Alfa Romeo Technical Director Don Black has been kind enough to search through his personal archives for this chronology of the 105.33 series cars.
Our efforts to understand the DNA of these magnificent cars has been substantially aided by my friend Vladimir Pajevic who was a personal friend of Ing. Carlo Chiti in the GTA era as a racer and car co-owner...and he maintains his friendship with the old Autodeltisti community of workers and racers of the past.
Allow me to invite corrections and additions to this chronology where memories have failed
or omissions exist.
Ing. Don Black
Alfa Romeo USA Technical Director
Alfa Romeo Champion's Award 2017 winner from "Scuderia del Portello"
In His Own Words: An Introduction of the T-33 Chronology
Awarded - "Alfa Romeo Champions Award 2016" from Scuderia del Portello
......I would like to explain few basic facts.
I was not an important actor in the game. Just a lucky young man that happened to be in right place at the right time.
My story was a simple one.
I am Italian of clear Serbian origins, and beside engaging in some modest racing activity, in those years I had owned (together with few other friends-partners) a small Alfa Romeo based racing team created with some help from various important racing drivers and Peter Monteverdi.... with the intention to rent well-prepared racing cars to private drivers.
Ignazio Giunti, a great driver and a close friend of mine introduced me to Carlo Chiti in 1966. In the intervening years I became first a client with a good relationship with the “Boss”, then a kind of a friend... and we had spent many good times, good wines and good food together.
Ing. Chiti was a person of vast culture and numerous interests, and was a splendid conversationalist . I have to admit that I haven’t witnessed anything important in the life of Autodelta nor did I take part in Ing. Chiti’s activities in that period. Just friendly chatting about everything and everyone, and as I had lived in Milano, the occasions to meet him were numerous.
Today, I belong to a small group of “old friends”, survivors from those glorious times who share memories and meet from time to time to remember absent friends and good old days.
Some of us have touched the peaks in racing sport and some (like me) were only participants of that fascinating world. .
All my memories I have sent to you are connected to the period 1967-1972 when I was in touch with Autodelta and Ing. Chiti.
From 1973 I transferred from Milano and (alas) my relationship to Ing. Chiti was reduced to exchanging Christmas cards and only few telephone calls. Don Black is certainly not new name for me, and I am pleased by his compliments and the comments he made in your story written in 1994.
Here are some fragments of my memories, and as a contribution to your knowledge about Ing. Chiti and the chronology of the T-33 series, there might be some unknown details and “small” secrets or something that could enlighten or support your point of view.
This is my personal reminiscence that you can use.
The T-33 Fleron
In 1953 IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale) the owner of Alfa Romeo S.p.A. back in the 1950's decided to end the glorious racing era.
By 1953 the famous World Champion Alfetta 159 was only just a distant memory as was the name of one of the greatest drivers of all time.... Juan Manuel Fangio. The competition experience with its 3000 CM in the hands of skilled drivers couldn't excite top management of IRI to contribute new financial support to racing.
Alfa Romeo had won all the races in the world that it had entered but it had a hard time competiying within the marketplace for everyday cars.
During the next ten years away from the racing rings...(about 1953-1963), Alfa Romeo gave its support to private organizations only with an outside help. But the desire and the will to come back into the racing world with a new car built only for the competitions and not coming from the normal production was wandering off and on.
It was Giuseppe Eugenio Luraghi, a bright and strong manager from IRI, the real architect of the turn, the true demiurge of the 105.33 project that launched once again Alfa Romeo into the race competitions. Luraghi, as CEO of Alfa Romeo S.p.A. at Portello had the unenviable task of reversing the financial and economic situation of Alfa Romeo. He firmly believed that victories in racing were very important to sell the company's “family cars that win the races”, but his dream was to put again the “red fireball racing cars” with the “Quadrifoglio” at the top of the most important challenges.
Alfa Romeo already had his own “Dream Team”; it was the”Servizio Esperienze Speciali”, directed by Ing. Orazio Satta Puliga and Ing. Giuseppe Busso.
Luraghi, considering the past experience and the current world of races, decided that the goal to reach was the competition in the 2-liter Sports. But he decided to support the team “Servizio Esperienze Speciali” with an ad-hoc external structure.
In order to maintain a sense of autonomy while at the same time enjoying the special handling required in racing world, Luraghi decided to co-opt "AUTODELTA", the small factory in Udine, a short drive north of Venice, created by Ing. Carlo Chitiwith his friend Ludovico Chizzola dedicated to the development of Alfa Romeo vehicles for car races.
Through its acquisition of Autodelta, a structure outside Alfa Romeo, Luraghi and Alfa Romeo, S.p.A. was safe from any criticism in the event of limited success while at the same time the company acquired the exclusive services of Ing. Carlo Chiti, well-known all over the world as the most ingenious Italian mechanical and aerodynamic designer of the time.
Carlo Chiti, born in Pistoia, was a man of great talent coming off a winning season with S.E.F.A.C. owned by Enzo Ferrari and a brief, unsuccessful adventure with ATS where Chiti with his Tuscan friend Giotto Bizzarrini tried to produce and sell a “dream car”.
From the standpoint of Alfa Romeo, the project of the new racing car had its genesis already in 1964, when Luraghi gave charge to Ing. Busso and Ing. Puliga to set up a two-seats car with a 2 liter engine in order to participate to the Sport Prototypes Challenge, the most popular competition in that period.
To tell you the truth, in the Nineteen Fifties, Alfa Romeo began a project on a car with a V8 engine, car designed specifically for racing, but all we have now is only some drawings in the “Alfa Romeo Archivio Storico” with the number of the project 160 assigned to it..
In the Sixties, with Luraghi annd Chiti, following the internal numerical sequence, a new project saw the birth: Progetto 105.33, milestone in sports history of the “Casa del Biscione”.
Clear step of a journey interrupted in 1953 and the beginning of a mith around the magic number “33”, the winning Formula!!!
Born 50 years ago, beautiful, intriguing, sensual and long awaited, the T-33 Fleron is always the “prima donna” at every occasion where it is shown today, thanks to the efforts and determination of Mr Marco Cajani.
He found the remains of the very first prototype, the legendary 001.With sacrifices, patience and stubborn will, seeking and finding piece by piece, Mr Cajani in the end was able to reconstruct the fantastic mosaic of the glorious T-33Fléron, founder of all the cars destined to win everything possible in racing world.
Mr. Marco Cajani, architect, is an enthusiast connoisseur of the Alfa Romeo brand, a good car driver and he is President of the Scuderia del Portello -www.ScuderiaDelPortello.org/en/history.
Creation of famed internationally-acclaimed artist Vladimir Pajevic for "Autodelta Golden Years" history site
1966 - 1967
Alfa Romeo T-33 “Fléron” type chassis, racing and street version history
This is the story about Alfa Romeo T-33 racing car and its street version, “33 Stradale”, that general opinion considers the most beautiful road-going car ever made.
The truth is that to realize a great project, you must have great ideas and to generate great ideas great men are required. It was decidedly a lucky moment for great projects in those ‘60's, the years of rediscovered Italian industrial pride.
Giuseppe Luraghi had directed the state owned Alfa Romeo car factory. He was a poet, a painter, and he was a great, forward-looking manager deep in love with the glorious past of Milano’s sports car production.
His dream team in Portello captained by Ing. Orazio Satta was composed of proven engineers and technicians like Busso, Garcea, Nicolis, Surace…who had already 'composed' automobiles with solid sporting reputations.
However, the participation of Alfa Romeo in racing events of the period was limited to modifing touring cars from it's production series, but it was within the newborn racing division "Autodelta" that Alfa Romeo started its rush towards the heights of Olympus.
Carlo Chiti, a bright and capable engineer was appointed to bring back some of the past glory, and he considered that assignment very seriously. The small factory at Via Enrico Fermi 7, Settimo Milanese became his secret domain and the hothouse of future projects.
Already during 1964, pushed by Luraghi... the true proponent of auto sport... the Servizio Esperienze Speciali department at Portello started the development of the futuristic chassis for a serious sports car imagined for serious competitions. That project was classified under internal code "105.33", and it had been the result of close teamwork. The 105.33 blueprint had proposed a mid-engine, light construction two-seater to race in sports car prototype competitions... very popular in those years.
However, it was only with the arrival of huge, volcanic, almighty Carlo Chiti, deus ex machina for important solutions in the racing cars diatribe did the idea of realizing such a machine actually start its course.
Previously, Luraghi has asked Ing. Livio Nicolis about the possibilities of the development of 105.33 within a reasonably short period of time. The answer from this prudent and realist engineer was to speak about a project of a minimum duration of two years.
Impatient Luraghi turned to and sought comfort, advice and reassurance from the irreducible optimist Ing. Chiti...who had never considered long periods of time for the accomplishment of any project. His answer shortened the whole project to a period of months...not years... and that decided the further destiny and paternity of the newborn car.
Visibly disappointed Satta, Busso and others in Servizio Esperienze Speciali would never pardon or excuse Chiti for his misappropriation of their collective effort of the past years.
The unconcealed friction between Autodelta and Centro Esperienze Speciali started that very day.
At Luraghi’s request, Centro Stile at Portello, the factory's styling center had designed the only existing first prototype 105.33.01 and consigned it to Autodelta for further optimization. The car soon became a kind of roving laboratory, and Chiti found himself in a hard battle against time, badly conceived parts and componentry of the project and limited possibilities to change everything he wanted to.
The aluminum-bodied open two-seater car was nice looking but it was not fast, had dubious road handling and had a tendency to overheat in every situation. The engine mounted for testing was 1600 TZ unit, and in desperate efforts to improve its handling and speed, Chiti had provided different solutions and different body shapes for the car, proposing a nice OSI-Scarabeo design as a possible remedy for existing troubles.
However, the remedy for the problems was a radical change...and lightweight alloy V8 was his “secret weapon” that could 'loosen all the knots'.
With two chain driven overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, four ignition coils, Lucas fuel injection, 16 spark plugs (early models were equipped with 8 plugs and with the T-33/2, the twin spark was introduced to all engines), compression 11:1, and capacity of just under two liters (1995 cc), the motor easily developed 270 bhp in race trim. The engine was coupled to a six-speed direct Colotti gearbox.
Initially, Ing. Busso and Ing. Satta had proposed a V12 design as the definitive engine, but the necessity to reduce the bulk and the weight of power unit and its eventual use in future production favored the V8 solution. However, the project of the V8 engine was not quite new, as it was never completely clarified whether Chiti has just revived existing plans of his 1500 engine...based on experience gained at Ferrari... or (as some have stated), the engine was already in an advanced testing stage on the bench when he inherited the 33 project.
The truth is that he designed a similar engine few years before for ATS F1, and like the 33 project, it was 90° V8, but single plug, with 45° inclined OHC valves, aluminum block with wet liners, dry sump flat alloy crank, with five main bearings.
Increasing it to a 2 liter displacement, adding twin spark ignition and fuel injection was not a big problem, and it is true that initially many parts of the engine were of ATS provenience.
The result was a nice and clean construction but to assure enough engine intake air, on the racing version, a huge pipe was mounted over the engine bay. To this scoop above the roll bar and in the relatively undisturbed airflow came the nickname to that open two-seater “Periscopica”.
On its debut in a hill climb event at Fléron in Belgium, the small 2 liter Alfa Romeo driven by Teodoro Zeccoli won the race averall against serious and strong competition from higher more powerful classes, and thus entered the Alfa Romeo racing heritage.
From that moment, to support growing success of Alfa Romeo racing cars on the world circuits and to add contrast between European “dream cars”, Luraghi absolutely wanted to start small production of high performance road going car.
He looked once again to Ing. Chiti to accomplish his desire, and Chiti in turn approached Franco Scaglione... the genial Tuscan car body designer...and probably the most talented car design artist in the whole of car design history. Speaking about Scaglione, one must remember his impeccable sense for "nice", his 'low attitude' to compromise, and his driven sense of urgency to transform anything into a perfect artistic shape.
Of noble origins and an extrovert, Scaglione was considered a kind of the arbiter in car design. Observing his preliminary drawings, Luraghi just chose one among the rare and beautiful designs and said to Chiti;
“Let us produce this one”.
