Often cars are talked about like people, as legends. The Ferrari killer at LeMans referring to the Ford GT40. The Camaro, Ford F100, Chevy Silverado, Nissan Skyline, VW Beetle just to name a few others. All living legends that all started with one production car. Some have faded and some have made a resurgence. While others have carried the torch strong never faltering.
Detroit saw an icon return to American soil. Alfa Romeo.
Alfa Romeo founded in Milan, Italy in 1910 produced greats such as the GTA, 155 and 156 Touring Cars, has 4 LeMans wins, and 2 Trans Am championships and more recent years known in America for the 4C and 8C roadsters. However Alfa Romeo has been producing cars in Europe but has rarely imported to the states until FCA acquired the company.
I remember watching GTA’s hustle around Waterford on Vintage weekend and dad always saying how much he loves that car. Alfa always held a stature higher than Ferrari and Lamborghini in my mind because of these comments. A sense of elegance was instilled in me about the brand that holds true to this day.
This year however we saw the return of a family sedan and Alfa having some larger real estate with the FCA booth, and they really caught my attention. Keeping true to some of the styling I loved growing up traveling to vintage races with dad and buying toy cars when I didn’t even know what an Alfa Romeo was. Styles that hark back to the 155 and 156 touring cars.
The triangular center grill, the shamrock badging, and the iconic red color that seems to give it a sense of classiness. All rolled into one a perfect family sedan. However two factors remain and may potentially hold me back from buying one. Price tag and interior. You could not get acclimated with the interior as all the Alfa’s were behind the proverbial velvet rope. And none were priced for retail sales. Only time will tell if I end up in an Alfa Romeo.
And will we see a return of Alfa Romeo racing in America?
FCA already has a footprint in IMSA racing with the Dodge Viper and the new partnership of Viper Exchange and Gas Monkey in the Weathertech Sportcar Championship series as well as NHRA with the Charger Funny Cars led by the likes of Matt Hagan and now the Dodge Dart pro-stock led by Erica Enders, who switched from the Camaro to the Dart for the 2016 season.
However I’m not dreaming of a NHRA or Weathertech Alfa. Instead thinking more along the lines of a Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series entry competing in the ranks of the Bimmerworld BMW’s, Rum Bum Porsche’s, Automatic Racing Aston Martin’s and Flying Lizard Audi’s. The closest we get to German or Australian touring car racing in America.
Only time will tell if the market is ready for Alfa Romeo’s return.