Owner's Club News
edited by Bernard Martin
Alfa Romeo has participated many times in Formula One. The brand has competed in motor racing as both a constructor and engine supplier sporadically between 1950 and 1987, and later as a commercial partner since 2015.
The company's works drivers won the first two World Drivers' Championships in the pre-war Alfetta: Nino Farina in 1950 and Juan Manuel Fangio in 1951. In 1952, facing increased competition from their former employee, Ferrari; Alfa Romeo, a state-owned company, decided to withdraw after a refusal of the Italian government to fund the expensive design of a new car to replace their 13-year-old workhorse.
During the 1960s, although the company had no official presence in the top tier of motorsport, several Formula One teams used independently developed Alfa Romeo engines to power their cars. In the early 1970s, Alfa provided Formula One support for their works driver Andrea de Adamich, supplying adapted versions of their 3-litre V8 engine from the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 sports car to power Adamich's McLaren (1970) and March (1971) entries. None of these engine combinations scored championship points.
In the mid-1970s, Alfa engineer Carlo Chiti designed a flat-12 engine to replace the T33 V8, which achieved some success in taking the 1975 World Sportscar Championship. Bernie Ecclestone, then owner of the Brabham Formula One team, persuaded Alfa Romeo to supply this engine free for the 1976 Formula One season. Although the Brabham-Alfa Romeo's first season was relatively modest, during the 1977 and 1978 World Championships their cars took 14 podium finishes, including two race victories for Niki Lauda.
In 1978 Carlo Chiti developed the Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12 engine for the Formula 1 constructor Brabham-Alfa Romeo Team. Niki Lauda won two races in a Brabham BT46 with the Alfa engine in the 1978 season. Brabham designer Gordon Murray persuaded Chiti to produce a flat V12 engine to allow ground effect to be exploited by the team.
1978 was the Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT46B Fancar, designed by Gordon Murray. Its fan, spinning on a horizontal, longitudinal axis at the back of the car, took its power from the main gearbox. The car avoided the sporting ban by claims that the fan's main purpose was for engine cooling as less than 50% of the airflow was used to create a depression under the car. It raced just once, with Niki Lauda winning at the Swedish Grand Prix. The car's supreme advantage was proven after the track became oily. While other cars had to slow, Lauda was able to accelerate over the oil due to the tremendous downforce, which rose with engine speed
When aerodynamic ground effect became important in 1978, it was clear that the low, wide engines would interfere with the large venturi tunnels under the car which were needed to create the ground effect. At Murray's instigation Alfa produced a narrower V12 design in only three months for the 1979 season
Alfa-Romeo’s sportscar-derived flat-12 engine had a capacity of 2995 cc and employed fuel injection and electronic ignition. The engine featured a cast magnesium alloy engine block with aluminium alloy crankcase and magnesium or aluminium cylinder heads. There were four gear-driven valves per cylinder. In Formula One form by 1978 it delivered about 520 bhp at 12,000 rpm, about 50 bhp more than the Cosworth DFV engines used by most teams, as well as a peak 324 lb-ft of torque (439 N·m). However the power came at the expense of greater size, increased fuel and oil consumption and about 40 kg more weight
A flat-12 is a 12-cylinder internal combustion engine in a flat configuration. Rarer, wider, and less tall than a V12, the flat-12 design was used in Formula One and endurance racing and some exotic sports cars.
Flat-12 engines are generally not horizontally opposed engines (boxers), but rather 180° V-engines. A true boxer has one crankpin journal per piston, while in the 180° V-engine, two opposing pistons share the same crankpin journal. The engine also has a naturally lower center of gravity than a V12.
The company's sporting department, Autodelta, returned as the works team in 1979. This second period as a constructor was less successful than the first. Between the company's return and its withdrawal as a constructor at the end of 1985, Alfa works drivers did not win a race and the team never finished higher than sixth in the World Constructors' Championship. The team's engines were also supplied to Osella from 1983 to 1987, but they scored only two World Championship points during this period.