The proposed car was an amazing design achievement for those days. The initial idea was to build a total of 50 units... all to be assembled on the winning “Fléron” chassis. Based on the large diameter, riveted magnesium tubes and connected together with a similar diameter cross member to the rear of the cockpit, the chassis formed the irregular H shape perimeter frame of the new 33 racecar. The main difference consisted in diverse materials used for producing Stradale chassis. In place of riveted magnesium alloy, welded steel sheet was used and sub structures were produced of aluminum and steel, to reinforce the whole structure. In addition, the wheelbase was extended 10 cm (235 cm) to allow more space in the cockpit.
Another peculiarity was the fuel tank situated inside the huge tubes that would preserve the cars 'roll center', regardless of the remaining fuel within the chassis.
The steering, double wishbone suspension and engine were mounted on magnesium-alloy subframes. That chassis was produced by small aircraft factory "Aeronautica Sicula" from Palermo (riveted magnesium tubes) and "Campagnolo" from Vicenza (front and rear subframe). The stiffness of the central and rear part was good but the front suspension lacked the necessary rigidity ...and because of that fact, the handling of the racing version was notoriously far from satisfactory.
That problem plagued the “Fléron” chassis during its entire existence, and was the main reason that Chiti was never enthusiastic about it, demising generously the authorship of that chassis to Ing. Busso and Servizio Esperienze Speciali .
Consequently, the “Stradale” street version featured a number of differences from the racer version. The mainframe tubes were produced of steel, and extended wheelbase (10 cm) allowed substantially more cockpit space while the two magnesium subframes were reinforced with steel to afford major impact protection. (...an early example of Ing. Chiti's desire to preserve and protect the life of a driver.....-Editor)
Even in that version, the road chassis was not so different from the version used for racing. Scaglione demanded and was granted the full freedom in designing, and the result was an uncompromised layout of stunning appearance. The engine was slightly detuned for road use, and the redline was set at 10,000 rpm. Compression was reduced to 10.0:1, giving 230 bhp at 8,800 rpm with Italian SPICA mechnical injection, and following the native Luraghi’s idea that the car should not be inferior by more than 5% from the competition version.
Everything else was conceived at the extreme Spartan level, but the cockpit was sufficiently comfortable and had its indubitable, racing appeal. The major problem for extremely low Scaglione’s design of the car (99 cm) was certainly accessibility. To resolve that inconvenience Scaglione designed and developed vertical opening doors with a part of the roof opening with each door. That solution gave an absolutely unusual futuristic appearance to his already exotic design.
To fabricate the body Ing. Chiti and designer Scaglione had adopted Peraluman H350 lightweight alloy and mutually agreed and decided to build the first prototype car directly inside the Autodelta premises at Settimo Milanese. The working space was obtained in the same section of the facility where racing engines were assembled. The shortage of experienced technicians capable of shaping Peraluman, however, obliged Scaglione to loan skillful workers from Zagato, and caused him to start commuting daily from Torino to Settimo Milanese to supervise the building progress of the car.
Two genius such as Chiti and Scaglione could hardly coexist together without some personal fraction..., and soon problems arose between Chiti immersed in his racing world, and Scaglione compelled to resolve the growing chassic assembly problems alone.
That silent war was flavored with numerous embittered letters that Scaglione sent without any known effect... to all 'pertinent addresses'.
Years later, he would describe his permanence at Settimo Milanese as “the worst period of his life”. However, with proverbial Tuscan obstinacy, he finished his work in relatively short order in 1967. Working from January through September, he and his men completed work on the first prototype. The car was ready and proudly presented to the public on the occasion of Sport Car Show in Monza. Some chassis' that had remained in testing were finished for official presentation in Turin Car Show in November 1967.
The car shocked the public with its aggressive appearance, its sensual appeal and... its price that was the top of almost every automobile price list at world’s global level.
After the Stradale was completed under Autodelta's Settimo Milanese cathedral-like arched ceiling, Scaglione left Settimo Milanese and Alfa Romeo forever. He was certainly not born for the business, and after various unsuccessful attempts to create his own design structure, this solitary genius retired from public life and died almost forgotten... corroded by lung cancer, in his Tuscany home in 1993.
It was Carrozzeria Marazzi from Saronno near Milano, that was appointed to produce bodies and assemble the rest of the Stradale production. They finished 13 known cars through March of 1969. The final five remaining chassis, of the 18 totally produced and delivered to Autodelta, were granted to various famous Italian car design studios and realized into exotic Alfa Romeo concept cars for major world automobile shows. Several spare chassis assemblies and other assorted spare parts were manufactured by Autodelta and eventually liquidated to an extremely well-known Italian carrozeria...the parts over the passage of time have an unknown destiny.
Despite its astronomical price, all produced Stradale were sold, and it was the decision of Alfa Romeo management to invest in a Montreal model that had decreed its premature end. Though Montreal was nice car, it was decidedly inferior in every aspect to 33 Stradale and has arrived with a serious delay, already obsolete and unable to resist to the Maserati, Lamborghini and Ferrari mid-engined “cheap” models.
The actual competition T-33 has followed its history...unique from that of the Stradale. Even though the racing version of T-33, was not designed by any of famous Italian stylist, it was good looking car with smooth curves and well balanced masses and its body was realized in fiberglass. Its palmarès was discontinuous, and after the flashing initial success, the rest of the 1967 season was a long record of withdrawals, except for a few meagre results in hill-climbing.
It was indubitably fast and with good maneuverability, but was also extremely fragile in all of the weak weak points already noticed by Ing. Chiti. It was only with 1968 version with radically revisited suspension that the Daytona model had obtained supremacy in the 2 liter class, fighting decently with honor with major class engines. The full success has arrived at with multi-tubular space frame, 3 liter engine, all Chiti’s baby, but the T-33 Fléron, has already entered legend status.
Here are the vehicle identification numbers of the T-33 production history, provided for the dedicated followers of statistics and technical data.
The 33 type was introduced with internal production code 105.33.xx, though it was changed to 750.33.0xx for the racing, magnesium frame version, and 750.33.1xx for the road going Stradale type (steel and aluminum frame), when it arrived at Autodelta. As always, there is some uncertain numbering in Alfa’s production but those are facts for passionate experts.
The T-33 racing version, based on the big tube “Fléron” chassis was introduced for the 1967 racing season in its “Periscopica” version. In 1968 it was replaced by the 33/2 “Daytona” version, and that was the last emanation of the “Fléron” chassis as a base for racing cars.
The first “Periscopica”, 750.33.001 was a winning machine at the Fléron race, the second 750.33.002 was (almost certainly) the car destroyed in testing at Monza, and one was a long tailed “Mugello” version (probably Group 7, lightened 750.33.006, lost in Jean Rolland’s fatal incident in Montlheury 1967). The remained three, of totally six prepared cars in “Periscopica” version, were 750.33.003 (now Joe Nastase collection), 750.33.004 (in museum in Germany) and 750.33.005 that were enrolled for Sebring race in 1967.
Survived documents gave numbers from 750.33.001 to 750.33.034 for all delivered chassis to Autodelta. One chassis was renumbered in 750.33.107 (Stradale version), as the car was tuned for racing use in its road version shape. The remaining chassis (luring away six “Periscopica” cars) were used to produce 33/2 “Daytona” cars in various configurations and shapes.
Ignoring small differences, all 33 and 33/2 engines were technically similar. From the early type, 8 plugs and two ignition coils (250 bhp at 9000 rpm) to 16 plugs and four coils version on last 2 liter engine (270 bhp at 9600 rpm), the development process was linear, made of small step by step improvements. The chassis received major changes, mainly in suspension solutions that were completely rebuilt, to obtain major stiffness and assure better road handling.
At the end of the 1968 season, the number of 28 built cars in three variants were registered. Together with the initial 33/2 trim seen at Daytona, there was a long tailed Le Mans version and Targa Florio Spider variant. At least six unnumbered chassis were used as mule or testing models.
With some exception (that should be cleared) about existing and presumed VINs, the story of magnesium, large tube Fléron chassis was finished with 750.33.034. Of this magnificent car, numerous examples still exist and are allocated in collections worldwide.
They are: 750.33.007, 750.33.008, 750.33.012 (Museo Alfa Romeo at Arese), 750.33.014, 750.33.015, 750.33.016, 750.33.017, 750.33.019, 750.33.020, 750.33.022, 750.33.026, 750.33.029 e 750.33.031.
Some still disputed VINs might be updated in the future. T-33 Stradale was produced over steel based chassis with 750.33.1xx code. The first, almost surely aluminum body, with number 750.33.01 has been sold to a Japanese Gallery Abarth collection and the second four lights version replaced it at Alfa Museum in Arese. That car bears insignificant different details (wiper moved to the base of wind screen, apertures for ventilation on the rear fenders ecc.) from the version 01. Those were the only two models with four light nose, all the others (designed by Scaglione) were two light versions assembled by Carrozzeria Marazzi at Saronno near Milan.
The first one was shaped of aluminum from parts delivered by Saracino & Lingua, traditional Scaglione’s suppliers, and the second probably of Peraluman alloy. Interiors were fitted following the customers taste, so there are no two identical T-33 Stradale cars.
Here is the list of still existing (known) T-33 Stradale: 105.33.01, four front lights, prototype sold to Gallery Abarth, Japan, 750 33.101, first production, two front lights example, 750 33 102, 750.33.103, 750 33.104, 750.33.105, 750.33 106 (all identic to 101), 750.33.107, (magnesium chassis fiberglass body, racing gear and Daytona engine, a semi-racing version), 750.33.111 (the only car originaly painted in blu), 105.33.12 (sometimes indicated as 750,33.12 or 750.33.112), 750.33.113, (renumbered in 750.33.133 to avoid N°113 because of superstition), 750.33.114, (competition shape and trim, Giro d’Italia). 750.33.110 and 750.33.118 are produced cars of unknown destination.
Of the five remaining T-33 chassis the famous Italian car styling studios of Pininfarina, Bertone and Italdesign have exercised their art, producing some of the most beautiful dream cars that can be admired today at the Alfa Romeo Museo Storico at Arese.
First public use: 21 November 2015
Copyright: www.AutodeltaGoldenYears.com and RobertLittle.US 2015
Everyone who tries to enter the mysterious world of Alfa Romeo archives knows that only a few documents actually exist today.
The same fate unites the 105.33 after 50 years; the genesis of this project is unknown.
Neither Ing. Satta nor Ing. Busso had left anything in their personal or corporate archives about the beginning of this project, but it is a fact that after one and a halfyears the first prototype of the 105.33 was ready.
Ing. Satta, always looking for new and modern solutions. At his side Ing. Giuseppe Busso, a greatmechanical designer and man of genius, was a guarantee to achieve the best solutions to be achieved.
Ing. Satta and Ing. Busso, both chiefs of the task, and drawing from their extensive aeronautical experience (already known andapplied by British engineers), chose an unorthodox and futuristic chassis using mostly materials derived more from aviation techniques than materials used for building cars.
The initial prototype had a rear mounted engine (in the project it was an V8, 90°, 2 liters), was embodiedwith the gearbox and rear axle with independent suspensions. All the components were accomodated into a chassis clearly inspired by aviation techniques; it was shaped like a big asymmetrical “H”.
This central chassis... in order to ensure torsional rigidity and right flexibility... was made of big tubes in Alu Peraluman (18 cm. diameter and 2,5 mm thick), chosen for its high fatigue resistance...one of the most relevant problems facing racing car constructors, always pushing their cars to their speed limit and over.
Two tubes fixed together to another transversal similar tube with rivets, as used for aircraft assembly; this third tube was set back towards the engine in order to leave the space to the pilot inthe cockpit.
At the beginning the inside of the tubes were coated with plastic and would be a 100 liter tank capacity, but later a rubber container was fitted inside the tubes. This solution allowed, during the race, to keep the same stability and center of balance despite the fuel consumption.
The chassis was built by Aeronautica Sicula, an industry from Palermo, dedicated to the assembly helicopters and highly experienced in aluminum fabrication.
The front of the chassis was a complex cast cage in magnesium alloy (Atesia T), holding suspensions,pedals, steering box and with another little chassis the oil and water radiators.
This front part was built by Campagnolo from Vicenza, that had to face problems related to thestrong dynamic stress of the car during the race.
