The Alfa Romeo Dauphine was developed by Renault and produced by the Italian car manufacturer under licence. The production was based on the 1957 contract for European cooperation, which was sealed by France and Italy with a joint project called Renault-Italia.
The parts for the car went directly from the French government to the Alfa factory in Portello, where the carmaker basically just screwed them together. However, in order to be able to start production in parallel with the successful Giulietta model, it was necessary to expand the plant with an assembly line. In 1959, CEO Pierre Dreyfus officially inaugurated the expansion of the production facility. The final product is sold exclusively in Italy, and Renault also reserved the exclusive right to sell spare parts. In fact, the Alfa Romeo Dauphine is nothing more than a Renault with the Alfa Romeo label. The compact class saloon had a 0.85-litre petrol engine, which delivered between 25 and 49 hp depending on the model variant. The light weight weighed a whole 650 kg and, despite initial sales successes, did not represent a serious competition for the Giulietta. Altogether 20,047 Dauphine went off the production line in Italy in 1960, but when from 1961 onwards the sales figures continued to decline due to poor quality, Alfa Romeo stopped production in 1964. The company was not allowed to make any improvements due to the terms of the contract. The luxury version of the Dauphine, the Odine, sold extremely badly from the beginning, Alfa Romeo only built 2000 pieces. The Italian owes the unjustified reputation of the Dauphine to the fact that the vehicles start rusting at the factory.