Born in 1909 as A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili), initially a partnership with french Darracq. The first non-Darracq car produced by the company was the 1910 24 HP. 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 with the launch of the 20-30 HP he added his name to the brand. This period witnesses the arrival of Enzo Ferrari and engineer Vittorio Jano and the first racing successes for A. Romeo. In 1928 Nicola Romeo left, with Alfa going broke after defense contracts ended, and in 1932 the company was rescued by the government, which then had effective control. Alfa became an instrument of Mussolini's Italy. During this period Alfa Romeo built bespoke vehicles for the wealthy, with the bodies normally built by Touring or Pinin Farina. This was the era that peaked with the legendary Alfa Romeo 2900B Type 35 racers. After the war the luxury vehicles were out. Smaller mass-produced vehicles began to be produced in Alfa's factories notably in 1954 introducing the Giulietta series of saloons, coupes and open two-seaters. All three varieties shared what would become the classic Alfa Romeo overhead Twin Cam four cylinder engine, initially in 1300 cc form. This engine would eventually be enlarged to 2 liters and would remain in production through 1995.