No other car manufacturers can boast a history as extraordinary as that of Alfa Romeo: unique and appealing, packed with outstanding personalities, a sporting epic that added it's own distinct flavour to never-to-be-repeated years, cars that entered the collective imagination, technical and engineering developments that always had an extra edge and more or less radical upheavals that indelibly marked the company's nearly 100 years of existence. The museum opened in 1976 and takes visitors on an inspiring voyage through the past of a great Brand. The story recounted is not, however, solely that of Alfa Romeo, but also the history of an Italian industry that mirrors a century of life of a nation, its people, its economy and its social sphere.
Alfa keeps at least one example of each model produced, which are joined by prototypes, studies, experimental cars and racing cars. Nowadays the museum's assets exceed 250 cars and 150 engines, of which approximately half are on view. These include a fascinating collection of 110 cars - one-off cars, racing cars, production cars, prototypes and concept cars - ranging from first A.L.F.A. car, the “24 HP”, to legendary winners of the “Mille Miglia” such as the “6C 1750 Gran Sport” driven by Tazio Nuvolari, the legendary “8C” cars with Touring bodies to the Grand Prix “Alfetta 159” that became the Formula 1 World champion driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, the “Giulietta”, iconic car of the 1950s and the “33 TT 12” Sport Prototypes of the 1970s. The cars are joined by 15 aviation engines and 40 automotive power units that illustrate the technological development of Alfa Romeo engineering and approximately 1000 car models made in various sizes, exhibited in showcases.
The Museum structure is developed over six levels in accordance with the chronological history of the models, for a total area of 4800 m², incorporated in the Arese “Centro Direzionale”. As they wander through the floors of the Museum, visitors can see panels and blown up photographs of original pictures from the Historical Documentation Centre and advertising posters that reflect the essential stages in the history of Alfa Romeo through its products, in all their technical and stylistic, sporting, industrial and cultural aspects.
The museum is not merely a static exhibition. Quite the contrary, more than 60% of the cars exhibited in the Museum rooms are fully efficient and in working order and play a starring role in a whole set of national and international events and exhibitions - static and dynamic - together with all the feelings that a history like that of Alfa Romeo arouses in the public, even people who do not know much about cars: the Italian roads in the recreation of the Mille Miglia, English landscapes in the Goodwood “Festival of Speed”, the crowds of visitors to the “Bellezza Necessaria” exhibition in Tokyo and the United States' enthusiastic and eternal love affair with Alfa Romeo, so evident at the “Concorso d’Eleganza di Pebble Beach”. And more: Alfa Romeo has also been to Argentina, where it raced over the Pampas, and Russia, to pose in Red Square. Each year, the Historical Museum welcomes a mixed crowd of 14,000 visitors, 60% from abroad and promotes cultural initiatives linked with the automotive world and everything to do with it.