The company that became Alfa Romeo was founded as Società Anonima Italiana Darracq (SAID) in 1906 by the French automobile firm of Alexandre Darracq, with Italian investors. In late 1909, the Italian Darracq cars were selling slowly and the Italian partners of the company hired Giuseppe Merosi to design new cars. On 24 June 1910, a new company was founded named A.L.F.A., initially still in partnership with Darracq. The first non-Darracq car produced by the company was the 1910 24 HP, designed by Merosi. A.L.F.A. ventured into motor racing, with drivers Franchini and Ronzoni competing in the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models. In August 1915, the company came under the direction of Neapolitan entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who converted the factory to produce military hardware for the Italian and Allied war efforts. In 1920, the name of the company was changed to Alfa Romeo with the Torpedo 20-30 HP the first car to be so badged.
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