Return to the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is more than its exterior beauty that turns heads.
One of the fastest road supercars and the most expensive car of its time, the 33 Stradale Amazed with its exquisite appearance. The 33 Stradale was a production sports car built by Italian automaker Alfa Romeo. Known for its stunning automotive design, Alfa Romeo sculpted the 33 Stradale from the Autodelta Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 race car. The automaker named it “Stradale” to indicate its legal road configuration.
Conceptualized and materialized by designers Franco Scaglione and Carrozzeria Marazzi, this supercar debuted at the “Paris Auto Show” in 1967. The car remained in production until 1969, and during this period only eighteen 33 Stradales were produced by the company.
The Tipo 33 racing car was originally made to race in races with a bigger goal of gaining publicity, as chips seemed down for Alfa Romeo in business at the time. Tipo 33 has performed beautifully in several prestigious races like Daytona and Monza. In addition, the design of the car aroused the massive admiration of the masses. Seeing an opportunity, Alfa Romeo decided to build a road-approved version of the vehicle, and the 33 Stradale was launched.
Considered the most beautiful supercar ever built with impeccable performance, the 33 Stradale is so rare that you will probably never see it except at the Alfa Romeo Museum. So here’s a look at that rare beauty from the late 60s that took the auto industry by storm.
Body design: Scaglione’s masterpiece
This Italian automobile was sculpted by Franco Scaglione, considered one of the most talented automotive designers in the automotive world. Its aerodynamically efficient design took the form of an H-shaped “Fleron” chassis made up of riveted magnesium tubes connected to aluminum cross tubes of similar diameter at the rear. The progressive design of the chassis and body allowed the car to weigh only 700 kg. The car had an aluminum body with gullwing doors and windows extending into the roof.
Among the car’s outstanding features were the doors and windows of the 33 Stradale. Before the birth of the Stradale, no other production vehicle was equipped with top-opening dihedral doors, also known as gullwing doors. The windows were curved inward and extended into the roof. To some extent, riding the 33 Stradale gave driving experience in a glass cockpit.
The most notable feature of the car’s fairing were the large oval-shaped headlights integrated into the protruding round fenders. The headlights consist of two main round lights and a smaller indicator sitting under a glass cover on a black background.
The eighteen models of this car that were ever made were all built by hand, and during its two-year production it underwent several modifications. For example, the latest models of this car have single lamp headlights instead of the previous dual lamp. Likewise, vents have been added behind the front and rear wheels to let hot air out of the brakes.
Lightweight 13-inch magnesium wheel drums were added to reduce the overall weight of the car, which was complemented by internal disc brakes for the rear wheels. The front wheels had drum-mounted disc brakes. Inspired by its racing predecessor, the 33 Stradale was equipped with a wishbone suspension system with upper and lower control arms in the front and dual arms in the rear.
The luxurious and comfortable cabin
Designed for two passengers, the cabin of the 33 Straddle was luxurious, elegant and comfortable. The center console and seats were made with high quality leather and consisted of metal trim. For an automobile with the genes of a sports car, the 33 Stradale’s dashboard was rather odd. However, when it came to a sports car designed for the road, its interiors were cleverly designed.
There was a three-spoke steering wheel in front of the driver’s seat, behind which there was only the tachometer. To check the other gauges, the driver had to look in the middle of the dashboard, where the gauges were installed next to several switches that controlled the lights, wipers and the like. The central dashboard also had a sculpted space for a key insert.
The powerful engine
The 33 Stradale was a wild racing car for the roads, and this fact is evident by looking at its powerful engine. It sported a mid-mounted 90-degree DOHC V8 engine capable of producing 230 horsepower at 8,800 rpm and 206 nm of torque at 7,000 rpm.
For better fuel supply to the engine, the injection system has been fitted with an improved SPICA injection system consisting of four ignition coils and two spark plugs per cylinder. The engine was fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission and took 5.5 seconds to reach 60 mph from 0. Additionally, leaving all other road cars behind, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale had a top speed of 260 km / h.
Although only eighteen Alfa Romeo 33 Stradales were produced, they were enough to create a huge buzz in the auto industry. The design of this car inspired several other designs in the years that followed. Some of the vehicles that inherited the design philosophy of the 33 Stradale are the Alfa Romeo 33/2 Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina), the Alfa Romeo Iguana (Italdesign), the Alfa Romeo Navajo (Bertone) and the Alfa Romeo Carabo (Bertone), Alfa Romeo P33 Cuneo and Alfa Romeo P33 Roadster.
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