The rear of the chassis was made by two round section arms converging towards the end of the car. This rear-most joining part was also cast in magnesium alloy and fixed to the central chassis. This part of chassis was the support for the engine, towards the center of the car and for gearbox and differential at the end.
Shown above is the unified rubber bladder that was fashioned inside the three tube sections and used to hold fuel. As the fuel level decreased during a race the centralized balance... left to right and front to rear was perfectly maintained.
The "H" chassis used for the 33 Stradale was used and tested for the first time in the O.S.I Scarabeo prototype (1966) and that original chassis was part of the 105.33 project...developed later to accommodate racing engines.
The total weight was only 48 kg and with a fantastic torsional stiffness of 535 Kgm.
In opposition to this cutting-edge solution, the suspension was patterned on that of the TZ-2, which in turn was similar to that of the then-current production cars (Giulia 105 type).
The bodywork, typical Italian elegance, was similar to the wonderful GT series produced in the past by Alfa Romeo. It was built in Peraluman by “Centro Stile Alfa Romeo”.
The prototype, the 105.33.001, at the beginning of January 1966 was on public display at the Autodromo di Monza with a TZ-2 engine.
During the development of the project, different stories about fatherhood of the project itself.
Two different versions of the birth of the project were born from the reading of two books.
In the autobiography by Ing. Busso: “Nel Cuore dell'Alfa”, speaking about the T-33, Ing. Giuseppe Busso wrote: "...at the beginning of 1966, the prototype chassis was delivered to Autodelta along with the new incomplete 8 cylinder engine, designed and built in our workshop by Alfa Romeo.
The new engine began to run on the test bench on the 25th of February and and was installed in the car and testing on the 28th of May at Balocco".
On the other token, in Oscar Orefici's book: “Carlo Chiti, Infonia Ruggente”, Chiti remembers that at the beginning of 1965, Luraghi, during the famous working lunch, laid the foundation of the T-33 project and asked him (Chiti) to have the car in a reasonable time.
The supporters of Ing. Busso on one side and the supporters of Ing. Chiti on the other, quoting one of the two books, claimed the fatherhood of the project to Ing. Busso or to Ing. Chiti.
Truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Now we could not have the success of the 105.33 chassis without Ing Satta, Ing. Busso and high level technical development team at Servizio Esperienze Speciali and we wouldn't have a winning T-33 without Ing. Chiti and Autodelta, where the car was reshaped, re-engineered and reached it's maximum evolution. Rumors about disagreement between the two were fanciful and not true and just plain not accurate.
Pictured above are the two great and clever professionals Ing. Carlo Chiti and Ing. Giuseppi Busso who held each other high professional esteem.
Now we can suggest that Ing. Chiti and Autodelta were involved into the 105.33 project from its origin and that many tests were made at Settimo Milanese under his direct supervision.
It was not a big secret that Ing. Chiti was not very enthusiastic for the chassis developed by Ing. Busso as he considered it to be too extreme and needed a lot of modifications and improvements.
It is possible that a V8 had already been tested by Alfa Romeo, but it was also possible that Ing Chiti had his own V8 engine, already used on the ATS Formula 1, suitable for the T-33.
So it is possible that there were two similar engines at that moment in time.
The ATS engine increased from 1.5 to 2 liters was the modern concept to improve the original Busso project.
But the first prototypes had carburettors and only one spark plug for cylinder, with a single distributor and two coils; the second version was a TwinSpark with two plugs for cylinder, two distributors, four coils and indirect mechanical injection with a Lucas pump.
The engine in the photo is the one on chassis 750.33.001, a first version with four plugs and a big Weber 46IDF2 carburettor.
It is a technological jewel, aluminum and magnesium body, dry sump lubrication, four head camshafts; this is the detailed description:
---V-8 di 90°; Bore 78 mm x Stroke 52,2 mm; each cylinder capacity: 249,25 c.c.
---Total Displacement 1995,4 c.c; area stantuffo 47,76 cmq.
---Bore to stroke ratio 0.669
---Stroke/rod length 2.3:1; Compression ratio 11.1:1
---Maximum power 240 Cv-DIN at 9,600 rpm.
---Maximum power per liter 120 Cv
---Coppia e regime corrispondente 20,7 Kgm-DIN a 7,500 rpm.
---Maximum piston speed 16,3 meters/second
---Consumo specifico 250 gr. / Cv / h.
---Consumo lubrificante inferiore a 100 gr. / h.
---Aluminum one piece intake manifold with central air intake and external exhaust flow
---Cylinder bore spacing 21 mm.
---Crankshaft- flat type with vibration dampner and paired con rods in acciaio di "tipo
---Main bearings 5, diameter 60 mm mm., Spessore mm. 21 (i 2 esterni ed il centrale) gli altri 18 mm.
---Con rod journals; Diametro mm. 45mm bronze bushings - spessore mm. 20
---Dimensione spinotti diametro mm. 20
---Crankshaft bearings made by Vanderwell a guscio sottile
---Spinotti con boccola in bronzo; Aluminum head with hemispeherical combustion chambers
---Piston "slipper" type in aluminum with three rings: 2 compression and 1 oil scraper ring
---Pistons by Borgo.
---Bielle in acciaio with distance betweenthe center of 120 mm
---Cylinders are "wet sleeved", water cooled by two lateral radiators and expansion tank. Capacità of coolant 13 liters
---Distribuzione 2 valves per cylinder and 4 overhead camshafts driven by a gear set and chain driven by cams are case hardened steel, each carried by 5 cam bearings with cam lift of 10.2 mm
---Alberi a camme in acciaio da cementazione e su 5 supporti.vvvv
---Valve angle 48 for intake and 25 for exhaust )
---Diamater intake 40,5 mm. and exhaust mm. 36mm
---Alzata mm. 10,2 - Molle richiamo 2 ad elica cilindrica
---Diagramma di distribuzione; Aspirazione anticipo 50° - ritardo 70°, Scarico anticipo 50° e ritardo 70°
---Carburetion: four Weber 46 IDF2
---Ignition: One spark plug per cylinder 10mm; Lodge RL-49
---Anticipo accensione 32° / 33° with Marelli distributor ad 8 uscite e 2 bobine Marelli coils with transistorized Bosch ignition modules.
---Firing order; 1-8-3-6 4-5-2-7 cylinders numbered from front to rear with even numbers
on the left side
---Lubrification a carter secco e radiatore olio con 1 pompa di mandata e 2 di recupero.
---Oil capacity 15 Kg. Filtraggio in parallelo con filtri.
---Aspirazione di tipo monocilindrico - Exhaust manifold- 4 into 1
---Accoppiamento motore e cambio diretto - Frizione a comando idraulico
---Transmission design: Colotti 6 speed + reversei tipo in cascata con ingranaggi a denti dritti ed innesti a denti frontali senza sincronizzatori e comando centrale
---Maximum speed in each gear: 88 - 131 - 179 - 220 - 256 - 298 Km/h
---Coppia di riduzione a dentatura spirale - Denti 11/42 pari a rapporto 3.08
---Differenial: Locked ZF a pioli.”
The engine in this next photo has the Chiti imprint and technical improvements ... because he was well aware of the pitfalls the chassis hads encounterred during previous races. The new Colotti gearset direct gearbox without syncronization was also derived from a racing engine concept. The fuel metering system involved indirect mechanical injection by Lucas, which proved to be much more stable and was not influenced by a different flow of air at different speeds as in the case of the original Weber carburetors.
Parallel to the fast developments and testing schedule of the T-33, Alfa Romeo had delivered to Officine Stampi Industriali (OSI) in Turin some prototype bare chassis to study the futurist production of a limited edition of a 1.6-liter, two-seater sports car.
Of these chassis (without vehicle indentification number) only three were eventually assembled. The final product became the OSI Scarabeo, designed by Sergio Sartorelli.
It was introduced for the first time at the Turin Motorshow in 1966.
Note the right-hand drive signifying the unresolved air intake issue later resolved by Ing. Chiti and his staff.
This second Scarabeo shown here in a creme color is situated in the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo in Arese. As a significant change it looks clearly more like the prototype of an racing car than the first version depicted in a silver color above.
We can today visit this Spider prototype of the Scarabeo at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo. It is very similar to the original 105.33 project.
It has a rear mounted transverse GTA engine, gearbox and differential all together with the engine.
This innovative and futuristic car with so many new components and its unmistakable and facinating style was without a doubt the artwork of a master... Ing. Busso.
All the tests made at Balocco showed many good improvement possibities.
But its projected retail price was too high for a 1.6 liter car and the Scarabeo didn't enter in production.
This is the very first image taken January 14, 1966 of the new 2000 Prototype entering the grounds of the newly-opened Balocco Providing Ground with Chief Test Driver Consalvo Sanese at the wheel and the famous engineer for racing cars at Alfa Romeo Dott. Giuseppe Busso. This car featured the TZ four cylinder engine.
Faintly visible inside the guard structure you can barely see Ing. Carlo Chiti who... during this exact time period ...was to become the new 'father' of this chassis and become completely responsible for its eventual success or failure.
The first Tipo 105.33 to emerge in public. Left Hand Drive. This is the first prototype of 105.33 with “H” chassis (powered with TZ 2.0 litre engine), at Balocco track. Note hammer made body.
It was originally designed as a Right Hand Drive model as a "Scarabeo" because Ing. Chiti had not as yet found a way to fit the carbs of his transversal mounted engine far enough away from the drivers head ...and that is why he had adopted this “English fashion” for the car initially.
January 1966, Alfa Romeo test driver Guido Moroni with the nuova 2000 Prototype at Balocco. (Provided through the courtesy of loving and devoted son Federico Moroni - "A Modo Mio, La Vita di Guido Morono in 100 Scatti.")
First public picture of the new rear engine 2-liter prototype as originally appearing in "Motor Gazette" magazine July 22, 1966.
Next to the Ferrari, Porsche or Ford racing cars of the era, the 105.33 seemed a successful exercise in style, not a 'battle machine'. Work on the bodywork for the next track version was long and laborious.
As for 105.33, there is no name to sign the design of the T-33. The racing versions were an internal affair of the Autodelta organization.
Also the numbering of each chassis ... the stamping on the substructure on the T-33 cars... had become 750.33xxx.
The final racy line of the new cars spoke clearly. They were born to run.
The new prototype at Monza January 7, 1967. The air intake (snorkel) was different than the presentation car. It should be noted here that the "periscopic" air intake design, first designed and perfected for motor racing appeared for the very first time publically here on the new "33"...based on Ing. Carlo Chiti's vast aerodynamic education and experience in collaborating on the design of such cars as the 3000 CM and the Disco Volante automobiles in his early days with Alfa Romeo S.p.A.
He was also an accomplished licensed pilot in his earlier, slimmer days.
Next time you see a air intake raised above the driver and engine...in Formula 1 for example... think back upon the originator of the very first 'periscopia'...Ing. Carlo Chiti.
January 1967 Balocco test session showing what appeared to be the final model prior to the uncoming press presentation... except for the missing front grille.
February 1967 Official press unveiling of the new Alfa Romeo "33" model at the newlyopened Alfa Romeo test track at Balocco.
The wheels were the beautiful and well known design of Campagnolo , and the tires, as a sign of respect for tradition, were the Dunlop CR70 or R7. The rim diameter was 13 inches with the 8-inch channel (tires 525 x 13) in the front and 9 inches (tires 600 or 700 x 13) on the rear axle.
Front and rear body panels included wheel arches and necessary air ducts. All the car bodies of the racing Alfa cars were made directly at Autodelta... "Inside the Walls"...designed and constructed secretly.
The material used was self-extinguishing fiberglass. The total weight of all the components of the body was 55 kg, including the side windows in Plexiglass and the glass windscreen weighing 5 kg.
Lightness was the key word in the constructive concept of the T-33, and so the the car deployed on the starting grid weighed only 580 kg, and presented the following chassis size specifications; Wheelbase 2250 mm, width 1760 mm, height 990 mm, length 3690 mm, front track 1336 mm and rear track 1445 mm.
We see these three new "33" models....chassis no.: 750.33 001, 750.33 003 and 750.33 004. Chassis 750.33 002 was destroyed in testing earlier at Monza.
Press release n. 6
Today Alfa Romeo, on its test track at Balocco (Province of Vercelli), showed to specialized press the new racing car, 1995 cc., identified with number “33”.
