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Historic Alfa Romeo museum reopens for 105th birthday

1 July, 2015

Alfa Romeo have completed grand renovations to their ‘La macchina del tempo — Museo storico Alfa Romeo’ museum in Arese (near Milan), which reopened to the public on June 30.

Translating to ‘The time machine — Alfa Romeo historical museum’, the museum’s changes have resulted in it becoming one of Italy’s most stunning monuments to motoring. Depicting more than 100 years of history across its three floors, the museum will house 69 different Alfa Romeos. These range from their first-ever production car, the 24 HP, to various Formula 1 and sports cars, including a championship-winning Juan Manuel Fangio Alfetta 159.

In an aim to define Alfa Romeo, each floor represents a distinct element of the company’s heritage. Titled ‘Timeline’, the first floor features cars that are said to best embody the development of the marque. The ground floor, titled ‘Beauty’, will unsurprisingly focus on the most beautiful cars Alfa Romeo have built, as well as the various phases of design that have influenced the brand. And finally, the basement level of the building, titled ‘Speed’, will highlight their motorsport achievement via some of their most well-known race cars.

Built in 1976, the museum faced its first closure in 2009 after its supporting Arese production plant was decommissioned. It was briefly reopened in 2010 to celebrate the brand’s 100th birthday, but was once again closed in February 2011.

It has been a busy month for the Italians following their recent unveiling of the 2016 Giulia Quadrifoglio four-door performance sedan (check out our coverage and gallery here). The Giulia is also on display at the museum; this being the first time it will be seen in the metal by the public.

Along with the car displays and the supporting test track, the museum also includes a bookshop, cafe, and documentation centre.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.