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  Alfa Romeo 33/TT/12      

  Article Image gallery (93) Chassis (6) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1973 - 1975
Numbers built:6 - 12
Internal name:Tipo 33
Predecessor:Alfa Romeo 33/TT/3
Successor:Alfa Romeo 33/SC/12 Turbo
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 27, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAlfa Romeo started the 1972 season with the brand new 33/TT/3 sports racer; effectively a Tipo 33 in name only. The only major component from the earlier models was the three-litre V8 but Autodelta's chief engineer Carlo Chiti promised this was only a temporary measure as a brand flat-12 was already under development. As it would turn out, the new engine would be over a year late and when it did arrive was far from reliable.

Undoubtedly inspired by rival Ferrari's similar flat-12, the new Alfa Romeo engine was a V12 with a 180° cylinder angle. With a swept volume of 2,995 cc, the all-aluminium engine was built to comply with both the contemporary World Sports Car and Formula 1 regulations. It boasted four overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder and used a Lucas fuel injection system. According to Alfa Romeo's figures, it produced around 500 bhp and reportedly enough torque to twist the chassis.

The tubular space frame chassis was similar to that of the 'TT' introduced late in 1971, although slightly larger to accommodate for the bigger engine. Additional stiffness was added by using the lower half of the body as stressed sections. Suspension was independent all-round and the ventilated brakes were mounted in-board at the rear. Another key component carried over was the transverse, five-speed gearbox. The fibreglass body was also an evolution of an existing design and featured an integrated rear wing.

Dubbed the 33/TT/12 for obvious reasons, the new 12-cylinder Alfa Romeo was finally ready to make its debut at the 1973 Spa Francorchamps round of the World Championship. Sadly the car crashed in practice after a tyre failed at high speed. At the subsequent Targa Florio both examples crashed although one had shown great pace. The remainder of the season would fare little better as the 33/TT/12 was hampered by a combination of big accidents and poor reliability and only managed to finish once.

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  Article Image gallery (93) Chassis (6) Specifications