The name Alfetta is still one that makes any red-blooded Italian motor sport fan throw out his chest with pride. It is the name of a series of 1500 cc, 8-cylinder, supercharged Alfa Romeo 158 and 159 racing cars that dominated the sport from the late ‘30s until the end of 1951. The Alfetta – it means little Alfa – has a magic all its own, and is the only 14-year-old car ever to win the Formula 1 World Championship for Drivers – twice.
In fact, the Alfa Romeo 158 and 159 completely dominated Grand Prix motor racing for almost three decades, excluding the Second World War years. The car is still considered an absolute giant of Italian motor racing, and did much to burnish the rather dull Alfa image, after the earlier failure of a series of racing cars that were mainly cobbled together from drawings of the departed Vittorio Jano by the ingenious designer, Gioacchino Colombo. But inevitably, they were tepid racing cars that produced little success in the ’30s, cars like the 8C-35, 12C-36, 308 and 12C-37.
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