As well known, Alfa Romeo believes that the experience made participating in sport competitions is a useful tool for the technological progress and development of its commercial manufacture of prodution vehicles. The well known international wins against the most powerful and famous international car brands with Giulia T.I.Super, Giulia TZ and GTA, allowed Alfa Romeo to make and sell to exigent and qualified customers, in Italy and abroad, the full production of the Giulia range... Saloon, GT and Spiders. Along the past 15 years Alfa Romeo vehicle sales have increased 200 times. Our success has proven there is not separation between Alfa Romeo and the other best manufacturer brands in the world.
But market competition is becoming more hard and challenging, so Alfa Romeo, that always strives to be among the best industry leaders, decided to engage itself into the particularly challenging sector of the high performance cars.
Not choosing to complete in the range of the large displacement class, Alfa Romeo has chosen to compete in the two liter class. The new project embeds the most modern technology, without forgetting the experience coming from the glorious past of Alfa Romeo.
You can find the specific features of the “33” in the attached sheets.
Now we have the new prototype: its tuning will be made while participating in the races where Alfa Romeo will be its qualified racing team.
Only in the future we will decide where this new direction of racing car development will lead us.
Milan, the 6th of March 1967
It is ready!
Only a week later, in Belgium at Flèron, an industrial suburb of Liège, in the 3200m long uphill race, competing with important brands and important drivers, Zeccoli won 'big' with the T-33, against serious competition, canceling the old record of Vogele (1'12''2) and lowering it by a second and a half almost, setting the new record (of 1'10''8).
The car, chosen by him was the 750.33.001, the first-born of the series..
Chief Autodelta test driver Teodoro Zeccoli
Autodelta historian Vladimir Pajevic wrote about the rise of Mr. Zeccoli with the Autodelta organization:
"Their fellowship was born in the days of the ATS adventure, where he was entrained by Chiti from the position of the chief test driver and racing pilot for Carlo Abarth, toward new challenges with uncertain borders with Alfa Romeo..."
March 1967 First appearance of the new "33" at the Fleron Hillclimb (Belgium) ...the first race and the first win for new car with 'Dorino" Zeccoli at the 'volante'.
Mid-March 1967 Testing at Zolder circuit. Courtesy of the copyrighted personal archives of Andrea de Adamich.
Image provided through the courtesy of the copyrighted personal archives of Andrea de Adamich.
April 2, 1967 Sebring Observe brake air vents on the front of the car...and Andrea de Adamich standing directly behind the Fleron. This car, co-driven by chief Autodelta test driver Teo Zeccoli qualified in the 2 liter prototype class 12 seconds behind the class leading Ford Mk. IV but suffered suspension failure on the 84th lap. The other Fleron sustained ignition failure on the 36th lap.
April 8-9th 1967 Autodelta testing at Le Mans, various different car configurations were tested...with and without headlights or front spoiler 'flippers'... and the very first appearance of the long tail version.
May 14, 1967 Targa Florio During the acual race we noticed varying sizes of the brake air vents.
This is the Galli / Giunti car. No secondary headlights beside the front air vents...instead the car featured further air intakes for the cooling of the brakes and the drivers feet made necessary due to the extreme pavement temperatures...a problem unique to the Targa Florio. It was an extremely hot day even by Sicilian standards. Two 33 Fleons retired due to front suspension failures, one retired with a gearbox issue and the final car of Galli / Giunti failed to finish within 110% of the class winner's time.
May 28, 1967 Nurburgring Air vent sizes modified once again. The Autodelta team lead by the Fleron 33 of Roberto Bussinello / Andrea de Adamich / Teo Zeccoli finished fifth overall and fourth in class.
June 4, 1967 Rossfeld Hillclimb. This car of Nanni Galli had for the first time four headlights and had eliminated the air brake vents seen previously at the Targa Florio.
Mugello Group 7 car. First test for the new Group 7 car with Giunti and Zeccoli. The car had a smaller windscheen and no "periscopia" for the engine. No central Alfa Romeo grille or logo. Halon fire extinguisher appraratus mounted temporarily on the roll bar.
Sestiere HillclimbThis car and the three following photographs show the car of Galli at the hillclimb of Cesana Sestriere on July 16, 1967.
Only a small windscreen is to be seen, on central air intake behind the drivers' head.
Instead, there is an air vent on the right fender.
July 16, 1967 Sestriere hillclimb with a new solution to engine air intake and brake venting.
New streamlined transmission / differential oil cooler intakes are noted.
July 23, 1967 Mugello circuit race composed of 8 laps at 41.135 miles each. All of the cars sported a "big mouth" widened grille opening and slightly wider front fenders. Note the variety of air intake hoses located behind the cockpit feeding air to the brakes and to the twin transmission oil coolers. These three entered T-33 cars failed to finish due to various suspenson failures while two Autodelta GTAs finished first and second in class.
July 30 1967 Chambrouse. This is the car of Jean Roland with a different front grille / nose treatment.
August 15, 1967 Mont Dore` The car of Jean Roland with, perhaps, his preferred front grille and Alfa Romeo logo.
August 27, 1967 Ollon Villars, Switzerland Silvio Moser at the wheel of his Group 7 car.
September 17, 1967 Sarezzo Lumezzane A different front hood and larger side engine oil cooler intakes...with white trimming around the headlights for individual identification.
November 1967 Torino Auto Show
Ing. Carlo Chiti with his pride and joy. Photograph taken in 1967 "Inside the Walls" at his top secret Settimo Milanese manufacuring facility.
1968 and1969Tipo 33/2Coupe
Photographs 1-4 show new T-33/2 as it was presented to the press in 1968.
The front hood was fabricated as one part and had one NACA duct beneath the windscreen.
3-4 February 1968 Daytona 24 Hours...covering a distance of 2564 miles and 673 laps.
Because of the very good results in this Daytona race with all three entered T-33 cars finishing 5th, 6th and 7th.., the series of cars were named "Daytona". A new front hood access hatch was now fabricated just behind the race number.
Note special raised roof section designed for tall driver comfort.
7 April 1968 Brands Hatch Six Hours.
The raised roof section mentioned above was now modified to be much more wide than the previous version. Three Daytona cars were entered by Autodelta...one finishing 14th and the other two experiencing an accident damage and the other engine problems.
Spring of 1968 Monza The following three photographs show pre-Le Mans testing of the new longtail version.
During Monza testing the two photographs (below) show the longtail with small flaps at the rear of the car.
April 6-7 1968 Le Mans testing See the modification of tail flaps at the end of the longtail section.
The three photographs above detail the final solution of the longtail version for 1968....again with more modifications to the spoiler section and an access opening in the front panel ahead of the driver.
25 April 1968 Monza 1000 Kilometers This was the first entry of the longtail T-33 car in a race, operated by the Belgium VDS Team.
5 May 1968 Targa Florio Large full spoiler shown the entire width of the car on the VDS Team entry. Autodelta appeared to be quite satisfied with four of its T-33/2 cars finishing within the top six places...winning first place in the 2000 Prototype class.
May 4, 1968 Targa Florio The T-33 featured the front spoilers rounded somewhat and new rounded front air intakes. A great day for the team from Settimo Milanese as the T-33/2 cars won their class and also finished 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th.
The Targa Florio 1968 Big air vent shown in the front hood panel of the car.
Two new air intakes shown here to handle the high ambient temperatures of Sicily...one behind the drivers head and the other between the left mirror and the race number.
This is the first race of a Daytona Coupe outfitted with a 2.5 litre engine, driven by Vaccarella / Schutz.
Once again, new air intakes on the side directly ahead of the race number and also on the back hood.
May 19, 1968 1000 Kilometers of Nurburgring showing new little front spoilers. The team of Giunti / Galli finished first in the 2000 Prototpye class.
Mario Casoni in the Alfa 33/2 at the 1968 Nurburgring 1000 km
The Grand Prix of Republica Vallelunga with Ignazio Giunti. The T-33 featured extended front wheel arches.
The three images above during the 1969 season show 'allegerita' versions. The first picture depicts the Klaus Reisch car, the second the Zadra car and the third the Otto Zipper entry.
These cars had no roof structure, the side windows were shortened and the Zipper car shows a big roll bar.
Note the aerodynamic treatment of the body just behind the driver on the Otto Zipper car directly above....reminding us of the Alfa Romeo competition cars of the 1950's.
This is the most common rear panel treatment used by Autodelta over the 1969 season.
An altered rear view of the car with the side to side rear spoiler.
Image courtesy of photographer Hermann Erk and www.Pro-Steilstrecke.de (a great Nurburgring history site).
An altered rear panel treatment on the lightened 'allegerita' version.
This time we see another altered rear panel section with a hastily cut hole supplied for enhanced cooling.
1969 - 1972
Tipo 33/2 Spider
During the period 1969 - 1970, three Tipo 33/2 "Daytona" coupe chassis were transformed into Spider versions.
One reason to build these cars could have been the enter the new European championship for 2 litre cars which started in 1970. Also Porsche converted 907 cars for this championship.
The success of both marques was limited...as the special built cars from Abarth, Lola and Chevron were quicker.
So the Spider versions found their way into hillclimbs and all sorts of sports car racing events.
By mid-April 1970, the first one was selected by SCAR Autostrada, an Alfa Romeo dealer in Florence... and a personal friend of Ing. Carlo Chiti... for pre-testing for the soon to take place 1000 Kilometers of Monza race. (photograph of that car below).
By the time of the 1000 Kilometers of Monza race on April 25, 1970 the SCAR Autostrada Spider #48 Type 33/2 driven by the team of Nicor / Dini received modifications such as:
-the rear fender openings were enlarged
-the front fender openings were similiarly widened
-the cockpit was half-closed with plexiglas for streamlining and lower wind resistance.
Photographs are shown below.
On June 21, 1970 at the legendary Coppa Collina hillclimb north of Pistoia this SCAR Autostrada car #80 appeared with some further more substantial modifications to the wheel arches.
The second Spider also appeared at Monza in April 1970 as #56 (above) and was entered by Scuderia Madunina and driven by Giovanni Alberti / Teodoro Zeccoli.
This car remained in the configuration as in the first test.
Here is a T-33/2 Spider in the first configuration, just like the Alberti / Zeccoli car but with a smaller body. It is not clear what team this car belongs to and where the picture was taken.
We "believe" this car 'should' be the car of entrant Giovanni Alberti before the 1970 Monza 1000 kilometers race, using number 56. It is also shown in the next two pictures.
If you have any more definite information on this car and the place and date of the race, please send an email to our editor.
In preparation for the Trieste / Opicina hillclimb on May 21, 1970, this Aldo Bardelli car was prepared as a third Spider by Autodelta (above).
The car is pictured here at Mugello.
Copyright: Luigi Pulcini 2017
This original drawing of the famous Aldo Bardelli T-33/2 created by and furnished to us through the generosity of Mr. Luigi Pulcini... the distinguished Editor in Chief of "Il Metato" magazine, a regional publication saluting the history and events of the wonderful Pistoia Region.
To enjoy another of Mr. Pulcini's artistic accomplishments, please turn to the Stradale History section of "Autodelta Golden Years.com".
The Bardelli car in another event.
Below, we show the three cars built in a row with marks to show the most obvious differences.
This is the Giovanni Alberti car (above) with Carlo Facetti at the wheel at the Mil Milhas Brasileiras circuit at Interlagos in 1971...still with the small body and without the modifications to the wheel arches.
Facetti was brought into the car through the efforts of Carlo Chiti. Autodelta supported Alberti to participate in this event.
The official entrant was the local Cancia team, achieving a third place result.
The next two pictures show the SCAR Autostrada car and the Bardelli car with the modifications to the wheel arches.
At the Grand Premio Mugello on July 19, 1970 all of the three cars (below) were competing.
Spider #15 Alberti / Facetti ?
Spider #6 was driven by Aldo Bardelli.
Spider #32 driven by Zeccoli / Nicor.
Courtesy of Robert Little
This T-33/2 Spider of the 1970 vintage was photographed by the editor in April 1972 parked "Inside the Walls" at Autodelta awaiting sale to either another racing team or...most likely... to a private individual who would restore it and add it to his collection.
