• Matteo Licata

Book Review: Alfa Romeo Alfasud - The Complete Story

Crowood Press's latest motoring title covers one of Italy's most important and controversial motoring tales, the Alfa Romeo Alfasud. Does it justice, though?

Alfa Romeo Alfasud
The Alfasud was presented in November 1971

Full disclosure: as an Alfa Romeo historian myself, I was contacted by the book's author during his work and now by Crowood itself, which kindly lent me a copy of the finished product for me to review. However, I have no affiliation with the company and no personal gain from its activities. The purpose of this article simply is to share with you my honest opinion, and I hope you'll enjoy it.

The importance of the Alfasud in Alfa Romeo's history cannot be overestimated. For better or worse, it changed the Milanese company's trajectory forever and, to this day, still is Alfa's greatest commercial success, selling just over a million units.

Yet, the Alfasud's convoluted tale has rarely been appropriately told outside Italy, as English-speaking authors have generally stuck with a nauseating mix of unsubstantiated rumors and cheap jokes.

Thankfully, author Chris Martin proves to be an exception and a very welcome one at that. The depth of his research on the topic is evident throughout the 176 pages of his book, which perfectly fulfills its title promise and can undoubtedly be regarded as the best English-language book available on this subject.

I've particularly appreciated the passage where the author reminisces about his time doing warranty repairs on Alfasuds and, in general, the light-hearted tone of his writing and the humorous style of the captions.

Contrary to most Alfasuds, this book has evidently been put together with care and, at 25 GBP (or about 29 Euro or 35 USD at the time of writing), it's keenly priced too.

Being an Alfa Romeo historian and having written a few books on the marque myself, I admit I'd have written some things differently, and, in some instances, I didn't agree entirely with the author's exposition, but that was to be expected.

Personally, I'd have gone deeper into Ital Design's role in the Alfasud project, which was far more substantial than it transpires from the text.

Having said that, it's a worthy addition to any Alfista's bookcase; feel free to check it out.

Alfa Romeo Alfasud