Alfa Romeo - "Greatest Hits"

The pictorial history


1921 Tipo G1 at AR Museum
The G1 was among Alfa's most powerful road chassis. The 70 bhp produced by its seven-bearing 6.3 liter L-head six was considerable for the time.
1923 Tipo RL The first examples of the RL series appeared in 1921. This was the first true Alfa sportscar, after the first WW.
The basic model was the RLN, the Normale, with bore and stroke of 75x110 mm.
1921 Tipo RLS
Then came the Sport model, the RLS, with an extra millimeter of bore that made no meaningful contribution to output but which certainly complicated the manufacturing process annoyingly and wastefully. In the same spirit, the exhaust and inlet sides were on the left and right respectively on the Normale and the opposite on the Sport. The 6.2-liter 6-cyl. 70 HP engine was designed by the master of early Alfa Romeos Giuseppe Merosi. The real production started in 1922.

1923 P1 GP racer
Cavalier Merosi's latest attempt to a racer. It was powered by a twin-cam six-cylinder, 2-litre engine. It proved unsuccesful. This was the end of Merosi's carreer at Alfa. Pat Braden's remark: this car was named as the GPR and never called the P1!

1924 P2 GP racer P2 at Laguna Seca, August 1985 its engine
In 1923 Vittorio Jano entered to Alfa Romeo. He had Hungarian roots, but he was a true Italian, previously working for Fiat.
Fiat was the one to beat in GP racing and Jano was stolen from Fiat to do the action. He redesinged the Fiat 805 engine: more compact supercharger, higher rotational speed, more reliable construction.
P2 started as a dark horse at the 1924 GP de l'ACF and won the race easily. Everyone was shocked.

1925 RLSS Tourer - view from above Same car - view from below, front
The RLSS was launched in 1925, and was in production 'til 1927.
The car in picture, a Castagna-bodied polished, aluminium bodied tourer is in the Alfa Romeo museum.
The RLSS emerged from the RLN and RLS series and featured a 6-cylinder 3-liter engine, with a power of 83-90 HP (depends on the version) and a max. speed of 140 km/h.
It was a typical Targa Florio-type racer, but a road-going wersion also existed.

Rodney Felton's 1924 RL Targa Florio racer
Many rich and famous people once owned RLSS, among them Benito Mussolini is the most "famous".
The RLS and SS, only about 100 pounds lighter, nevertheless did wonderfully as cmapaigned by the factory racing team of Ascari, Campari, Ferrari and Sivocci, to the greater glory of the marque. The RL series lasted 'til the end of 1926, early 1927.

1926 6C 1500 cockpit
These road cars replaced the Merosi line. Jano designed them all.
A prototype chassis was introduced at the Salone di Milano in April 1925 and then at the Paris and London shows. Five experimental long chassis and one short one were built in 1926, with production, sales and racing all beginning the following year.
The car as You can guess from the name was powered by a 6-cyl. 1500 cc engine. This unit was a five plain-main-bearing six, with light alloy crankcase and deeply finned wet sump; the block and detachable head were of cast iron. The valves formed a single file down the center line of the head and were operated by an overhead camshaft with a four-blade cast aluminium fan at its front and shaft and bevel drive at its rear.
The most original feature here was cam-follower design, which Jano frankly acknowledged having derived from Hispano-Suiza practice.
The racing wersions were the RN and RS from 1928 when the 2nd series of the 6C 1500 began.
When production ceased in 1929, only 1058 6C's of all sorts had been built, each one a collection piece.
And then came the 6C 1750...


Copyright and Copy, December, 1995:

Paul Negyesi and the Okapi Publishing Ltd

This page or its parts can not be used for commercial purposes. I'm no way related to the company, therefore I'm not responsible for the info.