Tipo T-33/3 Spider
The above three images: First spyshots of the 3 liter car, February 1969 with new frame, a tubular structure coated with light metal sheets, riveted, 3000 ccm with 400 to 410 hp.
The above four images: March 1969: Presentation to the Press, note the air intakes in the front hood and air intakes for brake cooling, front and rear flaps.
March 1969: Testing at Vallelunga.
March 21-22, 1969 12 Hours of Sebring Notice Nanni Galli on the left and Andrea de Adamich in the center of the image wearing his customary black rimmed glasses in the above image.
March 29, 30, 1969 Above four images shown at the Le Mans Test Session. Note this version without front air intakes. This "long tail" version was shown being tested for the first time.
During these tests Autodelta driver Lucien Bianchi became involved in an accident on the Hunaudieres straight.
A large front air intake as well as two smaller air intakes for the front braking coolers was added here during testing at Monza.
Testing on June 29,1969 Norisring Circuit From left side- master engine specialist Giovanni Manfredini, Ing. Carlo Chiti and master chassis technician Giuliano Luppi are shown here.
This image represents the first European appearance of the T33/3.
July 13, 1969. Hochenheim Solitude Rennen.
July 27, 1969. Inaugural session of the new Zeltweg Circuit. First Victory for Andrea de Adamich in a T-33.
August 10, 1969. Osterreichring 1000 Kilometers featuring wider front air intake. You will note the appearance of this Autodelta technician in dozens of period photographs...he is Mr. Coloni who was a material handler and the exclusive driver of the giant Alfa Romeo vehicle transport truck for Autodelta.
500 Kilometers of Imola, September 14, 1969
Tipo T-33/3 Coupe
In mid-1969, a coupe version of the T-33/3 was developed by Autodelta and immediately tested at its Alfa Romeo Balocco proving ground facility.
This unique 1969 3-litre coupe was only seen in two events: Enna and Hockenheim during the summer of 1969.
This 33/3 Coupe appeared for the first time at Hockenheim in the Solituderennen July 13, 1969 race with Nino Vaccarella, finishing in third place. The man seen pointing at the left rear fender of the car is Giuseppi Calleger...the senior team leader of the entire Autodelta group.
Here you see Ing. Chiti and his long time associate, driver and close associate dating back to the Udine days of the early 1960's ...Roberto Businello...with the famous Romeo transporter visible in the background. Photo taken at Hockenheim 1969.
Nino Vaccarella had the unpleasant surprise of seeing his windshield explode because of a stone....causing some injury to his face.
In its second and final appearance in the capable hands of Nino Vaccarella at the Coppa Cita di Enna Pergusa, this 3.0 litre coupe won its final race.
The only difference made by Autodelta over the last month of its competitive life was the creation of a larger front air intake opening.
Courtesy Acquati archives
After the Coppa Cita di Enna Pergusa, the car was 'retired' to a life of several auto appearances...this one shown was the Monza Salone Sportive in the fall of 1969.
Courtesy Acquati archives
Courtesy Acquati archives
These next three images are taken from the 1969 Frankfurt Auto Show of the 33/3 Coupe making its final appearances on behalf of Alfa Romeo S.p.A.
Jochen Rindt Show 1969
Salon Geneva 1970
Tipo T-33/3 Spider
Inpreparation for the 1970 season, several tests were carried out in Balocco, Vallelunga and at Monza during the winter 1969 - 1970.
Teodoro Zeccoli, pictured, the pre-imminent test driver for Ing. Chiti, had Chiti's utmost confidence in Zeccoli's evaluation abilities.
Both men started working together when Chiti hired Zeccoli away from his testing assignments with ATS and Abarth.
The first car tested had a roll bar only for the driver like the 1969 version. It had a large air intake at the front with two round openings for cooling the brakes.
Also noted is the appearance of the mirror mounted on a tripod (which will also be mounted on the T-33/2 Spider during the 1970 season).
This cutaway drawing of the 1970 T-33/3 has been provided through the courtesy of Serhii Antropov of ConcertBunny.com
10 January 1970 1000 Kilometers of Buenos Aires Car #6 was the 3000 cc class winner driven by Andrea de Adamich and Piers Courage. The main modification made to the car was the widening of the roll bar to full body width shown above.
Monza testing with revised front air intakes.
21 March 1970 Sebring 12 Hours of Endurance. Pre-race testing.
Ing. Carlo Chiti, who was an astronomy enthusiast, began giving a star name to the front fenders of his cars - # 31 Rigel, # 32 Sirius, # 33 Vega.
The late Tranquillo Bulgarini is shown taking a well-deserved momentary break from his ~25 year career with the Autodelta team. He is shown also in a following image. "Vega".
The air inlets for cooling the rear brakes were enlarged once again.
1970 Sebring 12 Hours of Endurance
For the upcoming 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours of Endurance, a long tail version was tested and presented at Balocco. See the above image and those four below.
10-11 April 1970 test session at Le Mans.
Monza 1000 Kilometers April 25, 1970 pictured are three of the four T-33/3 entered. Top finishing T-33/3 was car no. 38 finishing 7th overall and 3rd in the 3.0 litre class. Note on the left side the blue Autodelta machine shop bus.
In view of the approaching 31 May 1970 1000 Kilometers of the Nurburgring, Rolf Stommelen carried out testing with a newly-developed lighter version. Photos above and below show some of the differences.
Updated was an fully opening rear hood, a front hood without headlights and a much thinner roll bar.
A small rear spoiler was also be tested but not used for the race.
The car represents the final stage of development of the T33/3 which was first introduced in 1969. The T33/3 was Alfa’s first monocoque racing car, based on steel cell reinforced with titanium alloy,...extremely tough and durable.
AR 75080.019 was the last version of 33/3 family, with new developments like the switch to smaller 13 inch diameter front wheels, new front suspension and brakes, and new nose, lower and squarer in design. Engine was N° 10580*0069
31 May 1970 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers The modified, lightened chassis shown above was entered by Autodelta.
The car represents the final stage of development of the T33/3 which was first introduced in 1969.
13-14 June 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours The four pictures above show each of the four long tail cars entered by Autodelta.
June 1970 Alfa Romeo Deutschland entered the Nürburgring version of the Tipo 33 for the Airfield race Mainz Finthen on 21June 1970 (No. 24 shown above) and the Norisring race 28 June 1970 (No. 35 shown below). Driver was Herbert Schultze.
13 September 1970 Imola 500 Kilometers The above image and the three images below display the first release of the new 1971 body configuration. Again, notice the thin rollbar in use.
Winter 1970-1971. Presentation of the 1971 version noting a thicker rollbar and a shorter nose section.
March 20, 1971 Sebring 12 Hours of Endurance. Headlights are once again installed.
March 21, 1971 Sebring 12 Hours of Endurance Nanni Galli / Rolf Stommelen Alfa Romeo T-33/3 finished 2rd overall and 1st in the 3.0 liter class.
Courtesy of Robert Little
Sebring 12 Hours of Endurance March 20, 1971 Andrea de Adamich / Henri Pescarolo / Nino Vaccarella finished 3rd overall and second in class behind the Nanni Galli / Rolf Stommelen car.
Rolf Stommelen and Nanni Galli.
Look carefully to see the reflection of the Chiti-designed refueling tower in the front fender reflection.
4 April 1971 Brands Hatch 1000 Kilometers. The team of Andrea de Adamich / Henri Pescarolo #54 took the overall victory leading at the finish five Porsche 917Ks and three Ferrari 512 M cars with a margin of victory of three laps.
25 April 1971 Monza 1000 Kilometers Autodelta outfitted its cars with a redesigned / modified longtail back and changed the rollbar to fit this ultra-quick racetrack. Autodelta cars finished the race in 3rd, 4th and 5th but first overall in the 3000 cc class.
2 May 1971 Imola Interserie The works Autodelta car of Teodoro Zeccoli starts in the Monza and Spa configuration while the privately entered car of Riccardone (Benelli) shows the difference.
May 9, 1971 Spa 1000 Kilometers.
16 May 1971 Targa Florio The fastest qualifying car and the overall winner of the Peoples hearts...Nino Vaccarella shared the cockpit with Toine Hezemans and led all of Sicily to a tumultuous celebration.
Teammates Andrea de Adamich / Gijs van Lennep (car #2) finished in second place 72 seconds behind.
28 June 1971 Österreichring 1000 Kilometers Again a aerodynamically formed rollbar was used.
The privately car of Reisch / Facetti (below) was seen during this weekend with different bodywork solutions, this one with 2 small wings on the tail section is unique.
24 July 1971 Watkins Glen Six Hours The team of Ronnie Peterson / Andrea de Adamich in the T-33/3 V-8 car #30 won overall finishing two laps in front of a second place 5.0 liter Porsche 917K.
The two photographs of car #30 show the victorious car at the controls of Ronnie Peterson (above) in the Six Hours of Endurance race ... and Andrea de Adamich (below) in the CanAm Challenge Cup race...the closed rear tail section in the de Adamich car is the main difference in the two race regulations.
The following day a Can Am race took place, most European 6 Hour teams also started in this race and adapted their cars to the CanAm regulations (closed bodywork over the rear wheels).
These T33/3 cars were Alfa’s first monocoque racing cars, based on steel cell reinforcement with titanium alloy,...extremely tough and durable.
AR 75080.019 was the last version of this 33/3 family and featured new developments such as the conversion to smaller 13 inch diameter front wheels, new front suspension and brakes, and a new nose, lower in ground clearance and squarer frontal design.
In 1971 privateers entered then-current '71 versions of the Tipo 33 mainly in Interserie and hillclimb events. The picture above and below show the Austrian Klaus Reisch at the Alpl-Bergrennen, 15 May 1971.
Coppa Collina 1971 Carlo Benelli "Riccardone" This car is also seen in Part Three of the Autodelta Golden Years story.
21 May 1972. Castione Baratti Hillclimb Carlo Benelli lost his life in this car here at this hillclimb ...the same weekend as the Targa Florio.
1971 / 1972
The T-33TT3 V-8
New Car - New Chassis
In 1971 Autodelta chose to test the new chassis in public at several races but only during practice sessions.
The new TT chassis being prepared for a trip to the Alfa Romeo proving grounds "Balocco"...usually covered with a black tarp. We believe Ing. Chiti might be the person peering out the window wearing a suit and glasses. The area you see is the inner courtyard of Autodelta 'Inside the Walls' directly leading to the reception desk and Ing. Chiti's office.
16 May 1971 Targa Florio The "TT" is publically unveiled here for the first time...shown in Cerda at the Hotel Aurim garage.
Shown above at the Targa Florio... Carlo Facetti and Teo Zeccoli qualified car #1 as the fourth fastest in the entire field but this new TT chassis was withheld by Ing. Chiti as a "Did Not Start". The team of Nino Vaccarella / Toine Hezemans qualified as "Fastest Time of Day" and finished first ahead of Andrea de Adamich / Gijs van Lennep. Notice the familiar Autodelta machine shop bus on the left.
30 May 1971 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers Once again, the team of Carlo Facetti / Teodoro Zeccoli in car #14 was testing the new "TT" chassis but were officially classified as "DNS" by team orders of Ing. Chiti.
27 June 1971 Osterreichring 1000 Kilometers Given the 'muletto' designation of 'T2", this chassis tested by Nanni Galli / Henri Pescarolo did not qualify and did not start the race. Notice the roll bar has been profiled to reduce wind resistance.
The Official Press Introduction of the new T-33TT3 at the factory proving ground at Balocco.
9 January 1972 Buenos Aires 1000 Kilometers. This car driven by Nanni Galli was among four cars entered by Autodelta in Round One of the World Manufacturers' Championship and featured its cars in the same configuration as shown at the Balocco introduction of the new "TT" chassis. A fifth car of Carlo Facetti / Giovanni Alberti was entered by Mr. Alberti privately.
The combined two teams of Alfa Romeo cars consisted of Nino Vaccarela / Cesare Pairetti and Carlo Facetti / Giovanni Alberti later joined by Andrea de Adamich in the old 33/3 versions and in the new tubular versions was Vic Elford / Dr. Helmut Marko, Andrea de Adamich / Nanni Galli, and Toine Hezemans / Rolf Stommelen.
