Alfa Romeo is one the oldest car companies in the world and as such has made some of the most rememberable cars in history. No doubt it wouldn’t have the cult following that it does today if it wasn’t for its rich and successful motor racing history.
60 years ago (as of yesterday), the Italian manufacturer managed a remarkable 1-2-3 finish at the world’s first ever Formula One European Championship race. If that doesn’t ring any bells, it was held at Britain’s famous Silverstone race track.
Back then Italian driver, Giuseppe Farina, brought Alfa Romeo into the limelight by winning the race in his 300 bhp 158 race car (nicknamed Alfetta). Beating fellow Alfa drivers Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell. More amazingly all three Alfas finished at least two laps ahead of the other 21 cars.
The Alfa 158 went on to win every single Formula One race in the series’ first ever season. The car’s name holds meaning for the capacity (1.5-litre – 15) and number of cylinders (8 cylinders – 8) – hence 158. The 158 and its successor the 159 (no, it didn’t have nine cylinders) continued their Formula One domination with 47 wins from just 54 grand prix in the two years that followed.
To remember and celebrate the historic race, one of the original 158s from the race has returned to Silverstone (accompanied by a not so historic Alfa Romeo MiTo), to take part in the company’s “commemorative Mosaic digital art project”.
If you’re one of CarAdvice’s numerous Alfa Romeo cult members you’ll be happy to know a 159 will make it to the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this year (2 – 4 July). So make sure you book your flights now.
CarAdvice is attending Goodwood and will bring you coverage from the event in July.