" If you're even vaguely interested in car culture, you must have realised by now that Alfa Romeo has recently celebrated its Centenary. There's already been an acreage of coverage of stuff about the great marque, whose fortunes of late have "
Alfa Museum Fratelli Cozzi
A shrine to Alfa Romeo
Many of you will have heard of the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, close to Milan, dedicated to the history of the Italian brand.
But a less well-known shrine to Alfa is only six miles away: a private collection, with viewing by reservation and with an internal structure concept reminiscent of a cathedral, for those like me whose passion for automotive is almost a religion.
The Fratelli Cozzi Museum, which takes its name from the Alfa Romeo dealership opened in 1955 by Pietro Cozzi, houses the collection of the founder who decided to buy a model of each Alfa produced in its sportiest or other special version. The museum opened in 2015 and today contains more than 50 cars, two of which are unique in the world.
Everything starts from the architecture. The entrance is the one of the dealer showroom, although there is a cube inside which you enter dazzled by a red light, the color of passion. As you go down the stairs in a sort of temporal leap to the basement where suddenly everything is dark, and with black as the predominant colour, even with the lights on.
It really gives the impression of being on the altar of a church or crypt with a long colonnade, in whose recesses are parked Alfa Romeo works of art. On the altar of course there can only be the most valuable piece: an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Freccia Oro, called “Gobbone”, with a 2500 Sport 105hp Cabriolet bodied Bertone in front of it.
In the aisles from the right side we find the Alfa Romeo sedans that have made history, including a unique piece: a beautiful grey colored Giulia TI Super Quadrifoglio Verde, set up for racing. This is the only existing example in grey, as the remaining ones from only 50 worldwide, are all white and one red.
However, the collection does not mean only beauty and you can also seen an example of what’s regarded by many as the ugliest Alfa ever (can an Alfa be ugly?), the Nissan-derived Arna (the answer is yes). Up to the most recent decades with the exclusive model of the 155 GTA that holds the speed record at Bonneville salt flats, with a parachute at the rear to brake from more than 186mph.
Going back from the opposite aisle we find the coupes that made the story of the “biscione”, including a beautiful copy of a Montreal, my favourite, while in the middle there are some real jewels like the 4C, parked next to its opposite model, the Alfa Romeo Matta (which means crazy in English) produced for the Army. And finally the unforgettable “cuttlefish bone”, the Alfa Romeo Duetto Spyder became famous in the film The Graduate.
Finally, in an alcove there is even the reproduction of an office, with the original computers of the past, catalogues, drawings and technical documentation of 70 years of Alfa and dealers history.
“Every season I saw changes in the rules, the technologies, the paths, but one thing has always remained the same, the ability of men to make every challenge a page of history” said Pietro Cozzi, the founder of the Museum.
The Fratelli Cozzi Museum is directed by a brilliant woman, daughter of the founder, Elisabetta Cozzi, who has been able to make this sacred place, seem far more magical than just a museum, where the passion and the culture of automotive history is taken in with every breath.
Of course, talking about all the cars is impossible, so I invite you to visit this special bond between the worlds of cars and architecture.
But not all of them are always on display, as often they will be out being driven to ensure the mechanical parts are exercised.
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