9 January 1972 Buenos Aires 1000 Kilometers Vic Elford / Dr. Helmut Marko in car #2 Alfa Romeo T-33/3 finished 4th overall behind the T-33/3 of Carlo Facetti / Andrea de Adamich and the 1st and 2nd place Ferrari 312PB.
6 February 1972 Daytona Six Hours of Endurance In this image of the Dr. Helmut Marko / Vic Elford T-33TT3 V-8 notice the roll bar receiving additional flaring.
Vic Elford / Dr. Helmut Marko 33TT3, shown above, qualified 3rd at Daytona and finished 3rd.
The Peter Revson / Rolf Stommelen 33TT/3 shown at the 1972 Daytona Six Hours of Endurance.
To view more images taken at the Daytona Six Hours of Endurance in 1972 please turn to indexed page "Interesting Extra Photos".
18-19 March 1972 Le Mans Testing Session. In the three images below, observe the roll bar profiling fins and two types of body aerodynamical variations to the tail sections. The cars are equipped with an air intake on each side for the engine coolant radiators, a longer rear tail section and a small roll bar behind the driver.
Senior test driver for Autodelta.... Teodoro ("Dorino") Zeccoli.
A traditional-sized roll bar is used on this car.
25 March 1972 Sebring 12 Hours of Endurance The Peter Revson / Andrea de Adamich / Rolf Stommelen 33TT3 car #31 had qualified 3rd on the grid.
Dr. Helmut Marko with Vic Elford pictured here at the 1972 12 Hours of Sebring
Nino Vaccarella / Toine Hezemans / Andrea de Adamich qualified 9th and finished 3rd at the 1972 12 Hours of Sebring.
16 April 1972 Brands Hatch 1000 Kilometers The 33TT3 V-8's featured closed tail sections.
16 April 1972 Brands Hatch 1000 Kilometers Car #8 above of Peter Revson / Toine Hezemans / Rolf Stommelen qualified 4th and finished 3rd.
1 May 1972 Imola Interserie Appearance of front air foils on the front body panel are new.
21 May 1972 Targa Florio The "1T" (muletto) car had special side plates at the spoiler. For the actual race the Vaccarella car featured round side plates on the rear section different than the other three cars entered. Shown here in downtown Cerda.
The Nino Vaccarella / Rolf Stommelen car #1.
This Vic Elford / Gijs van Lennep car was assigned by Ing. Chiti to be the "rabbit" with its fastest team qualifying time by Elford of one-half of one second behind the lone Ferrari of Merzario / Munari over the 34 minute single lap of the circuit.
This is T-33/3 of Nino Vaccarella / Rolf Stommelen suffered engine failure during the fourth lap.
1972 Targa Florio with Dr. Helmut Marko at the wheel sharing this T-33TT3 with Nanni Galli. With Dr. Marko taking over for the final two laps of the race, Marko managed to gain an astounding two minutes on the lead Ferrari 312PB of Arturo Merzario and Sandro Munari ...and yet lost the race by a mere 16.9 seconds!
Dr. Marko achieved the fastest single lap record of the race.
21 May 1972 Targa Florio Andrea de Adamich is shown at the wheel of the car he shared with Toine Hezemans. Together they completed the eleven laps in third place overall.
28 May 1972 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers Fastest lap was set by Rolf Stommelen with an astounding 7:42 and finished 11th overall with teammates Toine Hezemans and Vic Elford in car #4 above.
10-11 June 1972 Le Mans 24 Hours Unloading for technical inspection. Notice two different tail sections are used on various cars during the race.
June 10-11, 1972 Le Mans 24 Hours Three T-33/3 entered, car no. 18 of Andrea de Adamich, Nino Vaccarela / Toine Hezemans / Teodoro Zeccoli and Dr. Helmut Marko was the highest finishing T-33/3 qualified 7th on the grid and finished 4th.
June 10-11,1972 Le Mans 24 Hours Rolf Stommelen / Nanni Galli / Toine Hezemans #19 qualified 4th on the grid, suffered gearbox problems and failed to finish after 263 laps.
Courtesy of Robert Little
1972 Le Mans 24 Hours of Endurance Vic Elford / Toine Hezemans / Dr. Helmut Marko qualified 6th but did not finish due to gearbox problems.
Visit our special section on the 1972 Le Mans race with Autodelta featured by clicking on the "Alfa at Le Mans" page at the index of the Home Page.
17 September 1972 Imola 500 Kilometers
1 October 1972 Hockenheim Interserie, T-33/3 #58 shown above and below.
Image courtesy of the photographer Mr. Rogerio P. D. Luz
1, 8, and 15 December 1972 Interlagos
These two photographs have been furnished through the courtesy of Rogerio P.D. Luz of Imagens DaLuz.
Archives of Rogerio P.D. Luz - Imagens DaLuz..
25 March 1973 Vallelunga Six Hours
Car # 26 was sponsored by Scuderia Brescia Corsa and driven by Carlo Facetti / Marsilio Pasotti. It failed to finish due to accident.
Notice that the Scuderia Brescia Corsa cars had a horizontal fin attached to the vertical rear wing uprights much the same as the Can-Am cars of the same era.
25 April 1973 Monza 1000 Kilometers Once again sponsored by Scuderia Brescia Corsa and driven by Carlo Facetti / Marsilio Pasotti, this #16 qualified 9th and finished 5th.
13 May 1973 Targa Florio For this announced final running of the historic Targa, the Scuderia Brescia Corsa team fielded one V-8 T-33TT3 with Marsilio Pasotti / Teodoro Zeccoli. The car did not compete in the race...loosing oil pressure during practice.
The other car not pictured here was the introduction of the T-33TT12 which qualified 2nd with Rolf Stomellen at the controls....2.5 seconds behind the Ferrari 312PB of Arturo Merzario over the 44.7 mile circuit (72 kms).
Stommelen set the fastest lap time of the race but with de Adamich having been hit from behind by a backmarker, Autodelta's final hope was extinguished.
Note horizontal panel in rear wing and opened rear wheel / tail section.
9-10 June 1973 Le Mans 24 Hours The team of Teodoro Zeccoli / Carlo Facetti / Marsilio Pasotti were the only Alfa Romeo racing cars entered, finishing 15th overall.
24 June 1973 Osterreichring 1000 Kilometers Carlo Facetti / Marsilio Pasotti. Note enhanced vertical tail sections and extra air duct leading to engine radiators behind doors.
In 1975 Mr. P. Moshous bought from Autodelta a T-33TT3 with a variant Montreal V-8 engine, using the car on a number of occasions in Greece....including winning on the Tatoi airport circuit in April 1975.
A T-33TT3 was acquired for a hillclimb competition in the Canary Islands with drivers E. Montoro / P. Estevez / J. Rodriquez.
9 June 1974 Targa Florio This year the event was little more than a Sicilian club race and shortened to eight laps, shown here the privately entered V-8 of Ottomano / Gargano did not arrive for tech inspection and was disqualified. In the following three images this "33" was used for local hillclimb racing.
The previously shown car was updated in 1975 with TT12 bodywork while retaining the original V-8 engine.
23 May 1976 Imola 500 Kilometers Teodoro Zeccoli / Bruno Ottomano in #9 finished in 9th place.
27 June 1976 Coppa Florio #8 Teodoro Zeccoli / Bruno Ottomano
The New 12 Cylinder Engine
Tipo 33TT12 Spider
- 1972 -
In September 1972 pictures of the new 12 cylinder engine appeared in the Italian magazine Autosprint together with pictures of the modified T-33TT3 chassis used for testing the engine.
The Alfa Romeo 'boxer' was one of the most technically advanced engines of its time. It had an aluminum crankcase with chromed liners, bore of 77 and stroke of 53.6 mm 2,995 cc, crankshaft mounted on four main supports, titanium connecting rods and lubrication with four recovery pumps.
The head was made of aluminum, with four valves per cylinder, angled at 35 °, double springs and cups for the double-axis control of the cams, moved by a train of gears. Its initial weight was 181 kg.
The engine used on the 33TT12 produced 500 horsepower at 11,500 rpm.
The engine cover is very flat thanks to the low profile of the new boxer engine.
The two rear aerodynamic fins are now connected to a big rear wing.
This wing is now supported in the middle.
Pictured here at the Alfa Romeo test circuit of Balocco in this Alfa Romeo S.p.A. factory-provided photograph is the famed chief test driver of Autodelta...Teodoro Zeccoli.
The rear wing configuration using the center fin would later be used on the Scuderia Brescia Corse car during the 1973 season. The center fin however was not employed on the 1972 Le Mans cars.
The Tipo 33TT12 1973
The tubular chassis, developed around the new 12-cylinder engine, was designed with the great influence of new Autodelta employee in early 1972... aerodynamicist Michel Tetu. The bodywork was developed with the help of the wind tunnel at the Laboratoire Eiffel in France where Porsche and the Ligier F1 team also carried out tests.
The car featured a tubular chassis built in steel and aluminium. The roll bar was completely covered, aerodynamic tests showed the big drag that was generated by the roll bar without coverage.
For a closer look at the design of the chassis, please turn to Part 1 +2 of our introductory pages.
Balocco, February 1973: The first spy shots of the car with Carlo Facetti at the wheel. The development of the car had been hampered somewhat by the strikes that took place in Italy in the early seventies.
The 33TT12 shown in its first official press photo on the grounds of the Balocco testing facility of Alfa Romeo S.p.A. 1973.
March 1973 Testing at Le Castellet... driver was Rolf Stommelen.
April 1973, Testing conducted at the Le Castellet circuit, Rolf Stommelen is shown in the car in discussion with aerodynamic specialist Michel Tétu and Autodelta test driver Teodoro Zeccoli.
5 May 1973 1000 Kilometers of Spa Autodelta intended to introduce its new car at this race with the team of Andrea de Adamich / Rolf Stommelen. There were small changes made to the car such as the different mirror and the front end of the car appeared without the spoiler element. A small opening appeared next to the start number.
de Adamich's car suffered tread separation of a rear tyre as he was leaving the Stavelot bend and
it spun the car into the guard rail, smashing the back on one side of the road and the front on the other
As Autodelta had prepared but one car for this race meeting, their introductory race here at Spa was at an end.
13 March 1973: Targa Florio Autodelta brought two new 33TT12's cars to the Targa Florio. Clay Regazzoni had an accident in practice (# 7) and was not able to start..but had qualified third on the grid with co-driver Carlo Facetti...behind the second place qualifier of Andrea de Adamich / Rolf Stommelen.
Again at the Targa Florio the de Adamich / Rolf Stommelen team shown above started the race but could not finish...as de Adamich had been hit by a GT car while on the fourth lap.
27 May 1973: 1000 Kilometers of Nürburgring Both cars did not reach the finish line, No.8 was driven by Rolf Stommelen / Andrea de Adamich, and No.9 by Clay Regazzoni / Carlo Facetti.
24 June 1973 Bypassing Le Mans, Autodelta entered the 1000 Kilometers of Österreichring with one modified 12 cylinder car for Rolf Stommelen / Clay Regazzoni.
The rear hood panel was modified to a largely flat panel shape and two airboxes were mounted on the left and the right side of the anti-rollbar .
Shown to the left side of the photo is Luigi Corbari, Ing. Chiti's special operations manager.... Rolf Stommelen is on the right.
The only 33TT12 experienced fuel feed problems too difficult to diagnose during the race and was forced to retire. A Brescia Corse 33TT/3 finished seventh overall.
July 1973 Monza – Rolf Stommelen did testing with a small airbox on top of the customary "Chiti Copola " hood. This was the direction in which the development was headed for the 1974 season
19 September 1973 Imola 500 Rolf Stommelen drove the Autodelta single entry in this non-championship race This car again displayed some modifications in aerodynamic configurations and with the air intakes.
The inlet beside the driver helmet was a stronger pronounced shape and there were air inlets added on the engine cover.
Stommelen finished the race in second place, the best result of the season.
November 1973 Vallelunga This version was tested by Arturo Merzario but was never entered in a race.
The engine cover was significantly higher with bigger air intakes above the driver’s head.
Autodelta Returns to Victory in 1974
The 1974 season was very much influenced by the Arab oil embargo of 1973. The pretext of competing in motor sports while learning how to consume less fuel did not have much resonance with polititions or the general public of Europe facing the crisis...motor racing was an easy target for those people who advocated greater fuel consumption.