In December 1979 Alfa Romeo revealed its Formula One race car for the 1980 season. The company named Patrick Depailler, Vittoria Brambilla, and Bruno Giacomelli as its drivers. The racer was nearly identical to one driven by Giacomelli in the 1979 Italian Grand Prix. It was a wing car design with a V-12 engine that generated more than 520 hp (388 kW). Alfa Romeo announced that it was working on a 1,500 cubic centimeter turbocharged engine which was to begin track testing in a Formula One car in the summer of 1980.
The Alfa works Formula One project was never truly successful during its existence from the middle of 1979 until the end of 1985. During this period Alfa Romeo achieved two pole positions, Bruno Giacomelli led much of the 1980 United States Grand Prix before retiring with electrical trouble, three 3rd places, two 2nd places and one fastest lap. They also endured tragedy when their driver Patrick Depailler was killed testing for the 1980 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring.
In 1981 they had the services of Mario Andretti but continued to be dogged by poor reliability. After a restructuring of Autodelta, the team operations and design of the car were outsourced to Euroracing in 1982, with the works engines still being supplied by Autodelta. The team's best season was 1983 when the team switched to the turbocharged 890T V8 engine and achieved 6th place in the Constructors' Championship, largely thanks to two second-place finishes for Andrea de Cesaris.
While the turbocharged 890T proved competitive in 1983, more powerful and fuel-efficient engines from BMW, Ferrari, Renault, TAG-Porsche and Honda, plus the FIA imposed 220-liter fuel limit with no re-fuelling allowed during pit stops during 1984, saw the decline of the Euro racing Alfa Romeo team as a competitive force in Grand Prix racing.
The 890T (the only turbo V8 engine used in GP racing at this time) was very thirsty and suffered badly at fast circuits- particularly both of Alfa's home circuits of Imola and Monza. To temporarily rectify this problem, the team had to run with less boost to save fuel- which made the engine underpowered, and this proved to be a severe hindrance at fast circuits- the kind of circuits where they almost always had to do that.
The engine was developed but the fuel consumption problems were never really rectified. Riccardo Patrese's third-place finish at the 1984 Italian Grand Prix being the last podium finish for the team, with both Patrese and Eddie Cheever often failing to finish races throughout 1984 and 1985 due to running out of fuel- Cheever ran out of fuel 5 laps before the end at Alfa's home Grand Prix at Monza- close to Alfa's headquarters in Milan.
The team's 1985 car, the Alfa Romeo 185T proved to be so uncompetitive that the 1984 car, the 184T was re-called into service mid-season. After being updated to 1985 specifications the car, now dubbed the 184 TB, was an improvement over the 1985 car, but results were still not forthcoming. In an interview he gave in 2000, Riccardo Patrese described the 185T as "the worst car I ever drove".
In 1980, Andrea de Cesaris was picked up by Alfa Romeo for the final events of the 1980 World Championship, replacing Vittorio Brambilla who had, in turn, replaced Patrick Depailler when he was killed testing at Hockenheim. At just 21 years old, his first race in Canada ended after eight laps because of engine failure. In his second race, at Watkins Glen in the United States, he went off at the Ninety corner on the first lap at the start and crashed into some catch fencing at the Junction corner on lap two. photo courtesy Robert Murphy
Alfa Romeo pulled out of Formula One as a constructor following the final race of the 1985 season in Australia.
The Alfa Romeo logo returned to Formula One in 2015, appearing on the Scuderia Ferrari cars. In late 2017, Alfa Romeo announced that they were to become title sponsors for Sauber from 2018, and had entered into a technical and commercial partnership with the team. Alfa Romeo returned to the sport as their team when Sauber was renamed at the beginning of 2019.
Alfa Romeo Formula One 2019 and beyond
In January 2019, Sauber announced the team would rename to Alfa Romeo Racing, but unlike BMW Sauber, the ownership, Swiss racing licence and management structure would remain unchanged. Alfa Romeo's challenger for the 2019 season was the C38, continuing the naming convention from previous Sauber Formula One cars.
