Alfasud, according to Giugiaro – Classics

The era Alfasud for Alfa Romeo it was of fundamental importance, from whichever side you look at it. The model, while problematic, was cheap and sold a lot. He brought the Biscione in segments never covered before. A few years after the farewell from the list, Alfa was put up for sale, and between Ford and Fiat, the latter won, going to buy the factory of Pomigliano d’Arco, symbol of Alfasud.

The car, which turns 50 in November 2021, it was ‘conceived’ by Rudolf Hruska and designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. It was the latter, in particular, who described the gestation, ‘hot’ after the 1971 presentation at the Turin Motor Show, and a few years later. “For us at Italdesign (i.e. for me and for my friends Mantovani and Bosio) the design of the bodywork of the Alfasud sedan was a decisive experience in all respects, but two in particular: 1) for the first time it was studied a body shop before mechanics; 2) having proposed new ideas and being able to get them implemented by the suppliers. We arrived at the final solution after four years of work. In fact, the design of the first sketch of the car dates back to September 1967. There is a precise philosophy in this work: first we looked at the man, that is, at the spaces he asked for for himself and for his luggage, then at the engine that had to carry it. The biggest obstacles have been given to us by the problems of aerodynamics. In fact, if I had to redesign the Alfasud, I would add all those things that aerodynamics made me remove or modify.Giugiaro told the newspaper La Stampa on November 13, 1971.

Engineer Hruska had established precise measurements for the trunk and did not ‘give up’ even an inch. He always said that Alfasud had to be practical, practical, practical; he wanted four huge suitcases to fit in the trunk, which perhaps are not even on the market just so tall and wide, and I had to condition the line to this needยป, The designer told Gente Motori, a few years later. “Mechanics have had a huge influence, it is clear, and it could not be otherwise. But with Alfasud there was a different way of working. Let me explain: usually the coachbuilder takes an existing car and puts on it the dress he prefers. This time, however, the car was not yet there, it was outlined by specifications deriving from an in-depth market study of Alfa Romeo, and therefore the mechanics and the line went hand in hand. I worked under the continuous guidance of the engineer Hruska and I can say that I have not drawn a mark with a pencil without his approval.. In short, that’s a bit like what happens with the songs. For some, music is born first (which for us would be mechanics) and then you go to the coachbuilder to put words on it (the bodywork); for other songs words and music are born at the same time. The latter is the case of Alfasud. And I must say that it is a much more exciting work system, which gives greater satisfaction“.

One can only imagine how the evolution of the Alfasud would have been if it had received more attention and more care, at the management level and also during the assembly phase. And despite this, the volumes made them anyway.

FP | Samuel Prosino


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