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  Alfa Romeo T33/TT/3 Giro d'Italia Coupe

  Article Image gallery (18) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1975
Numbers built:One-Off
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 07, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWhile, by the early 1970s, most classic road races had been banned or considerably scaled back, in Italy the Giro d'Italia was revived. The multiple-day event was run on public roads and featured timed stages on circuits and hill climbs. Strictly speaking the event was a rally but it attracted a wide variety of machinery, including thoroughbred circuit racers. The inaugural event was won by a DeTomaso and the following year Jean-Claude Andruet won with a turbo-charged Lancia Stratos.

For the 1975 season, Andruet was under contract with Alfa Romeo, so in order to defend his title, the Frenchman need Autodelta to supply him with a suitable machine. Always up for a challenge, team leader Carlo Chiti decided to do just that and created a one-off coupe based on the Tipo 33 sports prototypes. For homologation reasons, the car was stamped with a Tipo 33 Stradale chassis number, even though there was no direct relationship between the new Giro d'Italia Coupe and the road going Tipo 33 of the late 1960s.

The chassis used for Andruet's special was more closely related to the T33/TT/12, he raced for Alfa Romeo during the regular season. The steel tubular spaceframe was modified only in detail to accept a V8 engine, which would bring it more in-line with the Tipo 33 Stradale it was supposedly was derived from. Using the shorter engine also reduced the car's wheelbase. The bodywork was similar in design to the Tipo 33s used that year with the exception of the added aluminium roof, which was required to comply with the regulations.

Placed in Group 5, the new Alfa Romeo Coupe's main opposition consisted of Lancia Stratoses and Fiat 131s. On paper, Andruet's new Alfa Romeo was easily the fastest car in the field but due a last minute engine rebuild, the car's V8 never ran well. Despite competing most stages on just six cylinders, Andruet did manage to hold on to the lead until the engine finally gave way completely. The race was eventually won by an Abarth-modified Fiat 131, driven by Giorgio Pianta.

Built specifically for the 1975 Giro d'Italia, the unique Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 was not raced again. Fortunately, it has survived and is today part of an impressive collection of Alfa Romeos in the United States.

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  Article Image gallery (18) Specifications