Beginning.In 1906, Alexandre Darracq, a French car manufacturer, established a company in Portello near Milan, in cooperation with Ugo Stella, a Milan aristocrat and Alfa's future director and president. The company was named Societa Italiana Automobili Darracq, i.e. the Italian Automobile Company Darracq. It is worth mentioning that Darracq-licensed cars had already been manufactured for two years near Naples.
Development.The cooperation ended in 1909 due to financial problems. Stella, together with a group of entrepreneurs, bought the company. Its brand name was changed to Anonima Lombarda Fabrica Automobili (Lombardian Car Manufacturing Ltd), abbreviated to ALFA. This is how the first segment of the name of the make was formed. In 1915, the company was taken over by Nicola Romeo, a railway entrepreneur. This is how the Alfa Romeo name, known to the present day, was formed. Orders from the army during both world wars and governmental support saved the company from bankruptcy on numerous occasions. For nearly two years, the characteristic round logo divided into two parts with elements of Milan's and Lombardy's coat of arms. On the left was a red cross on a white background (St George's Cross) and on the right, there was a green serpent with a crown on its head devouring a Saracen. In 1910, the first Alfa Romeo models designed by Giuseppe Merosi were built. Those were models 12 HP and 24 HP, which owed their names to their horsepower.
The 1900 model was manufactured in 1950, a combination of a sports car and a family car, and proved to be a breakthrough for the company. In 1954, the Giulietta model was constructed, on which numerous subsequent models were based. It was equipped with a die-cast aluminium engine — the 1.3 version reached a power of 102 HP. The car exceeded speeds of 180 km/h without any problems. The car was manufactured in many versions. In the 1960s, Alfa manufactured the Giulia model, which was very successful in car racing. The Giulia was designed using an aerodynamic tunnel, which was unprecedented at the time. The Spider model was born in 1966, which was manufactured until 1994/95 using the same body. Alfa Romeo has always been active in motorsports. During the interwar period, this make was considered to be very luxurious, like, for example, Ferrari these days.
Present. In 1986, the Fiat Group won a tender to buy the company (it beat Ford, amongst others). Three year later, the Alfa Lancia Spa Group was established. The 164 model designed by Pininfarina was the first car launched on the market under the new owner's supervision. The growing strength of the company's position was a consolidation of other models, such as 156 and 147, which were the first cars of this make to win the Car of the Year title (in 1998 and 2001, respectively).
Tyres. Alfa Romeo has always cooperated with numerous tyre manufacturers. A few examples are presented below: The original equipment of the 147 GTA model includes Yokohama V102 tyres, amongst other things. The 156 and Brera series cars use Bridgestone RE050 tyres, size 205/55 R16. Michelin Energy models, on the other hand, were used for 147/156/GT models. The Alfa Romeo Spider, which was presented at the Geneva Motor show in 2010, was equipped with concept Dunlop Pininfarina 2uettottanta tyres. In the same year, the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider was serially equipped with P Zero Pirelli tyres, sizes 245/35ZR20 and 285/35ZR20.