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Alfa Romeo 155/156/147 Competition Touring Cars: The Cars development and racing history [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Peter Collins
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £40.00
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Book Description

15 July 2012
After saving Alfa Romeo from oblivion in 1987, it took Fiat nearly five years to debut the first new Alfa produced under its control. This is the story of how the competition versions of the 155/156/147 family of cars were developed and subsequently raced to many championship titles and race wins. Alfa Romeo's 155 saloon was a comprehensively successful racing touring car that won the German and world-wide DTM Championship, and later ITC races. The model also took on the role of representing the company in national touring car championships throughout the world, most notably winning the British Touring Car Championship in 1994. The 156 was Alfa's successor to the 155 and was also raced with much success. This book follows the development and competition history of this model too, along with its sibling, the 147. Together, these models kept the Alfa Romeo name at the pinnacle of motor sport for many years, from 1992 to 2006, and will become future motorsport classics.

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Alfa Romeo 155/156/147 Competition Touring Cars: The Cars development and racing history + Alfa Romeo 916 GTV and Spider: The Complete Story + Alfa Romeo V6 Engine - High Performance Manual (Speedpro Series): Covers GTV6, 75 and 164 2.5 and 3 Litre Engines - Also Includes (not for front wheel ... Advice on Suspension, Brakes and Transmission
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing Ltd; First Edition edition (15 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845843428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845843427
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 25.6 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 356,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


... this is a fantastic story, not a ripping yarn but a seriously good record of Alfa Romeo and its racing activities during its latter years as a serious leader of major European Championships. We sometimes forget that history means, not just fifty years ago, but what happened yesterday, and this book introduces a breath of fresh air to the stuffy world of regurgitated 60s reiteration. Peter Collins spent three years and a lot of money travelling between the UK and Italy checking the facts and his dedication and passion is rightly rewarded by a forward from Gabriele Tarquini. The Alfa Romeo 156 saved the Company, providing enthusiasts with a viable alternative to the BMW 3 Series and now, having reached bargain basement second-hand prices, they allow a whole new generation to enjoy 'proper' cars. And it is the new generation who will fully appreciate the efforts of Peter Collins, and that has to be a good thing. Alfa Romeo Competition Touring Cars - 155/156/147, published by Veloce, has a cover price of £40 and is a large book extending to nearly 240 pages. It is well illustrated but the images, mostly from the authors own archive, don't swamp the text. As with the man himself, there are few wasted words. We Recommend it. --retro-speed

About the Author

Born in London, Peter Collins has been a motoring writer and photographer for over fifteen years. He has a lifelong interest in motorsport and racing history, and has been attending events worldwide since 1965. Co-founder and now editor-at-large of magazine Auto Italia, he also contributes to other European and American publications and websites, and has recently become European editor of website Retrospeed. Peter lives in south London with his partner, Liz, and cat, Darcy. He travels extensively throughout the year, covering motoring events of all disciplines and maintaining his close ties. This book is a continuation of his previous volumes, which display his long-held passion for motorsport.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great - particularly on the 155 / 156 8 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most interesting touring car books I have read in quite a while. The coverage given to the DTM and ST versions of the Alfa 155 are superb, in-depth looks at the seasons it competed in the DTM, 93-96 and the 2-litre series, including most famously, the BTCC campaign in 1994. The book is well written, and seems to have been almost meticulously fact-checked, not something that's always the case with publications in this genre sadly, I only found a couple of minor errors here and there and that's from someone who has an avid interest in Alfa Romeo touring cars. The only disappointment is the coverage of the 147, which carries on from its appearance in the title as being tacked on and something of an after-thought. Whilst I understand the author wanted to complete the history of Alfa Romeo in modern day touring car racing, it is by far the weakest section of the book. Thoroughly recommended though if you have an interest in Alfa Romeo and/or modernish touring car racing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spo t on 20 April 2013
By K. Bell
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great! Says what it does, does what it says what more do you want? What more do you require Keith
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5.0 out of 5 stars very detailed book 4 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
another very well researched and written book well done to peter for having the patience and passion to get the details needed to make a great book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Alfa 155/156/147 book: great reading! 19 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent history of the models portrayed! It would be perfectly complemented by more detailed technical information regarding the various powerplants used.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty light on "development"...more a typical picture book and racing history. 16 April 2014
By Scott Rinde - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was a disappointment for me, but then I was hoping for more than the usual picture book and racing history as suggested by development being included in the title. There were very few drawings or pictures of mechanical details. Honestly, how many side shots of the same car do we need to see? As many as the author had? Sorry, I don't mean to be nasty. But I regret the $$ I had to spend on this book. It was available locally, but comes wrapped so you can't preview it.

Let me be more specific. A couple of these cars are front wheel drive, and the knowledge of how to set them up is not widely known now, nor was it during the heyday of Super Touring - they felt they were doing pioneer duty (which of course they weren't, except for that they were unaware of or thought inapplicable the work of forerunners). About all the author shares with us is Tarquini's revelation that they understeer in the Foreword. No duh. Later reference is made to a trick diff (it's ALWAYS a trick diff!). Xtrac's VC unit got a lot of attention contemporaneously, but the text here suggests something homegrown and electronic inasmuch as on Pg 110 Tarquini is quoted saying that under braking it locked the front's together. Credit to the author for including in the quotation that that made trailing brake on turn-in about impossible. They might just as well have run a spool. Tarquini is not a genius for driving around this - plenty of club racers do too. Pity as they don't have to, and they forego the exquisite pleasures of the first phase of turning.

So if you know, or think you know, Anything about front wheel drive, you know that Understeer is the big problem. That there are things you can and must do about it are not discussed in Any detail in this book. On pg 176 Tarquini's at Barcelona and BAM! "We had found a good setup with some oversteer..." I know that these are Italians we're reading about, but is their development program really reducible to deus ex machina?

Another staple of race car setup is Stiffer or Softer, generally. On page 190 a 156 is driven by Englishman James Thompson, who wants it softer than Farfus had it. Again, a book with development in the title, but broaching a core topic is limited to the first tooth of the broach.

The concluding chapter of the book, has some comments by Roberto Giordanelli on driving examples of these cars. He doesn't appear to to be a "master front wheel drive jockey". He does mention stiff bar and springs at the rear, but mischaracterizes their role. And he gets it completely wrong on what happens when the track gets wet. Why even bother with this?

The author should have talked to engineers and crew and tried to pry loose their DEVELOPMENT experiences. But I have a feeling he wouldn't have known what questions to ask. So many teachable moments pass unrecognized and un-seized.

But it's fine if you just want a picture book and racing history.

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