Alfa Romeo — The Legend Revived by David G Styles. 160 pp. 9 It,” x 8″. Dalton Watson Ltd. 3 Harbour Exchange Square, Limeharbour, London E14 9GE, £39.95
AIfa Romeo followers have a great deal to assimulate, with the publication of Angela Cherritt’s work on the 6C cars (see right) and now Styles’ complete Alfa Romeo history. And this Dalton Watson imprint is just that, because the author, having dealt exhaustively with Riley matters and turned his hand to editing the enjoyable VMCC journal, has now loosed himself on Alfa Romeo. The end product is certainly complete, covering not only every possible Alfa Romeo from pre-WWI cars to the 1988 participation of Alfa Romeo engines in Fl, but prototype and experimental Alfas as well. More than that even, because Alfa Romeo engined aeroplanes have a chapter to themselves as does every other Alfa product from railway locomotives to road rollers and cooking stoves.
Having dealt with all that, Styles goes on to describe Alfa Romeo key personnel along the years, and to add Appendices about almost everything, from specifications and production figures to lists of Alfa-powered aircraft and the exhibits in the Alfa Museum. Amongst all this, the maps of famous race circuits, as in the Riley book, are a trifle superfluous, except that the indefatiguable David gives his readers a full survey of Alfa Romeos in racing, both before and after the war and in recent times. All this is pretty good going, the over-used word “comprehensive” most certainly being apt! Why, there Is even a stop press reference to the ES30 Zagato coupe intended to replace the Alfasud . . . The author has not been afraid to refer to the time when Alfa Romeo quality dropped, packing all that history into one book with all the other information may have restricted the former, yet a very full compendium of photographs of all
aspects of the Alfa Romeo story are a notable feature of this book, together with some colour illustration which include rare Alfa advertising — but we dislike the inclusion of even the very few pages of modern advertising. It must be left to Alfa specialists to truly judge this new book, as some Riley people did Styles’ earlier work, but for those who want it all there between two covers, £40 will be well spent.
The author sifted through some 10,000 photographs with the help of Signora Ruocco of the Centro Documentazione and those selected for the book make a fascinating contribution to the text, although inevitably some are old familiars. (The only caption error I spotted was Trossi mistaken for Farina. In the text it isn’t mentioned that, to split hairs, the old Alfa-6 had six carbs.) And if you require fresh material on the Alfa badge . . . [AT and MOTOR SPORT’s GC assisted Styles, and Peter Hull read the manu scripts, a guarantee of accuracy. WB