Alfa Romeo 158
The Alfa Romeo 158/159, or Alfetta (meaning 'Little Alfa' in Italian), is a renowned racing car that has achieved a remarkable 47 wins out of 54 Grand Prix races entered. It was first developed for the pre-World War II voiturette formula in 1937, featuring a 1.5 litre straight-8 supercharged engine. After the war, it was adapted to comply with the new Formula One standards of 1947, and it soon became a formidable force under drivers such as Nino Farina, Juan-Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli. The engineering was led by Gioacchino Colombo, and its namesake related to the 1.5 litre engine and eight cylinders. This class of car was initially used for racing cars with a 1.5 litre engine, acting similarly to what GP2 does for Formula One today. Alfa's 3 litre racing cars during 1938 and 1939 were the Tipo 308, 312 and 316.
Emilio Villoresi was the first to claim victory in the debut race at the Coppa Ciano Junior in Livorno, Italy, with an engine producing around 200 bhp (150 kW) at 7000 rpm with the help of a single-stage Roots blower. After World War II, the engine was further developed to give an output of 254 bhp (189 kW). The car with its enhanced capacity provided 300 bhp (220 kW) in the new Tipo 158/47 model, which was used in the 1948 Swiss Grand Prix that took the life of Achille Varzi, and the unfortunate death of Jean-Pierre Wimille (through an accident at the practice of the 1949 Buenos Aires Grand Prix) while driving with Simca-Gordini.
The supreme performance of Alfa Romeo 158 in 1950 with brilliant drivers Giuseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio earned it an impressive victory in every race entered. This prompted the production of an updated version, the Alfa Romeo 159, at the end of the season.
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