Talking Italian – Manufacturers And Motorsport

With the Italian GP happening at Monza this weekend the U Drive Cars team have been Talking Italian Cars.

Talking Italian – Car Manufacturers

The car manufacturing industry in Italy is huge, with at least 16 manufacturers currently in production.

Everyone should be familiar with the household names of Alfa Romeo (Est 1910) and Fiat (Est 1899). These two are the major car manufacturers in Italy, but are you familiar with the relatively new Italian manufacturers:  Covini (Est 1978), DR (Est 2006) & Effedi (Est 1979)?

When Talking Italian the supercars of Lamborghini, Ferrari and Maserati always come to mind. These are manufacturers that our instructors are very familiar with as we have two out of the three manufacturers in our fleet. No Italian car chat would be complete without taking a look at Lancia’s an Italian icon for motorsport fans worldwide.


Alfa Romeo began in 1910 as A.L.F.A. (or Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica di Automobili) and has produced nearly 40 different models including the Giuletta, the Montreal, the GTV and the Spider. Involved in motorsport since 1911 and with wins in the Targa Florio, European Touring Car Championship, the Le Mans 24 hour and the Formula One World Championship to name a few, they now mainly involved in touring cars.

1966 Alfa Romeo Spider Duertto

Talking Italian – Fiat Barchetta. The Fiat barchetta: successor to Fiat’s ’60s and ’70s Spiders.


Fiat began on 11th July 1899 when the Societa aninima Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili – Torino was formed and has produced 74 different models including the Otto Vu (1952-1954), the jet powered Turbina (from 1954) and the Barchetta (since 1995). Involved in motorsport since 1900, Fiat has an outstanding record, including three World Rally Championships.

Fiat Barchetta

Talking Italian – Fiat Barchetta. The Fiat barchetta: successor to Fiat’s ’60s and ’70s Spiders.


Lancia began in 1906 when Vincenzo Lancia, 25 years old at that time, and a colleague Claudio Fogolin, set up their first factory to produce cars in Turin. Lancia has produced 32 models including rally legends ‘the Stratos’ ‘the Delta S4’ and the ‘HF Integrale’. In motorsport Lancia has a strong rally heritage – the delta securing 6 consecutive world rally championship wins (1987-1992). They have also been involved in Formula One with the Lancia D50 (1954), and, competed in Sports car racing with the Group 6 Lancia LC1 (182-1983) and the Lancia LC2 (1983-1986).

Lancia Integrale Martini 5

Talking Italian – Lancia Integrale Martini 5. The Delta dominated the World Rally Championship during the late 1980s and early 1990s.


Maserati was founded by four brothers of that name in 1914, and have produced 18 models including the Quattroporte (1963), the Bora (1971), the MC12 (2004) and the Gran Turismo (2007). Throughout its history, Maserati has participated in various forms of motorsports including Formula One, sportscar racing and touring car racing, both as a works team and through private entrants. Maserati developed fifteen GranTurismo MC racecars, homologated for the European Cup and National Endurance Series, one of which was raced by GT motorsport organization Cool Victory in Dubai in January, 2010.

Maserati MC12

Talking Italian – Maserati MC12. The Maserati MC12 is a limited production two-seater sports car



Born in 1898, between the wars Enzo Ferrari first drove for and then ran the racing team for Alfa Romeo. In 1939 he founded his own company at Modena, but it was late 1946 before the first Ferrari car, the 125S, was to emerge. Among Ferrari’s 31 models you will find the ‘250 GT California Spyder’ (1957), the ‘Dino 206’ (1965) and the ‘Enzo’ (2002). Probably best know in motorsport for Formula one, did you know that the first car produced by Enzo was not able to carry the name Ferrari so it was called AAC815. Alongside Formula one Ferrari have also participated and won the Le Mans 24 hours, the Mille Miglia and the Targo Florio.

1962 Ferrari 250 GT

Talking Italian – 1962 Ferrari 250 GT. The Ferrari Spyder features a legendary 3 liter V12 engine


Ferruccio Lamborghini, an Italian manufacturing magnate, founded Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963, and 20 Lamobrghini models have been produced. These include the 350GT (1964-1966), the Coutach (1974-1990), the Diablo (1990-2001). Lamobrghini’s first ever motorsport department created the Lamborghini Squadra Corsa in 2013. Lamborghini are currently running GT3 with the Huracan. Prior to 2013 Lamborghini did not have a racing programme, they did however did build and supply engines for the the Larrousse , Lotus, Ligier, Minardi and Modena teams in the early 90’s.


Talking Italian – the Lamborghini Huracan. The Huracán’s name (huracán being the Spanish word for hurricane) is inspired by a Spanish fighting bull from 1879 who was known for his courage.


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