The cars of Alfa Romeo illustrate the spirit of elegance and performance traditionally associated with this centennial manufacturer. At the beginning of the brand (born in 1910), 250 workers were employed and 300 cars were produced each year.

The first model was created by Giuseppe Merosi: the Alfa 24 HP. With this, the spirit of making competitive sports models was born, as demonstrated by the two Alfa winners of the Parma-Poggio di Berceto race of 1913. The outbreak of the First World War made that the Alfa company pass into the hands of the engineer Nicola Romeo, who subsequently left the production of automobiles to dedicate himself to military equipment.

After the war, the production of automobiles and famous drivers resumed.  Ambassadors of the brand included Enzo Ferrari, Antonio Ascari and Giuseppe Campari. In 1925, Gastone Brilli-Peri won the World Auto Championship which triggered a continuous collection of first places in competition with the Tazio Nuvolari or Achille Varzi riders.

After the Second World War, in the 1950s Alfa Romeo manufactured two legendary models: the Alfa Romeo 1900 (1950) and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta (1954). They also added to the urban car family of the Alfa Romeo family: the Villa d'Este (1949) and Giulietta Spider (1955). Alfa Romeo even became a supplier of the Italian State, designing for the police the special model Alfa Romeo 1900, nicknamed ‘Panther’.

The world of racing continued to provide the brand with awards, Guiseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio with the Alfa Romeo 158 and Alfa Romeo 159 won the first two Formula 1 championships held in 1950 and 1951. At the end of the 1960s, they produce the first units of 33 Stradale (1967) and Daytona (1968).

The designers Zagato, Pininfarina and Bertone joined the Alfa Romeo family and in 1972, the Alfa Romeo Alfetta was launched, whose powerful mechanical scheme was be reused until 1992. The oil crisis of the 1970s, the merger with Nissan and the closure of several European factories shook up this century-old manufacturer of cars.

However, this didn’t prevent the Alfa Romeo 33 (1983) and the Alfa Romeo 75 (1985) from being a success. The latter is considered by the purists of the brand as the last ‘real’ Alfa Romeo. Fiat bought the company in 1986 and in the 2000s the Alfa 156, 147 and 159 models were launched with a renewed futuristic design. The Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008), the 4C (2013) and the new Giulia (2015) were the latest models added to the brand.

The prestige of Alfa Romeo has made it a popular brand among many collectors who haven’t forgotten that Alfa Romeo has won the best titles in its history in the Targa Florio or Giro de Sicilia, the Mille Miglia and the 24 hours of Le Mans, as well as a total of five world titles (1925, 1950, 1951, 1975, 1977).

All Alfa Romeos accompanying this article, and more, will be auctioned in Catawiki in the coming days. You can register to bid here.

Find the entire Catawiki catalogue directly on Barnebys