Giuseppe Merosi created the A. L. F. A. 40/60 GP Grand Prix to establish himself in international racing. Of the prototype, only one vehicle was built. Contrary to popular belief, the DOHC engine used, an absolute novelty in 1914, was not made by Vittorio Jano, it is also a work by Merosi.
In this 4 stroke reciprocating piston engine, the intake and exhaust valves and the camshaft are mounted in the cylinder head. It is controlled by rocker arms and bumpers. Another new feature was the use of four 90° valves per cylinder and twin-spark technology (two spark plugs per cylinder). The Swiss engineer Ernest Henry, who researched for Peugeot, laid the foundation for the development of the DOHC engine. However, the history of engine construction is controversial, as there were already other vehicles with overhead camshafts, so it is not clear whether A. L. F. A. or another manufacturer brought the engine type to production maturity. What is certain is that the chic racing car with its 4.5-litre engine and the proud 90 hp at 2,950 rpm was not used in the French Grand Prix as originally planned and was modified in 1921 for unknown reasons. However, an irreparable leak in the radiator prevented its use and the Grand Prix never made racing history. From 1920 onwards, Alfa Romeo also used the new racing techniques in road vehicles, the 6C was the first Alfa Romeo to be sold with a DOHC engine.