Few men in XNUMXth century Italy knew as much about the automobile industry as Gianni Agnelli, the one who sentenced what "Alfa Romeo is for people who consider driving an art". Possible controversies that may arise about the alleged bad reputation cast on the brand years ago, the truth is that no one in their right mind can deny that there is a great truth in that sentence.
The arguments are many: from an incredible story closely linked to the heroic years of sports car racing, to the artisanal care with which dozens of its models have been created. All this makes any Alfa Romeo a car that, almost by the mere fact of having that logo, connects its driver with one of the most passionate stories of the engine. And of course more beautiful ... Because if something could not be denied Alfa is the beautiful aesthetics of many of its models.
An aesthetic that in copies like the one we bring you to the pages of La Escudería today turns into what Agnelli said: true art. Not in vain, this Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale has been the winner of the 2018 Villa d'Este elegance contest (we will publish the chronicle shortly!). A beauty that, in addition to exciting through the sight… It is capable of exciting the ear thanks to its small but vibrant racing V8.
ALFA ROMEO 33 STRADALE: STREET DRESS, CIRCUIT BODY
At the beginning of the 60s Alfa had been a legend in the world of competition for decades, but a new step forward was needed so as not to remain dreaming of the laurels of the past. And, although the brand had won the first two Formula 1 championships, it had withdrawn from the tracks to concentrate all its energy on the development of its sports cars and cars.
The return to the circuits was planned with care, and could be done through the front door thanks to the saga 33 models: the line of racing cars that Alfa evolved from 1966 to 1977. There are models as legendary as the 33/2, a prodigy of mechanics, speed and design from which the transalpine brand decided to do something legal to circulate on the street.
That's when In 1967, Alfa Romeo decides to launch the 33 Stradale; a radical sports car that is basically a 33/2 but with a different body -made of aluminum instead of fiber-, a slightly longer wheelbase and 40CV less to make this beast a somewhat more civilized and friendly vehicle to roll on the road.
The result is simply spectacular: a captivating car that in its design is almost 20 years ahead of the golden decade of supercars. All thanks to the design of Franco Scaglione and the mechanical development of the Alfa Romeo sports division: Autodelta. In fact, from its facilities the cars were sent unclothed to Marazzi Carrozzeria, which was entrusted to finalize 14 of the only 18 manufactured units of the 33 Stradale.
In the old Italian way, the Stradale was manufactured in such a traditional way that no two units are alike; fact that becomes even more complex when you are warned that only 13 were delivered to private customersOf the other 5 remaining one in the Alfa Romeo Museum and the other 4 delivered without bodywork to the designers Pininfarina, Bertone and Italdesign. A charm for lovers of tracking chassis numbers.
SU V8. AS SMALL AS RABBID
Obviously the 33 Stradale comes in by sight, but what has really finished captivating us is its engine. And it is that this is a small jewel of very square proportions, capable of rendering 230CV at 8800 rpm Thanks to their 8 cylinders in V at 90 degrees, with double camshaft, 16 valves y double ignition. A candy that works with a compression ratio of 10,1 and that is responsible for moving the only 700 kilos that the Stradale weighs.
In short, one of those mechanics that lets out as many roars and fireworks when you take it at low speed as jets of metallic sound when you launch it at a gallop. A marvel very typical of the "Old School", capable of perfectly complementing the seductive bodywork that surrounds it.