The Cars of the State Police Corps
In post-war Italy, Alfa Romeo cars proved themselves faster than any other car, both on the track and on the road. They had all the right technical and symbolic characteristics for becoming the cars of the State Police Corps. From the 1950s on, they were selected as the official emergency call-out vehicles. They were known as “volanti” and citizens became used to seeing them around in public, soon giving them other nicknames: those used by the State Police were known as ‘Panthers’, while those of the Carabinieri, or military police, were called ‘Gazelles’ – two monikers that underlined their power and agility.
Alfa Romeo is a Lifestyle
The history of the brand’s relationship with the Police Forces runs parallel to the story of how Alfa Romeo itself evolved over the years. The renowned Alfa Romeo designer Orazio Satta Puglia had a key role in this evolution, declaring that ‘There are many automotive makes, among which Alfa Romeo stands apart. It is a kind of affliction, the enthusiasm for a means of transport. It's a lifestyle, a special way of conceiving a motor vehicle’. He transformed an artisan company into a modern manufacturing force, and began thinking about creating the new, mass-produced Alfa Romeos.
Giulia: the Revolution
Satta Puliga and his team developed a vehicle that was definitely way ahead of its time. Giulia was one of the first vehicles in the world with a differently-shaped supporting structure. The front and rear parts were designed to be shock-absorbent and the passenger compartment was extremely rigid, to protect its occupants - solutions that would only become compulsory a good while later. The design of Giulia was also revolutionary: compact, with well-proportioned volumes and a unique style, the low front and truncated rear were inspired by aerodynamics. The launch slogan described the car as ‘Designed by the wind’; Giulia fast became an Italian icon.