This volume covers more than 150 years of Italian automobile history. Above all it is a history of men whose creativity, hard work, inspiration, skill and tenacity gave rise to this revolutionary instrument, a symbol of freedom that even today, is indicative of a nation's progress and wealth. The evolution of the automobile is divided into several stages. It starts with the period between the first internal combustion engine and Menon's tiny "Rebus" at the end of the 19th century, then moves from the first races at the time of the First World War to the wonderful 1920s, which saw Italy produce four-wheeled masterpieces that were the envy and ambition of the whole world. Then came the Second World War, the economic boom, mass motorization, the unforgettable "dolce vita", the dark years of the oil crisis, the international competition of the 1980s and 1990s and the challenge of a new century under constant pressure to reduce emissions, optimize dimensions and reduce consumption. This all falls under the unique and inimitable " Made in Italy" banner that has created unforgettable models, made motoring history and left a mark on the nation's social history. These include the Topolino, the Fiat 500, the Lancia Fulvia, the Alfa Romeo Duetto, and the Ferrari Testarossa, right up to the modern innovations of the new millenium.
Italians were among the pioneers in the motor industry, making significant contributions throughout the history of the automobile. It has been said that the automobile was born in Germany, had its adolescence in France and reached adulthood in the United States. Similarly, Italy's contributions in terms of design, style, elegance and technical innovation are recognized all over the world. This was true yesterday as it is today, and as it will be tomorrow.