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Three round-number anniversaries for Alfa Romeo at Techno Classica 2012

Alfa Romeo will be celebrating three round-number anniversaries at this year's Essen Techno Classica (22 - 25 March): 80 years ago the legendary Tipo B “P3“ run it first race starting a seemingly endless winning streak, 50 years ago the first Giulia - the forerunner of a highly articulated family of cars that would leave its mark - rolled off the lines, and 40 years ago the Alfetta - a sporty saloon that would become the benchmark in its class - made its market debut. Alfa Romeo Automobilismo Storico will be displaying seven historic models from the brand's museum in Arese (Milan). Here is the Alfa Romeo line-up in chronological order:


Gran Premio Tipo B "P3" (1932)

Special technical solutions made the Gran Premio Tipo B - also known as "P3" - truly legendary. This racing car fitted an eight cylinder straight engine supercharged by two turbochargers. Displacement was increased from 2.6 to 3.2 litres, and delivered power touched 330 HP. Weighing only 750 kilograms, the P3 had a remarkably favourable weight/power ratio. German driver Rudolf Caracciola was on the team by the side of Tazio Nuvolari when the car debuted in mid 1932. Together they set off to win the first six races, including the Italy, France and Germany Grand Prix events.


In the second half of 1933, the P3 started racing for Scuderia Ferrari after the Alfa Corse team had temporarily withdrawn from competitions. The team won six more races, including the Italy and Spain GP. The engine of the P3 was boosted with a 2.9 litre displacement in 1934: Louis Chiron triumphed at the France Grand Prix, while Guy Moll won on the Avus race track in Berlin at the wheel of a model with an aerodynamic body. In 1935, Nuvolari achieved another, incredible victory despite the fact that his “P3” had been already been fully exploited at the German GP: with a new 3.2 litre engine under the bonnet, he came in first at the Eifel ahead of the Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union cars, which were clearly tipped to win. With its 46 wins in four years, auto historians say that the Alfa P3 is one of the most famous race cars ever.


Giulia TI Super (1963)

The 1963 Giulia TI Super belongs to the best tradition of cars sporting the Quadrifoglio. Only 501 of this sporty ready-to-race version of the four-door saloon introduced the previous year were made. It was soon to become the icon of the brand: its amazing style is a page of design history, and the car's technological features were also amazing, outstanding for a family saloon.  The car's four cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts (the legendary "two-shaft") had a displacement of 1570 cm3 and delivered a basic power (before being tuned for racing) of 112 HP. With its light weight (only 930 kg), the TI Super reached a top speed of 190 km/h. On the outside, the sportiest model of the Giulia family stood out due to its two solitary headlights, the Quadrifoglio Verde on the sides and on the boot lid, and its light-weight details, all designed and made with the objective of improving the already excellent performance of the mass-produced versions of the car. 
 
Giulia Sprint Speciale (1965)
The Alfa Romeo model which is sure to attract the most interest at Techno Classica will certainly be a prototype designed by Bertone that is unknown by most people. Equipped with the same engine as the Giulia, this coupé has a fascinating design that anticipates the style of many Italian sport cars of the 1970s.


TZ2 (1965)

An even lower, wider and more aggressive stance. Successor of the TZ1, twelve TZ2s were made (for racing only). The car fitted a fibreglass body and weighed only 620 kilograms. Designed by Autodelta as a pure race car, it delivered over 170 HP (with a specific power of 108 HP/litre) by exploiting twin-spark ignition and dry sump lubrication. These features, combined with an extremely aerodynamic body, launched the car at 250 km/h. The TZ2 is universally considered one of the most beautiful race cars ever made.


Giulia Coupé 1750 GT Am (1970)

Four round headlights, a raised profile, an aggressive look and large wheel arches: these features evoke all the technologically advanced spirit of the “Alfa Giulia GTA” series. The GT Am (where "Am" stands for "America") is the version sold in the USA because Alfa Romeo had used the injection 1750 GTV as model for type-approval in the US.


40 GT Ams were made. Powered by a Spica or Lucas mechanical injection system, the 2-litre engine delivered up to 220 HP at 7200 rpm. The body was made of steel plate with plastic side and rear panels to shave off 150 kilograms from the total weight of 900. This did not stop Autodelta from achieving spectacular results with the GT Am: the car won the European Touring Car Championship with Dutch driver Toine Hezemans behind the wheel in 1970 and the manufacturer's championship in 1971. Excellent drivers like Hezemans, Andrea de Adamich, Carlo Facetti and Nino Vaccarella were known to cleverly squeeze out all the potential from this car, which was a challenging competitor even for the 3-litre BMW CSL, the Ford Capri or the 5-litre Chevrolet. At the Spa 24 Hour race in 1970, three Alfa Romeo GT Ams came in second, third and fourth behind the winning 3-litre BMW Alpina. The GT Am delivered up to 240 HP at 7500 rpm and clocked a remarkable top speed of 230 km/h. That was a golden age for Alfa Romeo in car racing.


Alfetta (1972)

The medium-high class saloon introduced in 1972 was named Alfetta like the car that Juan-Manuel Fangio drove to victory in the F1 World Championship in 1951.
The reason for the name was that the standard 1972 fitted the same (although obviously updated) “De Dion” rear suspension layout.


The Alfetta, positioned higher than the Giulia, had a winning, essential, no-nonsense design. The compact front conferred a dynamic look to the car. The clear-cut rear pillars separated a streamlined body from a rather large looking roof. In addition to the 1779 cc (“eighteen-hundred”) 122 HP engine, Alfa Romeo also fitted the Alfetta with a 2-litre 130 HP engine after 1977. A basic model was introduced at the beginning of 1974 with a 1.6 litre 108 HP engine taken from the Giulia series. A turbo-diesel, one of the first in Europe, followed in 1979.


Alfa 155 2.5 V6 TI (1993)

Alfa Romeo officially competed in the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft) in 1993. The car selected for the event was based on the Alfa 155 and displayed all the features of a car born to win at a glace. The 60° V6 engine, light alloy throughout, weighed only 110 kg and had a displacement of 2498 cm3. It delivered 420 HP to the road at 11,800 rpm. The four-wheel drive (allowed at the time) sent 33% of the torque to the front axle and 67% to the rear axle. With a weight of 1050 kg and four tailpipes pointing towards the rear spoiler, the “155” for DTM exploited its well-balanced weight to the maximum. During the season, it was fitted with a sequential gearbox and a second injector per cylinder.


This car made to win was driven to victory by Nicola Larini in half of the DTM races winning the championship ahead of Mercedes-Benz driver Roland Asch. Alfa Corse additionally won the best team award.


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