The "energy crisis" had a harsh effect on the early months of the season...Daytona and Sebring were cancelled, Nurburgring and Paul Ricard were reduced in distance and Kyalami was cut to six hours from nine.
In January and February of 1974 different tests were conducted by Autodelta at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France in an effort to improve this car that had last participated on June 24,1973 with Rolf Stommelen and Clay Regazzoni at the Osterreichring 1000 Kms.
The car was actually the very first 33TT12 constructed (115.12.001) shown in assembly photographs on Pages 1-2 of our site.
This is the car that had participated in the Osterrechring 1000 Kms six months prior although now equipped with experimental highly positioned air intake ducts. Shown alongside the car are chief team mechanic Giuseppe Callegher, mechanic Mr. Fabri, Rolf Stommelem and engineer Gherardo Severi.
Both long tail and short tail body sections were tested.
Behind the driver were two small side air intakes for brake cooling and a massively large central intake portal to provide pressurized air to the new flat 12 cylinder engine. The major rear body element, the 'Chiti Copola', had grown noticeably higher.
The man in charge of all Autodelta engine development and on-track performance activities since the very formation of Autodelta in 1963 was Giovanni Manfredini, shown here.
Later in March, testing was conducted in preparation for the upcoming Le Mans Test Session with the final version of the 1974 car. The dual intake nozzle was consolidated into one single element and the main copola was reduced by 8 centimeters overall.
At the Le Mans Test Session several rear tail sections and air intake configurations were evaluated, as was the testing of the car without a rear wing that allowed approximately 200 RPM increase in engine speed. It was determined, however, that the removal of the rear wing created stability problems for the car at lower speeds and the wing was reinstalled.
During the two days of testing, the organizers formulated two races of two hours each...the first was won by Rolf Stommelen and in the second race using the same car Arturo Merzario suffered a broken driveshaft.
On Arturo Merzario's car #4 a new aerodynamic treatment for the drivers' area was tested and was different from the Stommelen car shown during January testing with its rear view mirror at the left end of the car.
A few weeks before the Le Mans 24 Hour race, Ing. Carlo Chiti expressed doubts about participating in the event. He evoked technical reasons saying that cars prepared for a 1000 kilometers race and and those prepared for a 24 hour race were actually two differently prepared cars. He needed additional financial credits from the Italian treasury to take part in the race properly.
Ferari S.p..A. had made much the same argument in withdrawing from the 1972 Le Mans 24 Hour race, reportedly fearful that their engines would not survive through the first 12 hours of competition.
Such credits to Autodelta were refused by the Italian Ministry of Finance that was facing a serious, continuing economic and monetary crisis during the previous two years and well into 1974.
A privately owned Brescia Corsa 33TT12 driven by Teodoro Zeccoli, Carlo Facetti and Marsilio Pasotti was entered and was running as high as third place until a blown tire damaged the suspension forcing a retirement after 299 laps.
May 19, 1974 Nurburgring 750 Kms. The 33TT12 cars finished second +29 seconds behind the French Matra Simca team.
June 2, 1974 Imola 1000 Kms. All cars were raced in their short tail configuation.
April 25, 1974 Monza 1000 Kms. The above 33TT12 driven by Arturo Merzario and Mario Andretti took fastest qualifying time and won the race beating the two other Autodelta cars driven by Jacky Ickx / Rolf Stommelen and Carlo Facetti / Andrea de Adamich who took second and third overall.
This was the first big win for Autodelta since the 1971 season.
June 30, 1974 Osterreichring 1000 Kms.
Image Courtesy of Robert Murphy
July 13, 1974 Watkins Glen Six Hours of Endurance This Mario Andretti / Arturo Merzario 33TT12 had been running within the top three positions near the end of the six hour race until a little green alternator wire suffered metal fatigue and lost its attachment to the electrical system.
Due to assistance provided by either a trackside worker or an Autodelta mechanic who had run across the infield of the circuit to reach the stricken car...Andretti and his car were disqualified by the race officials.
Watkins Glen This 33TT12 of Rolf Stommelen failed to start the race due to a tire that exploded during a practice session just before the start / finish line and the main grandstand...causing Stommelen's car to hit the outer guardrail and burst into flames.
The rear wheel openings had fender flares added for this race.
1975 – The World Championship Season
1974 ended without the participation of Alfa Romeo in the last two races of the season.
For 1975 Carlo Chiti tried to convince the management of Alfa Romeo S.p.A. to stay “on board” for 1975...but it was a hard struggle to convince the management. A solution was found as late as February 1975 according to some reports.
Part of the solution for 1975 was the German sportscar specialist and long time Porsche driver and entrant – Willi Kauhsen. According to German sources a deal was found between Alfa Romeo and Willi Kauhsen with the influence of the German importer – Alfa Romeo Deutschland.
Kauhsen received cars and spare parts and there was a mixture of Kauhsen and Autodelta mechanics. Further Kauhsen received the sum of 8,5 million Deutsche Mark for entering the cars with a share of 10 % of this amount in case of winning the championship.
These are said to be the rough conditions of the deal about which many things were written, with everything under the influence of either the Autodelta or the Willi Kauhsen supporters.
Kauhsen brought in some sponsors to finance the running of the cars but at the start of the season the cars appeared with great white letters – WKRT – Willi Kauhsen Racing Team.
March 23, 1975 Mugello 1000 Kms. The racing year of 1975 began well with the Autodelta team achieving a second place for car No.1, Jackie Ickx / Arturo Merzario...with the second car of Henri Pescarolo / Derek Bell arrived in fourth place. Both cars were equipped with short tail bodywork (picture above).
April 6, 1975 Dijon 800 Kms.
Winner of the Dijon race was Arturo Merzario / Jacques Laffite –driving a short tail version. Pictured above is the 4th placed car of Derek Bell / Henri Pescarolo.
April 20,.1975 – Monza 1000 Kms.
Race winners were Arturo Merzario / Jacques Lafitte (picture above).
May 4, 1975 750 Kms of Spa . In this race the cars appeared for the first time with Campari sponsorship. Derek Bell / Henri Pescarolo drove the race winning car shown above.
Arturo Merzario / Jackie Ickx in the the second placed Alfa
May 18,.1975 1000 Kms. of Enna Pergusa Arturo Merzario and Jochen Mass drove this winning car shown above with Henri Pescarolo and Derek Bell finishing second in the car pictured below.
June 1,1975 1000 km Nürburgring This was somehow the "home” race for the Willi Kauhsen part of the team and one of the German sponsors name...a German sausage company was prominently written on the Jochen Mass/ Peter Scheckter car – "Redlefsen" - a rare sight.
Arturo Merzario / Jackie Ickx are the race winners (picture above).
Jochen Mass / Scheckter car shown airborne. Notice the advertisement for the Uniroyal safety fuel tank that was installed in all of the cars.
A third car, entered for Henri Pescarolo / Derek Bell was a "Did Not Finish".
June 29,1975 – 1000 km Österreichring Shown above in car #2 are race winners Derek Bell and Henri Pescarolo. The team of Arturo Merzario and Vittorio Brambila in car #1 finished in second place.
With these results the Alfa Romeo team scored their first Sports Car World Championship title in the ninth year of the Tipo 33 story....and the first Alfa Romeo championship in World Championship racing since 1951.
See more pictures at the end of this 1975 chapter.
Courtesy of Robert Little
July 13,1975 Watkins Glen Six Hours of Endurance The race winning car of Derek Bell and Henri Pescarolo is pictured here in pit lane.
Shown in the background is Ing. Carlo Chiti. Also interesting, the Alfa Romeo refueling tower.
Courtesy of Robert Little
Giovanni Manfredini, Ing. Gherardo Severi with Arturo Merzario and Mario Andretti at Watkins Glen 1975.
Courtesy of Robert Little
The Arturo Merzario / Mario Andretti car.
The Arturo Merzario / Mario Andretti car.
The 1975 World Championship
After the World Championship for Makes program was finished, there were still a few non-championship opportunites for the 33TT12. Autodelta decided to enter the 1975 edition of the "Little Targo Florio", held on 20th July 1975....as said... a non championship event.
Two cars were entered, one for Arturo Merzario / Nino Vaccarella, who were the race winners and a second car for Mario Casoni / Dini. Nino Vaccarella is shown at the wheel above.
Willi Kauhsen took the cars to several Interserie events at circuits like the Nürburgring, Hockenheim, Zandvoort in the Netherlands or the Kassel-Calden Airfield in Germany. Shown above is Jochen Mass in his race winning 33TT12 in Hockenheim, July 20, 1975.
August 17, 1975 Derek Bell, race winner on the Kassel-Kalden airfield,
The Interserie races were said to be good test venues for the Alfa Boxer engine in anticipation of joining the Formula One series with Team Brabham, the next goal of Ing. Carlo Chiti.
Alfa Romeo Type 33TT-Stradale
(Alfa Romeo Berlinetta Stradale Giro d'Italia)
In 1975, the Giro d’Italia took place between 12th and 17th of Octobre. The event was a mixture of hillclimb stages (Cesana-Sestriere, S.Stefano-Passo del Spino, Rieti-Terminillo, ...) and circuit races (Monza, Imola, Misano, Magione, Vallelunga, Mugello, Varano, Casale).
Jean-Claude Andruet, under contract with Autodelta for rally events, persuaded engineer Marelli to build a very special T33 to participate in the Giro. The car was built around a tubular chassis with a 3 litre V8 engine. It had a closed aluminum bodywork built by Autodelta ,the engine was found in the loft of Settimo Milanese out of the stock of engines.
The car received the chassis number 75033 * 114, normally a kind of number that would fit to an Tipo 33 stradale. The reason could have been the fact that the race was held for cars on the basis of an roadgoing sportscar…
(More Information to Come...)
More and more smoke…
This car is now in the hands of a well-known Alfa Romeo racing car collector in America.
Tipo 33SC12 - 1976
In 1976 two world championships were run by the FIA:
the World Sports Car Championship - open for the two seater prototypes (Group 6)
the World Championship for Makes – with Group 5 cars...universally referred to as "Silhouette" cars derived from a wide number of production cars.
Alfa Romeo entered the World Sports Car Championship which was in fact a descendant of the old championship open to prototypes produced to the regulations of the new Group 6 (motors of 3000 cc or 2142 cc Turbo, and a minimum weight of 700 kg)
The maximum duration of the races did not exceed 4 hours and were a minimum of 2 hours. This championship would end at the conclusion of 1977.
In 1976, Autodelta entered the 33SC12 (SC for Scatolato).
The SC car appeared to look exactly like the car of 1975. The new SC exchanged its tubular space frame chassis for a monocoque where the engine was an stressed member...but the extension of the flares at the rear wheels was removed.
May 23, 1976 Imola 500 Trofeo Ignazio Giunti. Autodelta entered the team of Auturo Merzario / Vittorio Brambilla with a new 33SC12 with a “corto” body version and finished the race in second place, above.
Also entered was a private 33TT3 with an updated body for Bruno Ottomano / Teodoro Zeccoli which finished in 9th place.
June 27, 1976 Coppo Florio ("Little Targa Florio" at Enna) 4 hours. Again one car was entered by Autodelta, # 1 with Arturo Merzario / Mario Casoni. The car did not finish due to suspension damage incurred halfway into the race.
The picture of the #T1 car in practice shows interesting details of the reinforcements in the cockpit area.
An older spaceframe 12 cylinder car #8 car owned by Bruno Ottomano / Teodoro Zeccoli with the updated 33TT3 also started the race but did not finish.
September 19,1976 200 Miles of Salzburgring Elan Trophy. Again Autodelta entered a single car for Arturo Merzario / Vittorio Brambilla car #1, shown above but did not finish the race.
Alfa Romeo 33SC12 Turbo: 'The Last Great Monster'
Text and photos by Roberto Motta
Copyright Robert B. Little
In 1976, at a time when the racing world saw its future in 'turbo' engines, Autodelta announced the debut of a new supercharged 12-cylinder boxer engine. After a 'thousand postponements', the 33SC12 turbo made its debut at the end of '77, competing in just two races and closing the era of the '33' with a flourish
The history of the 33TT12 and its fabulous 12-cylinder 'type 115-12' boxer engine officially began in September '72 when, in the week before the Italian Grand Prix, the weekly magazine Autosprint published photographs of the new car portrayed at the Balocco the test track of Alfa Romeo S.p.A.
