Alfa Romeo

"…". JZD famously said in the Pennebaker documentary. He was throwing a tantrum for the camera, but it wasn't entirely out of left field. Documents being acquired by parties richer than I confirm what has long been alleged: that JZD had "merger mania". From Chrysler to AMC to the nearest on-ramp, he was ready to merge with anything. And he especially had his eye on Alfa.

It's not hard to see why JZD wanted Alfa so badly. Alfa would have not only supplied the engineering he did not possess, but instant cache. In short, it's where Enzo cut his teeth, and earned appreciation in style and workmanship from Henry Ford. Above all else, in the 1970s, Alfa joined a host of other car companies in serious financial trouble.

In other words, the overtures were not entirely turned away, but his offer of virtually nothing in return for something was probably not very compelling.

One is left to wonder if JZD's entire reason for going public with DMC was in large part to generate the cash needed to acquire Alfa.

Steering clear of the DMC quagmire was, of course, the better move in retrospect. In the end, Alfa did merge, but with Fiat. Although they have come in and out of the American market, with the addition of Maserati in the corporate umbrella, and now sharing what is sure to be a successful alliance with Mazda in the creation of the new Miata, Alfa is on the upswing once again.

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