Home WORLD The 1914 Aerodinamica Prototype, An Early Aerodynamic Car By Castagna

The 1914 Aerodinamica Prototype, An Early Aerodynamic Car By Castagna

The Alfa Romeo Aerodinamica was built on a 1913 40-60 h.p. chassis, which it appears was designed by Giuseppe Merosi. This 40-60 model carries a 6082 cc straight four in a conventional shaft drive chassis and was manufactured between 1913-1922.

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At the request of Count Marco Ricotti, Carrozzeria Castagna in Milan, Italy (founded in 1849 and still in business today) designed and built this exqusite damascened aluminum body in 1914 which was patterned after a dirigible.

The cutout seen in the front of the body tapers back to a Mercedes style brass radiator and just behind it is the engine. Access to the engine is through square doors located just behind the front wheels.

The slippery shape of this Castagna body accounted for a 14 km/hour increase in the top speed of the car, which produced a reported 150 km/hour (93 mph) top speed. The car resides in the Alfa Romeo Museum in Milan.


Thanks to its teardrop shape, the Aerodinamica could attain a top speed of 86 mph from its 70 horsepower engine. The car was designed by Marco Ricotti of Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Castagna. It was based on the A.L.F.A. 40/60 HP, a road and race car from the company that would eventually become Alfa Romeo.

The engine bloc cylinder block and cylinder head were split in two groups of two cylinders, and made of cast iron; the crankcase was cast aluminium, incorporating the four engine mountings. The two in-block camshafts were driven by a gear train located at the front of the engine.