romeo`s , this leads to understand that the 15-20 , 20-30 and 40-50 models were also named Alfa Romeo`s although they were actually A.L.F.A `s that is why the G1 in the picture has only A.L.F.A. in the front of the radiator.
The first Alfa Romeo to be regarded as a proper postwar model was the ES introduced in 1921.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2003, 09:04 AM
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Cool stuff, TAKIS. Thanks!

Jim

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2003, 10:33 AM
 
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An obscure reference

says Societa Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (A.L.F.A.) was founded in 1906. This company built just one car, with variable transmission (sort of like a sliding worm gear).

The corporation existed as basically a hollow shell in 1910, but this is actually where the A.L.F.A. name came from, even though it really has no realtion to the Alfa Romeo we know today. I assume that for some reason, the corporate shell was purchased for the name (and maybe some assets).

This story comes from an obscure book on early Italian car history that Dave Mericle has (can't think of the title). The book doesn't tell much of the story, but the name of this 1906 company was Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Autombili. I don't know Italian law, but I asume that the only way this name could have been gotten was by purchasing the remnanats of the corporation that was founded in 1906.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2003, 09:48 PM
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To dretceterini :
ALFA 1907.
Anonima Lombarda Fabbricazione Automobile , Novara
Though this company`s name was very close to that of Alfa Romeo`s predecessor there was no link between the two. The Alfa from Novara was a rare example of Italian steam car, with vertical double-acting 4 cylinder engine mounted at the front under a bonnet,and final drive by shaft.Aprototype was built by Olivari & Duse of Milan , but t is not known if any were sold.
As taken from the book "THE BEAULIEU ENCYCLOPAEDIA IF THE AUTOMOBILE volume 1 A-L" by Nick Georgano.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 11:35 AM
 
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I'm aware

of the company you mention, but according to this book Dave has, there was a company A.L.F.A. that built just one internal combustion prototype in 1906. The book doesn't explain exactly what happened to the company, but if what happened was similar to what would happen according to US law, S.A.I.D., Darracq, or N.Romero would have had to purchased A.L.F.A. to get that name.

I'll try and contact Dave, but he has not been retuning calls...
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 12:12 PM
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FWIW, Alfa Romeo themselves seem to recognize the 1910 date, if we can go by previous anniversary observances.

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