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Alfa Romeo - Always With Passion.

Haynes.

David Owen.
ISBN 1-84425-117-9
Published 2004 (Hardback, 176 pages).
Book cover

UK RRP 19.99

Buy this Book:
A glance at the title only, without delving within this book's pages, may lead you to think that this would be a historical guide to all Alfa Romeos, since the early days of the 40-60, RL, 6Cs, 8Cs and the pre-war Grand Prix racers, through to the current day. Although Alfas built prior to WW2 do receive a mention in the introduction, the focus of the book is on the post-war, road-going models, beginning with the 1900, of 1950 to 1953.
Each of the key model ranges introduced by the Italian firm during the 1950s through to the 1970s receive a chapter each, and are listed as follows:
  • Alfa Romeo 1900
  • Alfa Romeo Giulietta
  • Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • Giulietta and Giulia Sprints and Spiders
  • 2000 and 2600 Saloons, Coupes and Spiders
  • The Duetto and 1750 and 2000 Spiders
  • 1750 and 2000 Saloons
  • The Giulia, 1750 and 2000 Bertone Coupes
  • Alfa Romeo Alfasud
  • Alfetta Saloons and GTs
Cars of more recent times are grouped thus:
  • Alfas of the 1980s and '90s
  • Alfas for a new century
The author's enthusiasm for the marque is clear. As an example, the chapter on the 1900 runs to fourteen pages. A table outlining the car's basic specification is given, accompanied by a potted history of the 1900's genesis, from drawing board to the launch of the first cars in 1950. Both period factory shots, and photographs of restored survivors, accompany the text. Coachbuilt as well as factory-bodied examples are discussed, along with illustrations to match. Chassis clothed by Farina, Touring and Ghia are a reminder that the coachbuilder's art was still very much in evidence in the post-war years, at least in Italy if less so by this time in Britain.
Each chapter - prior to the chapters on 1980s and later cars - closes with a buyer's information guide, describing the key areas to assess when thinking about adding a classic Alfa Romeo to one's garage.
Chapter by chapter, eye-catching Alfa Romeo saloons, coupes and spiders are discussed, until the 1970s era is reached, heralded by the introduction of a small, rather plain, four-door saloon, the Alfasud. Fun to drive, crisply designed, but surely a pale imitation of the glorious cars built in years previous, and a sign that the days of beautiful Alfa Romeos may have been coming to an end.
Contempories to the 'sud such as the boxy Alfetta saloon, which would develop later into the BMW-rivalling Alfa 6, and the rakish GTV are covered, as are later cars such as the 33, 75, 145, 156, 164 and 166.
Anyone looking for an overview of all the key players in Alfa's line-up, in the decades since the war, will find this a handy reference to have on the shelf. The buying advice is especially useful. Happily the possible temptation to gloss over the corrosion issues of the '60s and '70s hasn't been indulged, with the cars thoroughly described, warts and all.
RJ
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