By the mid-Fifties, the global car market was back in full swing,
At that time Alfa's livewire designer/manager Orazio Satta was reportedly beginning to feel the time had come to enter the mass market and gave the green line to develop a model that would be more appealing and affordable to the growing demand from younger drivers.
Drivers on the lookout for Alfa glamour and prestige without the usual hefty price tag.
The fruit of Satta's vision turned out to be the Alfa Romeo Giulietta series, named in honour of Juliet from the classic novel.
The Giulietta was produced in Alfa's now standard format of Berlina Saloon, Spider convertible, and the Spring Coupe versions.
The launch of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta marked a significant breakaway from Alfa's traditional manufacturing philosophy, with the long-established Milan-based company announcing the Giulietta would be their first-ever mass-produced vehicle.
Another break in tradition was Alfa's decision to launch the Giulietta range at the Turin Motor Show of 1954 not with the standard Berlina sedan but instead with the sporty Sprint 2+2 coupe, designed for Alfa Romeo by Franco Scaglione of Bertone.
The Sprint was produced for Alfa Romeo by Bertone at their coachbuilding plant at Grugliasco, near Turin.
After the Sprint release, with impressive commercial success and critical appraisal, the Berlina saloon was next to follow in 1955 and was again very well received.
Comfortable and spacious and enjoyable to drive, the sedan version of the Giulietta was soon joined by the Spider open-top, featuring the attractive bodywork designs of another long-term collaborator of Alfa Romeo, Milan design house, Pininfarina.
Initially, all of the three versions, as well as a number of derivatives were powered by the same engine, a twin-camshaft four-cylinder 1290cc engine that had its power later increased to 1570cc towards the end of the Giulietta's production run.
In 1957, Alfa introduced the Giulietta Ti, fitted with a salon body and powered by a Sprint engine. With the four doors and a 65 horsepower engine, this became the most popular Giulietta ever produced. Although all three versions of the Giulietta sold very well, the Spider convertible version turned out to be the consistent best seller with around half of 259,000 vehicles produced between 1955 and 1965 soft tops.
The thousands of tourists who flocked to the Italian coastal resorts and the major cities of Rome, Milan and Turin during the Sixties could not have failed to be impressed by these cars, a considerable factor in the rise in export sales enjoyed by Alfa Romeo during the decade.
With demand for Alfa Romeos reaching unprecedented levels, the company made significant investments to achieve large-scale production to increase their production levels.
The first model to be produced in large-scale quantities was the Giulia, which, during its production, was the first Alfa Romeo to sell more than one million units, albeit in a variety of configurations.
Other Sixties top sellers for Alfa Romeo were the 1600 Spider Duetto, Alfa 2600, Giulia Sprint GT, and the Alfa 1750.
TDespite during the Sixties and early parts of the Seventies, Alfa Romeo enjoyed critical approval and sales success, profits earned were not enough to satisfy Finmeccanica, the Italian government parent company.In 1986, once again facing liquidation, Finmeccanica took the opportunity of getting out of the car business, selling Alfa Romeo to the Fiat Group, who have been running the company successfully and profitably ever since.