A legend called Alpha
02 August, 2017

Giorgio Langella
Alfa Romeo test driver

Giorgio Langella, Alfa Romeo test driver, among the protagonists of the event dedicated to Alfa 164. We look forward to seeing you SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER.

His adventure at Alfa Romeo began on 16 January 1957, at the age of 14, and lasted for 36 years. As happened at the time, he joined Alfa taking over from his father who had joined the company in 1929. The father worked in the foundry and hoped for a different future for his son, but always within Alfa Romeo: a future as a test driver.

Giorgio moved from the assembly department to the Autodelta racing department as a mechanic and electrician. Towards the end of 1968, he joins the Car Testing Department. The compulsory four-year apprenticeship in the "first test" cycle, on cars that had just come off the assembly line, which were tested first on the roller bench and only later on the track. Then he arrives at the Prototype Quality Test Department. His father's dream is increasingly a reality.

Between 1986 and 1990 the work concentrated on the Alfa 164... but we will hear this story live at the Museum. Giorgio Langella wanted to anticipate an "Alfa fairytale" for all of us.


Photo by Giorgio Langella

During the Alfa 164 test runs in the freezing, dark winter of beautiful Finland, far to the north, in Lapland, passing through small villages in remote locations, one could see and admire in the middle of the great expanse of snow, small, isolated, colourful wooden houses, where small lights or candles were always lit in every window.
I wondered why there were so many beautiful lights in the windows.
There is a local legend from many, many years ago that an old wanderer with his old horse, in his wanderings from one village to another to sell his goods, having to travel a long way, found himself one night in the middle of a wood when a violent snowstorm was raging.
snowstorm was raging.

"It was terribly cold, the wind was whistling, the trees were bending down from the wind and the weight of the snow."

It was terribly cold, the wind was whistling, and the trees were bending over from the wind and the weight of the snow.
The poor old man was tired and hungry, and so was his old horse. The old man turned to his horse friend and said "dear friend, this may be our last journey together if we do not find a place to shelter from the cold and feed ourselves".
He was afraid, exhausted by the long journey, but when he was about to lose all hope, he saw two small lights in the distance, one red and one white, in the middle of the wood. They were the lights in the windows of a small white wooden house.
When he arrived, he knocked on the door and it was opened for him, he was fed and warmed by a fireplace.
They took his horse to the stable, sheltered from the cold and fed him.

The night passed and the storm stopped. The next morning, fresh and rested, he rode off on his horse to another village.
He was safe, he had been saved, and what saved him were those very lights in the windows of a house in the woods.
It is said that even today an old man with his old horse knocks from house to house to give lights to put in the windows, and even today, those who are lost in the woods know that sooner or later they will surely find a small light where they can knock on the door and where they will surely find a warm shelter.
This is the legend of the old wanderer and the lights.
Finland, Rovaniemi March 1987
Giorgio Langella