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Transcript of Italian Cars
Italian Car Companies
Founded as A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) in 1910 in Milan, Italy
In 1911 they joined the car racing industry where they established their reputation for fast, yet durable, sports cars
In 1915, the company came under the direction of Nicola Romeo who converted the factory production to help the Allied war effort
In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo with the Torpedo 20-30 HP to be the first car to be labeled as such.
In 1928 Romeo left the company in shambles and it fell under the control of Mussolini's government which again used the company for war production
BIG TIME JUMP
In the 1960s and 70s the company got back into racing and sports car production after they created the Alfa Romeo Twin Cam engine which remained in production until 1988
In 1986 the company was bought by the Fiat Group (We'll get to them later...)
Torpedo 20-30 HP
Fiat Automobiles was started in 1899 by a group of investors under the name Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (F.I.A.T.)
Fiat's first car was produced in 1899 and was named the 3 1/2 CV, which had a 697 cc boxer twin engine
In 1908, the first Fiat was exported to the US
By 1910, Fiat was the largest automotive group in Italy, a title they have held since that year.
Like other Italian auto companies, Fiat shut down car production during WWI & II to assist the Allied war effort.
However, after WWI the company re-opened to produce the 501 from 1919-1926 and the 509 from 1925-1929
Fiat went on to produce hundreds of different models of cars which still exist today.
Fiat currently owns 50-100% of Chrysler (as of 2007), Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati
Ferruccio Lamborghini founded Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A. in 1963 with the objective of creating a refined grand touring car that competed with offerings from companies such as Ferrari
They quickly gained wide acclaim with the production of the Miura sports coupé in 1966
Lamborghini grew rapidly in its first decade but then faced hard times as a consequence of the 1973 financial downturn and oil crisis
They changed hands many times until they were eventually owned by the Audi AG subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.
Sales increased nearly tenfold in the 2000s, peaking to record sales in 2007 and 2008
Today, Lamborghini is considered to be one of the top super-car makers in the industry with their two models the Gallardo (V10) and the Aventador (V12)
Scuderia Ferrari was founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929 in Maranello, Italy
The company sponsored drivers and manufactured race cars before moving into production of street-legal vehicles as Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947.
Ferrari 125 Sport
Before his death in 1988, Enzo Ferrari oversaw the launch of the Ferrari F40, one of the most famous supercars of all time
Ferrari then moved on to make the F50 and then the F60, which was called the Enzo because Ferrari was so pleased with the car that they decided to dedicate it to their founder
Ferrari F40 (1987-1992)
Ferrari Enzo (2002-2004)
Ferrari continues to produce top of the line luxury sports cars and race cars
Their current road car line up is made up of...
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Ferrari 458 Italia
Before Maserati was founded, the Maserati brothers Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Italian car manufacturer, Diatto.
In 1926 Diatto suspended the production of race cars which forced the Maserati brothers to create their own car which led to the birth of their own company.
In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940 relocated the company headquarters to their hometown of Modena, where it remains to this day.
In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, a Maserati 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer ever to do so.
During WWII, Maserati helped produce machinery for the war effort, but also worked on creating a town car for Mussolini before Volkswagen created one for Adolf Hitler
This gave them insight into building road cars instead of race cars which is exactly what they did after the war
After the war, Maserati was under the control of many different companies until Fiat sold 50% of Maserati to their rival Ferrari in 1997
In 1999, Ferrari took full control of Maserati making it their luxury line
In 2002, Maseratis were reintroduced in the US which soon became their biggest market.
In 2003, Maserati split from Ferrari and merged with Alfa Romeo under Fiat Auto which is where the company remains today
Their current lineup consists of...