The Alfa Romeo 158 & 159, or 'Alfetta', as it was usually known, is the most successful racing car of all time. Launched on to the voiturette racing scene in 1938 it achieved considerable success before WW2 and was brought out again after the war and raced in the period 1946 to 1948 and 1950 to 1951 - the first two years of the Formula 1 World Championship. For much of this time the car was nearly unbeatable. The author has researched the complete history of this legendary car, from conception to retirement, and beyond. Interviews with some of the last surviving personalities associated with the car, and many archive photographs brig the history to life, while a test drive of a restored car provides a unique insight into what it was like to be behind the wheel of the Alfetta.
Ed McDonough is a motoring writer with a particular interest in motor sport. He is European Editor of US-based magazine Vintage Racecar and is a frequent contributor to Auto Italia. He is also the author of Ferrari 156: Sharknose and Vanwall - Green for Glory [Crowood 2003]. Resident - Wootton, Northants