Alfa Romeo is an Italian luxury automobile producer. It was founded by Alexander Darracq in 1910 and ever since the brand was known to produce sporty vehicles. Originally, the company was founded as Societa Italiana Automobile Darracq but when their cars did not appeal to the market that much, the Italian investors in Darracq’s company decided to hire Giuseppe Merosi to design cars for them. Later on, they formed a different company named A.L.F.A which stands for Societa Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobil and this company is still in partnership with Darracq.
Since then, Alfa Romeo has been known to produce one of the world’s most luxurious cars. And along with their deluxe taste comes their luxurious looking emblem. Many people are intrigued about the looks of their emblem, is it really a snake eating a man? And what does the cross means? Well, in this article, we are going to find out the history of Alfa Romeo’s emblem and how it changed through the years.
Alfa Romeo’s emblem had several changes since it was introduced in 1910 but it still has the main essential elements from its original design. The elements on the Alfa Romeo badge contained two traditional symbols of Milan, Italy where the company was founded and it is the cross of the municipality and the Visconti serpent. The serpent symbolizes the Visconti family who was in power in Milan during the Middle Ages and they ruled for almost two hundred years. The Visconti has a motto that says “Visperos mores non violabo” which is Latin for “I will not violate the customs of the serpent”
The cross and the serpent were combined on the car manufacturers emblem with the words Alfa on top and Milano on the bottom and they were surrounded by two Savoy-dynasty knots. The knots were known to be primarily used in Italian heraldry and its existence on the company’s emblem suggested that Ugo Stela crafted cars that became the epitome of Italian luxury.
Alfa Romeo’s Emblem Through The Years
1920 – During World War I, automobile manufacturing became expensive that’s why it changed everything for Alfa Romeo. Until an electrical engineer named Nicola Romeo saw potential in the company and purchased it. With Nicola Romeo’s expertise, the company started to produce portable compressors and airplane engine. That is why during this time Alfa Romeo’s emblem was redesigned and the word Romeo was added. It was now, Alfa-Romeo Milano.
After the first world war ended, Alfa Romeo started to produce automobiles again but his time they designed car models that were exclusively built to race.
1925 – Alfa Romeo became popular in the racing scene when race car driver Ugo Sivocci won the legendary Targa Florio race. It is also the same year where Alfa Romeo won its first world championship where four Alfa Romeo drivers crossed the finish line with the fifth driver followed behind then 45 minutes later. That victory put Alfa Romeo on the top of the racing scene. During this time, the company added a golden laurel wreath to their emblem to symbolize their racing success and their first world championship.
1946 – At the end of the second World War, Alfa Romeo was left without a leader or any factories. Ugo Gubbato, the man who took over the company in 1933 was shot and killed in 1945. The war also destroyed several factories of Alfa Romeo including the machines that produce their emblem. That’s why the company was forced to create another emblem, hence the Spartan, an all red version of their badge.
1950 – After the proclamation of the Italian Republic, the Savoy-dynasty knots were just replaced with two wavy lines and during this time, Alfa Romeo’s badge was recreated in its original colors. It was also during this time when the laurel wreath in the badge was made less protruding on their emblem.
1972- Alfa Romeo’s Pomigliano d’Arco Alfasud opened and it led to a very noticeable change in their emblem. The company decided to remove the wavy lines and the word Milano on their emblem and this is also the year when a geometric and crisp Alfa Romeo badge was introduced.
1982 – During this time, the elements and colors on Alfa Romeo’s badge were reimagined as well as the serpent and the font of the brand’s name. The golden laurel wreath on the badge that once symbolized Alfa Romeo’s success in the racing world was removed and the badge’s diameter increased.
2005 – This is the year when Alfa Romeo made its latest design for their badge. It exemplifies the company’s history and at the same time, it positions the company for the future with elegance and proportion. The current emblem incorporated elements and colors that highlight’s the company’s superior status. They removed the line that separated the cross of the municipality and the Visconti’s serpent. The new emblem showed a modern-day Alfa Romeo while hinting the company’s traditional past.
Just like the automobiles they sell, Alfa Romeo takes pride in what the company’s brand stands for and they show that they are really committed to luxury, elegance, reliability, and speed.