The C38 included unique aerodynamic design elements in comparison to its rivals and predecessors, particularly at the front of the car as a result of regulation changes for the new season. 2007 world champion Kimi Räikkönen and former Sauber reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi were hired as the team's drivers. Giovinazzi briefly led the Singapore Grand Prix for four laps, the first Alfa Romeo driver to lead a lap since Andrea de Cesaris did so at the 1983 Belgian Grand Prix.
The team's best result of the year came at the chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix, where Räikkönen and Giovinazzi were classified 4th and 5th respectively. Alfa Romeo finished the year in 8th place in the Constructors' Championship with 57 points.
Alfa Romeo entered the 2020 season with an unchanged driver lineup. In January 2020 the team announced that they would enter a title sponsorship arrangement with Polish oil company PKN Orlen and that Robert Kubica would join as a reserve driver.
Alfa Romeo Racing would remain as the team's name after Sauber and Alfa Romeo had reached an agreement.
Raikkonen is due to retire, while Giovinazzi will depart the team at the end of 2021. The team signed Valtteri Bottas and F2 driver Guanyu Zhou for the 2022 season.
Fellow Three Rivers Alfisti member Robert Murphy has been photographing Racing since the early 1970's. He has an absolutely amazing collection of photography that he shares on his Facebook page and several groups. Be sure and check out Murph's photos!.
For our first OFFICIAL gathering post Pandemic, we will be meeting that the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix's Cortile.
This year, the Cortile is featuring Lancia, and it looks like there will be an automobilia vendor bringing some very rare Lancia AND Alfa Romeo collectibles for your home, garage and vehicle.
Just click the button below to go directly to the registration page.
Here is the video from Paul Bowman's presentation last month on Braking Systems.
Join the Three Rivers Alfisti member Paul Bowman Ph.D. and his son Alexander Bowman on March 6, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET to review the design, maintenance, repair and restoration of brake systems. This roughly 90 minutes of content will be livestreamed with 30 minutes of Q&A.
.Alexander has been a huge fan of European cars and Alfa Romeo's in particular. In Second grade he did a report on Alfa Spiders in the school parking lot to his second-grade teacher and classmates with Paul's Spider parked behind him.
Here's an overview of what you can expect to learn on the afternoon of Saturday March 6
Please RSVP so we have an approximate headcount to email@example.com
You can log in from any web browser at: meet.google.com/opr-krax-zbc
The Three Rivers Alfisti will be supporting the Rally Accross America effort with two upcoming events:
All of the proceeds from both of these events with be contributed to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix charities. Be sure to register ASAP! We will be posting more information on these events with details we get closer. Below is an article from Hagerty Insurance that explains more about the Rally Accross America.
Lilly Pray has a passion for cars, and now she’s channeling that energy into an organized drive that will give back to the community. Lilly, a nurse in Boulder, Colorado, serves an ambassador for Rally Across America, a grassroots organization whose goal is to raise more than $1 million for nonprofit groups across the U.S.
As a frontline medical worker and car lover, the fundraising tour is right in Pray’s wheelhouse, and it all started with her dad. Malcom Pray Jr. was a successful car dealer and well-known collector who gave generously to the Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, Red Cross, USO, and other local charities in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“My father taught me how to drive classic cars,” she says of Malcom, who passed away in 2013. “If I wanted to spend time with my dad, it was in the garage with him, as well as attending a lot of auctions and concours events.
“I’ve been a concours judge for many years, and it is probably how I made my dad the proudest when I started judging at Hilton Head Concours 19 years ago. He instilled in me a great sense of giving and giving back to my community,” she says.
Lilly Pray began working in the medical field in 1987, first as volunteer, which led to a career as a firefighter/paramedic. She became an RN in 2010 and volunteers as a victim advocate for the Boulder Police Department.
“My brother died in a car crash in 1986,” she says of Malcolm Pray III. “It was a life changing event. My life motto has been always to ‘help the weaker hikers on their journey.’ So as an EMS provider, and now a RN, I guess I’m still helping the weaker hikers and holding their hands in whatever way I can.”
