‘La macchina del tempo – Museo storico Alfa Romeo’ (The Time Machine – Alfa Romeo Historical Museum) reopened last week alongside a new brand centre for Alfa, which includes a showroom, test track, customer delivery area and bookshop, all part of the firm using its 105-year history to promote its new cars.
Alfa’s museum closed in 2009 after the Arese plant was decommissioned. Architect Benedetto Camerana was commissioned for a new design in late 2013, and work started on the new museum last summer.
The museum, which, unlike before, is now open to the public without advance warning needed, is now home to 69 of Alfa’s most iconic road and race cars spread out over three floors.
The three floors each get their own theme: 'Timeline', which is a chronological walk-through of some of Alfa’s great road cars; 'Beauty', which features some of its famous models from coachbuilders, design studios, concept cars and movie cars; and 'Speed', which shows off some of Alfa’s legendary racing cars.
The Timeline section houses 19 cars, including Alfa’s first model, the 24HP of 1910, through to the 8C and 6C models of the 1930s and 1940s, the 1900 and Giulietta of the 1950s, 1962’s Giulia, the Alfetta and Alfasud of the 1970s, and the 156 and 8C of more recent times.
Several themed areas feature in the Beauty section, including Alfas reimagined by famous Italian design houses such as Pininfarina, Bertone, Touring Superleggera and Giugiaro. Alfas from the 1930s and 1940s coachbuilt by Touring also feature in this section, including the Pebble Beach Concours-winning 1938 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta.
Multiple versions of the Giulia and Giulietta are given prominence in special exhibits in the Beauty section to recognise their significance in Alfa’s history.
In the Speed section of the museum are famous Alfa racing cars, including F1 world championship-winning cars of the 1950s, Mille Miglia and Targa Florio winners, through to its more modern touring cars.