“Dreams are what makes a man alive. Destiny rests largely in our own hands, provided that we know what we want and are decided to have it”

Matteo Licata
Picture of the Author, provided by… The Author!

I wish these words were mine, but they actually are from Enzo Ferrari. A man who knew a thing or two about dreams, and definitely one that lived life on his own terms.

The way I like it.

I’ve been obsessed with cars since I can remember and started drawing them almost as soon as…

As the automobile industry goes “all-in” on battery electric vehicles, do Italy’s high-end performance car manufacturers still have a place in an electrified world?

Ferrari Testarossa
Picture by Simon Bennett on Pexels.com

“A very fast car, usually one that is an unusual or rare type.”

That’s what “supercars” are, according to the Cambridge dictionary.
However, there’s no general consensus among automobile historians about the origins of both the word and the kind of automobile it defines. …

Although thrilling car chase sequences certainly aren’t what Italian cinema is most known for, they became a staple of the various police dramas that Italian studios churned out regularly throughout the 1970s. Here are my five favorites…

Poliziotto Sprint Ferrari
The Ferrari 250 GTE in “Poliziotto Sprint” — Screenshot from the movie

For the most part, these were low-budget productions whose cheap storylines, one-dimensional characters, and lackluster acting have been widely mocked since then. …

Over the long history of Alfa Romeo, there’s been plenty of cool cars. But some of those never got their chance to shine beyond the fleeting lights of a motor show. In this case, the 1991 Geneva motor show. This is the story of the Alfa Romeo Protéo.

Alfa Romeo Proteo
Picture from Wheelsage.org

The name Protéo is derived from the adjective “protean.” Rooted in ancient Greek mythology, the word expresses the ability to change quickly and easily, much like the Protéo, whose party piece was a folding glass roof that disappeared into the trunk at the touch of a button.

Work on a…

Freddie Mercury once sang that “time waits for nobody.” Not even for sexy Italian coupés, as the last Alfa Romeo GT rolled off the Pomigliano production line well over a decade ago.

Alfa Romeo GT
2003 Alfa Romeo GT (c. Stellantis Emea Press)

However, we can safely say that time has been very kind to this Alfa model, the last one styled by Bertone and to be available with the classic “Busso” V6 engine. …

Although it may seem like yesterday, the Alfa Romeo 145 was presented over a quarter of a century ago, in July of 1994. Time to go down memory lane and discover five things you’ve probably never known about the Alfa Romeo 145 and 146.

The Alfa Romeo 145 “Limited 500”
The Alfa Romeo 145 “Limited 500” from 2000 (c. Wheelsage.org)

1. The Boxer

The 145 and 146 have been the last Alfa Romeos powered by the flat-four engines first introduced with the Alfasud in 1971. But few people know that Alfa’s boxers were actually supposed to die with the outgoing 33 models. …

The concept of drag is key to understanding vehicle aerodynamics. Welcome to “car aerodynamics 101.”

mercedes benz
Wind tunnel testing at Mercedes-Benz (c. Daimler Media Site)

Slipping away

Aerodynamic drag is dependent on the shape of the vehicle, and the “slipperiness” of a vehicle’s body is expressed with a “drag coefficient,” usually abbreviated as Cx or Cd.

The earliest cars’ Cx was about 1.0, which means they were about as aerodynamically efficient as a barn door. Over a…

The name Alfa Romeo is very much linked to bright red sports cars. Yet, over the years, Alfa has offered many excellent alternatives to the classic “Rosso Alfa,” so I’ve decided to pick 50 of my favorite shades and put together a sort of post-war history of Alfa Romeo cars through their colors.

Matteo Licata Alfa Romeo
Image modified by the Author

Why? Because I’ve always had a weird fascination with car colors, their names, and codes… I’m a nerd, I know.

Nowadays, this early Giulietta saloon with its candy-like pinkish color is a favorite among visitors to Alfa Romeo’s museum. Still, this shade, called “Rosso Corallo,” wasn’t popular with buyers at…

The best part about being an Alfa Romeo historian is that you’ll never know it all about the Milanese marque. Here are five examples…

Alfa Romeo Museum Arese
The Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Milan (picture from the Author)

It is also a quintessentially Italian story: it’s intricate, made of sublime highs and heartbreaking lows, in a kind of two steps forward and three steps back drama stretching well over a hundred years. …

Matteo Licata

I’ve been obsessed with cars for as long as I can remember, and, after working in automobile design for a decade, now I am an Automobile Historian and Writer

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