She jumped at the opportunity to help Rally Across America, which hosted its inaugural drive on June 7, with proceeds going to the Connecticut Foodbank. A total of 41 cars took part, with each driver donating the suggested $100.
Lilly says the idea began with her friends Frank Taylor and Wendy and Jim Petty, who organized the drive as a way to recognize and give to 501(c)3 nonprofits in their area that have greatly suffered during the COVID-19 lockdown. Pray happened to be in Connecticut at the time, so she immediately registered her 1987 Porsche 911. Since Rally Across America hopes to have ambassadors in every state (and average eight drives per state), she took the lead for Colorado.
The first drive that Pray is organizing is set for June 28, beginning and ending in Boulder. Her chosen beneficiary is the Denver-based Morgan Adams Foundation, which raises funds for pediatric cancer research. “The MAF holds the best four-hour concours in the world,” she says, “and they had to cancel their annual major fundraiser on August 24 due to the ongoing events with COVID.”
She has planned two other drives for July 26 and August 16. They will follow a route “into the foothills of the mountains—an easy 60-mile drive lasting 3–4 hours.” As a registered nurse, Lilly is well aware of the possible negative ramifications of any gathering, so social distancing guidelines will be observed. “We just want to get out in our cars and help the nonprofit community,” she says.
She’ll be driving the 1959 Porsche Convertible D that she has owned for 25 years. If you’re sensing a Porsche pattern here, you’re onto something. Lilly’s daughter is named Portia.
Pray says Rally Across America events are planned in six states so far, including one later this year, organized by Barn Find Hunter Tom Cotter, that will travel country roads from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Virginia International Speedway and include a parade lap on the track. Details are forthcoming.
“Driving cars makes me happy,” Lilly says. “My car friends really are my family, and there is nothing as fun as gathering for a family reunion—whether it’s at a concours event, a 1000-mile drive, or a short day-run with friends.”
Rally Across America ambassadors are being sought in every state. If you’re interested in becoming an ambassador or joining a ride near you, contact Lilly Pray at LillyPrayRAA@gmail.com.
Three Rivers Alfisti Events
Here are the links to both of our club events. Sign up for one of both!
The Alfa Romeo Owners Club 2020 National Convention hosted by the Alfa Club of the Rockies was postponed until July 2021.
Along with just about every other organization in the world, AROC has looked for ways to keep our membership engaged with the cancellations and/or postponements of National and Chapter events.
Those ways have consisted of Chapter level Zoom meetings, Detroit Chapter's Zoom tech sessions, posting of those tech sessions on the new AROC YouTube channel, AROC Chapter Presidents Zoom with the AROC Board, and now a new type of virtual event is on the way with the intention for all AROC members to have an opportunity to engage with other members.
COncorso Virtuale Italiano Dell’automobile 2020
The name of the event is COncorso Virtuale Italiano Dell’automobile 2020. AROC Director Doug Zaitz came up with the title name for the event that kept it related to the COVID-19 virus causing all the schedule changes. AROC Director John Justus began putting the online car show together along with input from AROC Director Arno Leskinen
AROC National is going to present a web based “virtual not a concours” car show. This will be available for all AROC members who would like to display their Alfa(s) in an online virtual concours setting. AROC members will then be asked to vote on a Winner for each class and a Best of Show overall winner.
The voting will be done online, like our Board of Director elections, and the awards will be presented at the AROC Virtual Convention w/Business Meeting & Board Officer election on July 25. 2020 and the results will also be announced in the September issue of the Alfa Owner.
Alfas through 1995 – 4 classes
Open to any current AROC member and their immediate family.
Entry Information needed:
Questions & Answers
Below you will find answers to questions already asked by AROC members and hopefully this will help you with while entering your Alfa in the COncorso Virtuale Italiano Dell’automobile 2020.
How many photos can I have?
Alfa Romeo’s 110-year history, which began on June 24, 1910, in Milan, Italy, is an achievement matched by very few auto- makers. It is an enduring automotive love story, fueled by a passion for design, technological innovation, performance and racing victories worldwide.
