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  Alfa Romeo G1 Spider Corsa      

  Article Image gallery (26) 6018 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1920 - 1922
Numbers built:52
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 13, 2017
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter the Great War, Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (A.L.F.A.) resumed production of a design that dated back to the company's founding year 1910. The four-cylinder engined machine was nevertheless still successful on the racing track. In 1919, Italian entrepreneur Nicola Romeo acquired a controlling stake in the company, which was subsequently renamed Alfa Romeo. Romeo also provided the impetus to develop an all-new model.

Whereas the earlier cars featured a large four-cylinder engine, the new G1 boasted a similarly sized straight-six. It was constructed from two cast-iron blocks of three cylinders with integral heads. The overhead valves were actuated by a lateral camshaft through push-rods, and one single-barrel vertical carburettor was fitted. Thanks to a very long stroke of 140 mm, the 'six' displaced well over six litres. It produced around 70 bhp at 2,100 rpm.

Mated to a four-speed gearbox, the big engine was mounted in a ladder frame constructed from sheet steel sections. At the front the suspension consisted of a rigid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. The rear-end was similar but featured a pair of leaf springs on each side connected to axle on one end and to the chassis on the other. Stopping power was provided only by mechanically operated drum brakes on the rear axle.

The first two G1 prototypes were produced late in 1920 and were fitted with simple racing bodies. In December, they were entered in the Coppa del Garda where they placed a joint first in class. After the successful competition debut of the two prototypes, the G1 entered production in 1921. A further 50 examples were built, sold as rolling chassis and clothed with a variety of body-styles ranging from luxurious Limousines to skimpy Spiders. A surprising large number of these were sold to Australia.

Plans for a second generation G2 were abandoned due to disappointing sales. One of the main reasons for this were the high taxes on big engines, so Alfa Romeo replaced the G1 in 1922 with the RL, powered by a six-cylinder engine less than half the size of the G1's. Although, the very first all-new Alfa Romeo, only one of the 52 G1s built is known to have survived.

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  Article Image gallery (26) 6018 Specifications