After winning the first two Formula 1 World Championships in 1950 and 1951, Alfa Romeo officially withdrew from motor racing to concentrate on a new line of road cars. Although these cars were not as glamorous as the pre-War Alfas, they were still clearly inspired by the designs of old. At the end of the decade work was started on a new racer, built around the road cars’ 1.6 litre four cylinder engine. This slow process eventually resulted in the TZ1 model, launched in 1963, it featured a new tubular chassis and an aerodynamic body designed by Zagato.
To construct the new GT racer, Alfa Romeo created a new competition department and dubbed it Autodelta. Two years later the highly successful Giulia 1600 GTA was constructed specifically for Touring car racing, which the GTA dominated the following years. In the mean time Alfa Romeo and Autodelta worked on a completely new competition car that was intended to restore Alfa’s old reputation. Code named ‘105.33’, the new car was designed by Alfa’s experimental department and then sent to Autodelta in 1965 to be further developed.
When Autodelta received the first prototype, it was powered by a TZ2 derived four cylinder engine. The engine was installed behind driver’s compartment, complying with the latest racing design trends. A completely new V8, displacing just under 2 litres, was designed by Autodelta and mated to a Colotti 6-speed gearbox. The chassis consisted of three large aluminium tubes; two longitudinal side members and one fitted transversely at the rear. Suspension was by double wishbones front and back. It was equipped with the latest vented Girling discs all-round.
Simply dubbed 33, the new racer made its debut in the 1967 season. In later years the cars were known as 33/2 for their 2 litre displacement, to distinguish them from the larger engined evolutions. In competition trim the high revving quad-cam V8 was good for at least 270 bhp. It made a victorious debut at a hill-climb in Belgium, but reliability issues dominated the rest of the season. For 1968 a slightly revised engine and new bodywork improved both performance and reliability. After its debut race the 1968 33/2 is now commonly referred to as Daytona. Alfa Romeo finished third in the World Championship.
Featured is one of the first four 33/2s constructed and raced in 1967. It is easily distinguishable from later models because of the air-box style intake, which also gave it is ‘Periscopica’ nick-name. The pictured example is the the third Tipo 33 built and one of the three survivors of the 1967 cars. It is seen here during the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where Alfa Romeo was the featured marque.
Produced in 1967
Configuration 90º V8
Location Mid, longitudinally mounted
Construction light alloy block and head
Displacement 1.995 liter / 121.7 cu in
Bore / Stroke 78.0 mm (3.1 in) / 52.2 mm (2.1 in)
Valvetrain 2 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Spica Fuel Injection
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Power 270 bhp / 201 KW @ 9600 rpm
BHP/Liter 135 bhp / liter
Power to weight 0.47 bhp / kg
Top Speed 260 km/h (162 mph)