Alfa Romeo View From the Mouth of the Dragon


S. Scott Callan


“Alfa Romeo View from the Mouth of the Dragon lays before the reader the fascinating story of Alfa Romeo from 1910 to 1940. Competitors, management, racing achievements and the influence its innovative engineering had on the automobile industry are all explored. Technical illustrations of all Alfa Romeo engines and 30 of the cars which carried them are woven through the text.

Each copy of Alfa Romeo: View from the Mouth of the Dragon is custom made.

On the title page is printed the name of the person for whom the book is ordered. You’ll notice the wording here. It implies that the book may be ordered as a gift. If it is, the name of the person who ordered a copy for a lucky friend or spouse is also listed below the new owners name. It reads: Produced for (their name) & Produced at the request of (Your name).

Each book is dated, numbered & signed by the author & illustrator.

This richly detailed story is interwoven with 34 complex engineering illustrations & 30 illustrations of the Alfa’s they went in. All the illustrations were done specifically for this edition in the pen & ink watercolor publishing style of the Thirties and Forties. It also contains 56 color photographs, and a couple dozen film frames of the races between the wars.

For those of you unfamiliar with how we produce these books, allow me to explain. We operate in the same manner as the subscription publishers of the 19th Century; when an order is placed we alter each galley specific to the customer, then to maintain complete consistency of ink tones throughout, that galley is produced individually in a singular press-run, then hand bound.

Each 369 Alfa page book is printed on acid free archival paper and hand bound in the finest burgundy leather. So you never lose your place while reading, each copy has a missal ribbon bound into the finger boards. It takes six weeks to produce and deliver.

“A note about the illustrations:

Some of the earliest automotive books received when I was young came from that great period of illustrated publications. These publications spoke of automotive design and engineering through the visual language of the pen and ink watercolor. These publications and their illustrations inspired my automotive enthusiasm and motivated me as a young artist. In the interest of taking the reader on a journey through the time period discussed, to fully appreciate the innovation of 1914 say, I have revisited this printing and graphic method dating from the turn of the 20th Century through nineteen forty.

For the engines I had a special interest in bringing alive the engineering; utilizing the printed page to bring forth the evolving performance of these engines in a method that inhabited the time, while animating them in third dimension representation. So here once again I revisit the period printing and graphic visual language of the pen and ink watercolor to bring forth an understanding of what Giuseppe Merosi, Vittorio Jano and Gioachino Colombo imagined and made metal.”

For those with an interest in Alfa Romeo, this book is a gift. For the unaware, it is a revelation.