The 33TT12 (TT = Tubular Frame) was powered by a new 12-cylinder boxer engine capable of delivering over 450-470 hp, the brainchild of engineer Carlo Chiti.
The car had chassis and bodywork directly derived from the 33TT3, obviously revised in size to adapt the chassis to the dimensions of the new 12-cylinder engine.
After a difficult start, the T-33 and its boxer underwent a constant evolution over time that led the manufacturer to win the Constructors' World Championship in '75 and '77, the last real championship dedicated to sports cars be indicated by this name.
What can be considered Autodelta's latest winning weapon, namely 'The Last Great Alfa Romeo Monster' was derived from the 33TT12 which debuted on May 4, 1973 from the initial tests at the 1000 Kilometers of Spa Francorchamps piloted by Andrea de Adamich and Rolf Stommelen. For the occasion, the boxer engine had been reduced to 450 hp for greater durability.
Although the car proved to be fast during practice, it did not take part in the competition due to an accident that occurred while it was being driven by de Adamich.
On May 13, at the Targa Florio, Autodelta fielded two 33TT12s for Andrea de Adamich - Rolf Stommelen and Clay Regazzoni - Carlo Facetti. Starting with the 2nd and 3rd qualifying time behind Arturo Merzario - Nino Vaccarella's Ferrari 312P, both T-33 cars did not finish the race.
The '73 season then continued as if it were a development season, and the 33TT12 was never able to win a race.
On April 25, 1974, the 33TT12 won the 1000 kilometers of Monza with a spectacular hat-trick: the Ferrari driven by Arturo Merzario - Mario Andretti won ahead of the other Autodelta entries driven by Jacky Ickx - Rolf Stommelen and Carlo Facetti - Andrea de Adamich.
The season went on without further satisfactions.
The hopes of doing well in the championship were wrecked due to the economic situation deriving from the Yon Kippur war, and the consequent oil crisis that hit the entire world, preventing the Institute of Industrial Reconstruction of the State (IRI) which managed Alfa Romeo, to allocate adequate additional funds for further competition.
In 1975, Alfa Romeo experienced yet another period of instability. Ing. Chiti signed a contract with Willi Kauhsen to manage the cars with the Willi Kauhsen Racing Team (WKRT). Under the terms of this agreement, direct control of Alfa Romeo and Autodelta would have provided maintenance and participation with their own personnel.
The cars appeared at the 1000 Kilometers of Monza without a sponsor. Afterward, the victory obtained by Arturo Mezario and Jacques Lafitte brought matters to better level as the team signed a major sponsorship contract with Campari.
It was a triumphal season in which Alfa Romeo returned to victory in a world championship arena with seven victories in eight championship races.
The drivers who made the feat possible were Arturo Merzario and Jacques Laffite who dominated in Dijon, Monza and the Nürburgring while Henri Pescarolo and Derek Bell conquered Spa, Zeltweg and Watkins Glen. The seventh victory, in Pergusa was obtained by the crew consisting of Merzario and Jochen Mass.
Thanks to the power and reliability of its engine, Alfa Romeo then returned to F1, supplying its engines to Bernie Eclestone's Brabham. Although the manufacturer had focused its attention on the F1 engine during the 1976 season, Autodelta also suffered the fascination of the turbo and for Chiti it was almost mandatory to announce the willingness of the firm to use a supercharged engine in the race. This choice was also dictated by Alfa Romeo's desire to affirm its leading role among the great manufacturers involved in competitions.
The development of the new turbocharged 12-cylinder began in 1976, but its use was gradually postponed due to the many activities in which Autodelta was engaged.
While developing the engine, Alfa Romeo technicians built a car with a new aluminum alloy monocoque frame called 33SC12.
The car was equipped with the normally aspirated boxer engine capable of delivering 520 hp. With this car, Alfa Romeo faced the triumphal '77 season which saw the Alfa Romeo cars always start from pole position and win the 8 races in which it was entered.
The drivers of that era were Arturo Merzario, Jean-Pierre Jarier and Vittorio Brambilla. During this fantastic season the 33SC12 turbo debuted, raced and won, the queen of our article.
The mechanical heart of the 33SC12 turbo was characterized by a monobloc and cylinder heads cast in the light alloy aluminum and magnesium. It had a bore and stroke of 77 mm x 38.2 mm and a total displacement of 2134 cc, with a 1.4 ratio, provided for by the technical sporting regulations, which allowed it to fall into the category of cars powered by a 3-liter engine. The forged steel crankshaft rested on 4 bench supports. The distribution used a double overhead camshaft system with 4 valves per cylinder. The camshafts were driven by a cascade of gears.
The fuel supply was entrusted to a Lucas mechanical indirect injection system and the electronic ignition was guaranteed by a Magneti Marelli 'Dinoplex' capacitive discharge system.
The engine used 2 KKK turbos (Type Grosse K26), and with 2 intercoolers the Alfa Romeo 12 turbo 12 cylinder motor was capable of delivering 640 HP at 11000 rpm, and developing 48 kgm torque at 9000 rpm.
We recall that the German KKK or Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch AG, whose industrial turbines were also used in competition by Porsche, was founded on May 15, 1899 by Georg Adam Kühnle, Hans Kopp and Rudolf Kausch.
Linked to the engine, there was a five-speed manual gearbox + RM and mechanical limited-slip differential.
The transmission was supported by a triple disc clutch that worked dry and an additional lubrication system equipped with an oil pump and radiator.
The turbocharged 33SC12, like the naturally aspirated 33SC12, had a body similar to the 33TT12, but had a monocoque type chassis.
The front suspension used arms and cross bars, coil springs, oil-pneumatic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar; the rear suspension used transverse arms and bars, coil springs, oil-pneumatic shock absorbers, longitudinal reaction struts and an anti-roll bar.
The braking system consisted of four ventilated disc brakes, utilizing double-piston brake calipers. The front discs were mounted externally, while the rear discs were mounted inboard at the output of the differential.
The wheels of the car were magnesium alloy with the front track measuring 11"x13" and rear of 14.5 x 15", and allowed the car to wear Pirelli racing pads of the measurement of 9.5" and 13" respectively x 15 ".
The car claimed a weight of 770 kg, a wheelbase of 2500 mm, an overall width of 2000 mm, a total length of 3800 mm, a height of 960 mm (excluding air intake), a front track of 1490 mm and rear of 1470 mm.
Driven by Teodoro Zeccoli during tests on the Balocco track, the car reached a top speed of 352 km / h.
Characterized by the classic throttle response delay, turbo-lag, it had an undersized chassis compared to the enormous power delivered by its engine, and a weight-to-power ratio of 1.185 kg / hp.
The turbo in the race
The 33SC12 Turbo took part in only two competitions: the 300 Kilometers of Salzburgring and the Interserie Hockenheim.
On September 18th,1977, at the 'Salzburger Festspielpreis' held on the Salzburgring track, it was entrusted to Arturo Merzario who finished in second place behind Vittorio Brambilla's normally aspired 33TT12. During the race the 'turbo' had brake problems that compromised its driveability; moreover, it was forced to a prolonged stop in the pits due to difficulties in restarting the overheated engine. Nonetheless, the car finished the race ahead of the normally aspirated 33TT12 of Spartaco Dini and Giorgio Francia.
On October 9th the Turbo and Merzario took their revenge in the last race of the season at the 'ADAC-Rennsport Finale '1977 Hockenheim', starting from pole position and winning both heats of the race.
Returning to the Autodelta workshop the management decided to focus all their attention on supplying the engines to Brabham and building a new F1 car, the 177. The 33SC12 turbo was thus shelved in a corner of the workshop.
Today it is possible to admire it in the halls of the Alfa Historical Museum “The Alfa Romeo Time Machine” in Arese.
The 33SC12 turbo lived only one summer but had the merit of being the first and only Alfa Romeo turbo car to win a competition reserved for the World Championship for Makes.
In the period of its gestation, Autodelta was already preparing for the great return to the competition reserved for F1. At the same time, the fascination of sports cars was waning due to the almost schizophrenic behavior of the FIA legislators who, in 1976, doubled the constructors' world championship entry lists with the introduction of the Group 5 Silhouette Championship which joined the Group 6 Sport Championship cars, thus succeeding to destroy a category that until the 1970's had aroused a greater interest than that of F1.
It was the end of an era.
The big red monsters left the tracks to remain abandoned and hidden from view in the Autodelta workshop and made way for the F1 single-seaters that followed.
The disappointments soon prevailed over the enthusiasm of the racing team of Settimo Milanese and Alfa Romeo.
The Casa del Biscione would no longer be able to celebrate any world title.
Tipo 33TS12. During the year 1976, a supercharged version of flat 12 was developed but never entered in a race during the season.
These pictures were taken inside and outside of the walled courtyard of the Autodelta workshop in Settimo Milanese.
These two images above and below were taken at the Alfa Romeo test facility at Balocco.
In 1977, the World Sportscar Championship was in decline with only a few other teams entering cars aside from Autodelta. The entry list of the races were very low and at times only 8 or 9 cars appeared... sometimes three of them Autodelta cars.
The races developed into Alfa Romeo Autodelta parades with the splendid looking cars in new Fernet Tonic livery won every single race they were entered, including a double at Vallelunga and a triple at Estoril and Salzburgring.
Autodelta also entered cars in the Interserie races at Hockenheim and Avus (then West Berlin) – Some sources claim that the Avus entry was entered by WKRT (Willi Kauhsen Racing Team).
April 17, 1977 500 Kms of Dijon. Winner: #1 Arturo Merzario / Jean-Pierre Jarier with “corto” body version "Fernet Tonic" above, while car #2 of John Watson / Vittorio Brambilla with “lungo” body version shown below failed to finish.
April 25,1977 1000 km Monza. Winning car was #2 Vittorio Brambilla with the “lungo” body version, shown above.
Car #1 driven by Jean-Pierre Jarier with a “lungo” body version did not start, #3 Arturo Merzario with a “lungo” body version shown below failed to finish, and #4 Bruno Ottomano / Paolo Gargano with a privately entered 33TT3 with updated bodywork failed to qualify.
During the tests, Jean-Pierre Jarier was driving the chassis... shown above... that had been used for the flat turbo 12 version of the engine. We can see the opening in front of the rear wheels, where normally the turbo was situated.
May 22, 1977 Avus Interserie Winner: #11 Derek Bell with the 'lungo“ version, shown above and below.
May 29, 1977 : Vallelunga 400 km, "Trofeo Ignazio Giunti" Winning car was #2 Vittorio Brambilla with a “Corto” version. followed by #1 Arturo Merzario with a “Corto” version. In 10th place was #7 Bruno Ottomano / Paolo Gargano 33TT3 with updated bodywork.
June 19, 1977 Enna 500 km Coppa "The Little Targa Florio" Winner was #1 Arturo Merzario with a “lungo” body version. Did not finish was #2 Dini with “lungo” version.
July 10, 1977 Estoril Premio International de Costa do Sol Winning car was #1 Arturo Merzario with “lungo” version. Second: #2 Vittorio Brambilla with “lungo” version. Third: #3 Giorgio Francia with “lungo” version. There are two NACA ducts on each side of each car for this race.
July 24, 1977 Paul Ricard 500 km Le Castellet Winning car...shown above... was #1 Arturo Merzario with the ”corto” version and again two NACA ducts one on each side of the car. Vittorio Brambilla's #2 car, the identical version below to Merzario's... failed to finish.
September 4, 1977 Imola 250 Winner: #2 Vittorio Brambilla with “Corto” body version and two NACA ducts on each side of the car. Car #1 of Arturo Merzario failed to complete the race
September 18, 1977 : Salzburgring This was the first race for the new 2.1Turbo Car, and second triple victory of the season. Winner was #2 Brambilla with a “lungo” version and two NACA ducts on each side. Second place went to #1 Merzario with the turbo car.
Taking third was #3 of Giorgio Francia with car specifications similiar to Vittorio Brambilla's #2 car.
October 08, 1977 Hockenheim Interserie Winner: #1 Arturo Merzario and his 2.1 turbo car shown above and below.
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