Alfetta 159

Alfetta 159

by Luca Dal Monte

It’s the natural evolution of the model of the previous year. The most significant difference from the 158 is the new rear suspension, now of the De Dion type. The engine, an inline 8-cylinder designed by Gioachino Colombo in 1937, is constantly evolving. Its power, initially at 180 hp, increased to 225 hp in 1939, to 425 hp in 1950, and to 450 hp in the last race of the 1951 season, the Spanish Grand Prix, which marks the exit from the scene of this historic model.

The Alfetta is one of the most sophisticated single-seaters ever built up to that point. And naturally, one of the most successful. Its season of glory is 1951, but it should not be forgotten that its track debut took place on September 3, 1950, in that Italian Grand Prix that saw Nino Farina crowned world champion. The first two units are entrusted to the two contenders for the title – Farina and Fangio.

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Nino Farina: In 1951, the reigning world champion Nino Farina wins the Belgian Grand Prix and steps onto the lowest step of the podium three times in Bern, Monza, and Pedralbes. It won’t be enough for him to repeat. At the end of the season, he will indeed only be fourth in the World Championship standings. And when Alfa Romeo announces its withdrawal from competition, Farina will move to Ferrari, the historic rival of Alfa.

Juan Manuel Fangio: Thanks to three victories in the Swiss, French, and Spanish Grand Prix and two second places at Silverstone and the Nürburgring, at the end of the season, the Argentinean clinches his first world championship title – the last for Alfa Romeo. Fangio, on the other hand, is only at the beginning of his extraordinary adventure, which will lead him to win another four world championship titles and to be considered still today as one of the greatest drivers of all time. Besides being one of the fairest.

Our model cars:

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After a start to the 1951 season in which the 159 maintains the supremacy of the previous year with Fangio and Farina winning three Grand Prix, starting from the summer, the Alfetta loses its superiority. Until then, Alfa Romeo had won all the Grand Prix races of the World Championship it had competed in. But in July, at Silverstone, it had to bow to Ferrari. Suddenly, the Alfetta was no longer the car to beat.

At the Nürburgring and Monza, Alfa Romeo drivers do not go beyond the podium. Fangio’s world championship title is in jeopardy. But the 159 does not disappoint, and in the final race of the season, it once again clinches the world championship title.

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