In 1910, a group of Milanese entrepreneurs established A.L.F.A. (the Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili or "Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company"). Since then, A.L.F.A.-now Alfa Romeo-has changed the world of automobiles. Now, in celebration of the company's 110-year anniversary, let's look back together at its first product, the "24 HP" racer.
Immediately following A.L.F.A.'s formation, the fledging business knew it needed a winner out of the gate. Thus, they turned to Giuseppe Merosi, a top-tier engineer with vast racing credentials. Merosi's efforts in collaboration with A.L.F.A. would bear fruit in the form of the 24 HP, a car that would establish itself as the progenitor of the modern sports sedan.
The 24 HP dazzled at the time with a 4.1-liter engine that produced 42 horsepower and managed a maximum speed of 62 mph/100 kph. Following a modest debut-50 units were sold in the initial year-the 24 HP blew up in the public consciousness at the 1911 Targa Florio competition. While the car suffered a freak off-road accident that ended its participation, it impressively led the race most of the way prior to the incident. News spread, and A.L.F.A. was officially in the game.