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33 Stradale
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  Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale      

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1967 - 1969
Numbers built:18 (All chassis)
Introduced at:1967 Turin Motor Show
Internal name:Tipo 33
Designed by:Franco Scaglione
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:July 25, 2011
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThere is no shortage of spectacular machinery that sport the Alfa Romeo badge but few can rival the Tipo 33 'Stradale'. First shown at the Sport Car Show at Monza in September of 1967 and officially introduced at the Turin Motor Show later in the year, the Stradale was the road-going version of Alfa Romeo's Tipo 33 mid-engined sports racer. Despite its obvious racing roots, it was a luxuriously appointed supercar, clothed with a Franco Scaglione designed body that will never cease to impress. The car's underpinnigs would later also be used for several eye-catching design studies by Italy's major design houses.

What was carried over from the racing car was the somewhat unusual tubular chassis. It consisted of three large diameter tubes, bolted together in what resembled the shape of an 'H'. The transversely mounted tube was placed between the cockpit and the engine compartment. At the rear the longitudinal sections were angled inward to cradle the engine and gearbox. On both ends of the chassis more conventional cross-members connected the two arms of the 'H'. The tubular side-members also contained the rubber fuel tanks. Subtle modifications to the original design included a 100 mm longer wheelbase to create additional interior space and some of the main chassis components were finished in steel instead of aluminium to increase rigidity.

Mounted amidships of the 33 Stradale was a mildly detuned version of the competition car's 2-litre V8 engine. This was Alfa Romeo's first V8 engine and was constructed entirely from aluminium. The dry-sump unit sported twin overhead camshafts that actuated two valves per cylinder and a Spica fuel injection system. It was capable of producing as much as 270 bhp but for reliability reasons it was restricted to 'just' 230 bhp in road trim. It was mated to a Colotti gearbox with six, all syncromesh forward gears. Suspension was by double wishbones on all four corners. Girling disc brakes provided the stopping power. The finishing touch of the rolling chassis was provided by the beautiful cast-aluminium Campagnolo wheels.

Upon completion, the chassis were fitted with a Franco Scaglione designed body. One of Italy's most talented designers, Scaglione had previously worked for Bertone and now worked as a freelancer. Unfortunately he was not as productive as his contemporaries but most of the designs he did produce received universal acclaim. None more so than the aluminium body he created to fit the Tipo 33 Stradale. Its classically elegant and perfectly balanced design features a novel, door design with additional hinges in the roof. The doors are cut deep into the roof for easier acces. Even though fitted with a fully appointed interior and a slightly heavier variant of the 33 chassis, the Stradale only tipped the scales at 700 kg. The powerful engine and Scaglione's very efficient shape helped the car achieve a top speed of 260 km/h.

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  Article Image gallery (74) Chassis (4) Specifications User Comments (2)