The Anonima Lombarda Fabrica Automobili (ALFA) Company was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915 in order to build tractors, ploughs and aircraft engines. The new company was renamed Alfa-Romeo, and when the company returned to making cars after World War I the Alfa Romeo G1, the first Alfa Romeo was born. The G1 was the first all-new design from Alfa Romeo after then end of the A.L.F.A. brand. Giuseppe Merosi designed the drawings for both the update of the pre-war 24HP into the revised 20/30ES and the new luxury G1.
The chassis was longer and stiffer than the 40-60 HP with a new 6.3 liter 384 cubic-inch straight-6 engine producing 70 bhp (52 kw) and 216 foot pounds of torque and achieved a top speed of 86 mph.
This G1 is the oldest Alfa Romeo in existence as well as the only one known to remain of the 52 that were built. It was sold new in 1921 for the staggering price of 850 pounds. It was designed by Giuseppe Merosi and powered by a 6.3-liter, 6-cylinder engine, the largest engine ever fitted to an Alfa Romeo. It also started Alfa Romeo's motorsports heritage, finishing First in Class in the Coppa del Garda. This particular G1 was sold to a businessman in Australia who soon went bankrupt and the car was hidden for 25 years before being discovered in 1947 by a local farmer. The vehicle was then used to round up cattle before an unfortunate accident with a tree. The engine from the damaged car was next used to power a water pump until 1964, when it was rescued by Ipswich Alfa Romeo enthusiasts Ross Flewell-Smith in 1964. The car has been restored a number of times and is currently in its early racing configuration. In 1995 it was sold to Julian Sterling who began a restoration after which it was bought by Ateco Automotive, the New Zealand Alfa Romeo importer.
The Alfa Romeo G1 two-seat sports roadster is the oldest Alfa Romeo in existence, the very first vehicle designed specially as an Alfa Romeo. There were only 52 of these magnificent creations built, powered by a 6.3-liter side-valve six-cylinder engine. The G1 was designed by Giuseppe Merosi. With its large six-cylinder engine it was the largest engine ever fitted to an Alfa Romeo to date. With increasing gas prices and roughly six miles to a gallon, the car was not popular with many, thus the reason for only 52 being created. It was fitted with a four-speed manual gearbox and semi-elliptical front springs and dual quarter-elliptic at the rear. The brake was mechanical on the rear wheels. The engine was featured two cast-iron blocks each comprised of three cylinders. It was capable of producing 70 horsepower and an astonishing 216 foot-pounds of torque.
This particular G1 has a very interesting history, beginning in Australia where it was sold for 850 pounds to a businessman who, soon after, went bankrupt. The car was hidden to keep it away from creditors but three years later the man died. The G1 remained hidden for 25 years.
It was discovered around 1947 by young farmers. The vehicle was used to round up cattle, chase kangaroos and other farm chores. An unfortunate accident occurred when the G1 had a brush with a tree. The damaged car was brought back to the farm where it was used to power a water pump. It continued this duty until 1964 when it was rescued by Alfa Romeo enthusiasts. It was bought a year later by Ross Flewell-Smith who rebuilt and restored the G1 over a ten year period.
After the restoration it was entered in Vintage Car Concours, memorial runs and races.
In 1995 it was sold to Julian Sterling who began another restoration. At the completion of the restoration it was bough by Ateco Automotive, the New Zealand Alfa Romeo importer.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2013