And How! is a new regular feature in VeloceToday. It’s for those articles which are too short or too little or news items that don’t qualify as full length articles.
By Gijsbert-Paul Berk
The Countess detested it!
In 1913 A.L.F.A (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, later to become Alfa Romeo) started the production of its 40/60 HP chassis, designed by Giuseppe Merosi. With its four cylinder 6082 cc OHV engine, this chassis was used for both touring and racing cars. The competition model, the 40-60 HP Corsa had 73 bhp (54 kW) which gave a top speed of 137 km/h (85 mph). It won its class in the Parma-Berceto race.
The Count Marco Ricotti commissioned Carrozzeria Castagna in Milan to build a streamline body on one of these A.L.F.A. chassis. The resulting 40/60 HP Aerodinamica (also known as Siluro Ricotti) could reach a top speed of 139 km/h (86 mph).
It had the radiator and engine within the cabin, and while this seemed practical for maintaining the engine without getting out of the car, a great disadvantage was that the passengers had to support the heat of the engine and the nauseating smell of hot oil. For this reason his wife, the Countess Ricotti, detested the car and refused to be driven in it with her children, especially during warm sunny days.
The only solution was to transform the car into an open torpedo and so happened.
Using old photos and drawings in the 1970s a replica of the Aerodinamica body was build on an original 40/60 chassis. That’s the car that is now exhibited at the Alfa Romeo Historical Museum in Arese.