- Business end of the 33 Stradale

Bella Macchina: The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale

In 1967 Alfa Romeo was one of the key players in racing. They had recently come out with their new race car, the Tipo 33 Periscopio which debuted at the Belgian Hillclimb in Fieron, winning outright.

Unfortunately that's basically where the successes end for the 33 until 1975. It won it's class here and there in the meantime, but unfortunately, these years were dominated by Porsche and Ferrari.

This road car did however share many similarities with the race car. The car was designed by Franco Scaglione, who was already familiar with designing Alfas, having been with Bertone for some time. He was also the father of the gorgeous Lamborghini 350GTV - the first car to carry the Lamborghini name. You can easily see how he used his expertise in shaping this car.

As for the internals, Autodelta headed up the mechanics of the car, using a 2.0 liter race-derived engine. It had a chain driven cam, flat plane crankshaft, fuel injection with dual spark plugs, and ran a dry sump in the aluminum block. Quite advanced stuff for the day. As a result the engine was able to rev up to 10k RPM and propel the car to 60mph in 5.5 seconds with it's ~250bhp and 150 lb-ft of torque. This allowed it to be the fastest car in the world in the standing kilometer when it debuted.

Due to its performance and racing pedigree, the 33 Stradale was not cheap when it came out. In fact it was the most expensive new car in the world, selling for about 30% more than a Miura. I guess that's the price you pay for performance and objective beauty. The Stradale did have racing suspension and magnesium wheels after all. The Stradale was also the first car sold with 'butterfly' doors. Setting a trend for supercars ever since.

As far as production goes, two prototypes were made with the dual headlights as seen here. The other production cars had single headlights and some other small variations. It is reported that 18 were produced in total, with 5 chassis being used as concept cars. One of them you may have heard of as the Alfa Romeo Carabo - one the excellent wedge concepts of the late 60s and early 70s. It is confirmed that 8 chassis' left the factory with the Scaglione bodies, but that still leaves some chassis unaccounted for.

Currently one of the original prototypes lives in a gallery in Japan, whilst another with a replica and the concept cars live in the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo museum in Milan. In 2018 one of the road cars did show up at Ville d' Este and stole the show. Price on one of these cars? Well unlike 250 GTOs, the owners of these seem to not let them go. It's been many years since one had changed hands so its difficult, but speculations suggest well over $10 million, and it's hard to disagree.

As for the images you've been looking at here, it may be hard to think sometimes, but this is just a model. It's an exquisite one produced by AutoART in 1/18 scale. Just about everything is perfect about it. It's an art piece in its own right. Now for some more images to enjoy the perfect curves of this car.

Thanks for reading, cheers!

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