Below is a summary of some of the key episodes, the vehicles and the people who have made their mark on the brand’s history. Inspired by its illustrious past and a set of ingrained brand values – performance, design, technology - Alfa Romeo now moves forward with a vision, energy and commitment that will enhance its legacy for the next 110 years.
Compiled by, Marsha Hicks
Kentucky Alfa Romeo Society
As we practice social distancing during this hard time, many of us are looking for
some entertainment. I thought it might be fun to talk about some movies that have Alfa Romeo cars.
Of course, The Graduate, featuring a Duetto, is probably the most famous. And there is a new movie out, available on Netflix, A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story. (Spoiler Alert: Fangio won his first World Championship with the Alfa Romeo team in 1951).
Here is a list of movies (in alphabetical order, not in order of favorite cars!).
Let me know if you know of others!
Movie Name & Alfa Romeo Model
6 Underground - Giulia Quadrifoglio
Bram Fischer - 1958 2000 Spider
Cars 2 - 1966 Spider 1600
Don Camillo, Monsignore - 1948 6C 2500
Fast & Furious 6 - 2013 Giulietta
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - 1977 Alfetta
Fletch - 1983 2000 Spider Veloce
For Love or Money, 1993 - 1986 2000 Spider
Highway Racer (Poliziotto Sprint) - 1965 Giulia Super
Johnny English Reborn - 2010 159 TBI Lusso
L’ultimo incontro - 159 Alfetta
LaScorta - Alfa Romeo 33
Milano Odia: La Polizia Non Può Sparare (Almost Human) - 1963 Giulia TI
Nine - 1955 Giulietta Spider
No Way Out - 1986 2000 Spider Quadrifoglio
Octopussy - 1981 GTV 6
Oh Heavenly Dog - 1973 2000 Spider Veloce
Poliziotto Spring - Giulia
Quantum of Solace - 2008 159 3.2 V6 Ti
Ripley’s Game - 156 Sportwagon
Rocco and His Brothers - Scene at Alfa Romeo Factory
Roma Violenta - 1968 Giulia Super
Ruthless - 1972 Alfetta, 1983 Alfetta, plus others
S1mOne - 2600 Touring Spider
See No Evil, Hear No Evil - 1986 Spider Veloce
Tequila Sunrise - 1984 2000 Spider Veloce
The Arrangement - 1966 Spider 1600 Duetto
The Day of the Jackal - 1961 Giulietta Spider
The Destructors (The Marseille Contract) - 1971 Montreal
The Godfather: Part 1 - 1946 6C 2500
The Graduate - 1966 Spider 1600 Duetto
The Gumball Rally - 1972 2000 Spider
The International - 1988 164 & 156 Carabinieri
The Italian Job (1969) - 1963 Giulia TI
The Man Who Sued God - 1973 2000 GT Veloce
The Pink Panther - Berlina and Giulietta
The Talented Mr. Ripley - 1955 Giulietta Spider
The Things of Life - 1959 Giulietta Sprint
The Things of Life - 1959 Giulietta Sprint
The Upside - 2017 Giulia Quadrifoglio
The Wolf of Wall Street - 1987 2000 Spider Quadrifoglio
Trance - 2005 156 2.0 JTS Veloce
Turbo - 1966 Spider 1600 Duetto
Un Bellissimo Novembre - Tipo 33 Stradale
Wayne’s World - Spider 1600 Duetto ́66
Welcome to the Punch - 2006 159
White Lines [TV movie] - Spider
Woman in Red - 1983 Spider
You Can't Stop the Murders - 1972 2000 Spider Veloce
Make plans to join us this January 16 for the Post Holiday party at the Doubletree Hilton in Cranberry Twp. PA from 6pm - 10pm, Thursday January 16, 2020
Check out the Alfa Owner October issue with a jam packed full series of articles about the Cortile Della Corsa 2019 AROC Convention hosted by our Three Rivers Alfisti Club.
Reporting is by Dave Hammond and Bob Abhalter. In some cases, I've linked back to the convention pages so you can see all of the schedule details in case you don't recall when reading the articles.
Here you will find the details about upcoming and past events as well as member profiles.