Tipo 33 Stradale: the most beautiful car ever made
For decades, Alfa Romeo has been the synonym for beautiful cars. The most beautiful modern ones are definitely the 8C Competizione and Disco Volante Touring Superleggera. But, even they can be considered as plain when you compare them to the exquisite 33 Stradale.
The 33 Stradale is actually a race car in a cocktail dress, and it was the most expensive car when it came out. Alfa made 18 units of this beast, but only 7 are with us today, meaning that you might never see one in your life. BTW, even Alfa Romeo museum owns a replica of the Stradale, and that shows how exclusive this car is.
When it was presented in 1967, people were left in awe; not by its chassis and engine, but by its gorgeous body. It was designed by Franco Scaglione, who was also responsible for the Maserati 3500 GT, NSU Prinz, Fiat 1200 Stanguellini, Lamborghini 350 GTV and the ATS 2500 GT.
Apart from being the most expensive car back then, it was also the fastest one with a top speed of 260 km/h. Its heart was a 2.0-litre V8 that could produce 260 HP and spin all the way up to 10.000 rpm. And since the car weighed only 700 kg, that was enough for a 0-100 km/h time of 5.5 seconds, and it could even do a standing kilometre in 24 seconds. The butterfly doors gave it an even more racier look, and that was the first time that butterfly doors were fitted on a production car.
The Stradale’s exclusivity wasn’t just about the low number of units, but also about its technology, it was something like a Bugatti Chiron of its time. A very interesting bit is the engine, which featured twin spark plugs in every cylinder, and had 4 chain-driven camshafts.
Furthermore, the body was hand-made from aluminium, and all 4 wheels were equipped with disc brakes. The wheels were not regular ones, but actually made out of magnesium and are only 13” in diameter.
During the 3 years of its life, the 33 Stradale was constantly being improved. Since they were hand-made, each one featured some minor adjustments, meaning that no two cars were the same. Some of the later units featured cooling intakes behind front and rear wheels, new headlights and windscreen wipers.
But, not all of them were sold to rich playboys who showed them off in front of casinos. Five units were sold to companies Pininfarina, Italdesign and Bertone. They used the cars to make their own concepts. The cars that were based on the 33 Stadale were:
Alfa Romeo P33 Roadster (Pininfarina) ; this car was later given another makeover and renamed to P33 Cuneo
Alfa Romeo 33/2 Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina)
Alfa Romeo Iguana (Italdesign)
Alfa Romeo Navajo (Bertone)
and the famous Alfa Romeo Carabo (Bertone).
All 6 of these concept cars were quite cool, but nothing can beat the elegance of the original one. On the outside, this is Heidi Klum with wheels, but on the inside, it’s a complete face-ripping wolverine.
If you ever dream of having one, then keep dreaming. The owners just refuse to give them away, since they are so special. And, if one ever goes on sale, it will probably wear a price tag of around $10 million, maybe even more. My advice to you is, if you ever see one, just stop and admire it, because you’ll never see anything more beautiful than a 33 Stradale.