The Alfa Romeo 33 takes center stage again
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The Alfa Romeo 33 takes center stage again
The Alfa Romeo 33 once again takes center stage at the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance
The Alfa Romeo 33 is the protagonist of the next Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance, an unmissable international event, among the most prestigious in the automotive sector
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Alfa Romeo presents two emblematic cars which marked the legendary French circuit with their exploits: the 33/2-litre “Daytona” from 1968 and the 33 TT 12 from 1975,
The “Tipo 33” is a family of cars that dominated the automotive scene during the decade 1967 – 1977, not only on the track but also on the road. The 33 Stradale, an approved version of the 33 competition car, remains to this day an emblematic model of the Alfa Romeo brand, the ultimate expression of functional design and performance-oriented elegance. In the collective imagination, it is identified as one of the most beautiful cars in the world.
An emblematic place inscribed in the history of the brand
The link between Alfa Romeo and the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance arises from the deep relationship between Milan, where Alfa Romeo was born, and Lake Como, always the city’s aristocratic showcase and Italian excellence at the international. Even as the automotive world refocused on mass manufacturing and the Concours d’Elegance became a shining witness to a bygone era, the Villa d’Este continued to serve as a setting for events, presentations and rallies during which several historic cars and concept cars from the brand were rewarded with prestigious distinctions.
The Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance is one of the most renowned events in the automotive world. The first edition dates back to 1929. This year, in addition to the refined setting of Cernobbio, the event takes place in the charming Villa Erba, where the 100th anniversary of the 24 hours of Le Mans is being celebrated. This explains the collaboration that Alfa Romeo chose to exhibit two gems from its vintage collection, the 33/2 liter “Daytona” (1968) and the 33 TT 12 (1975), both protagonists of the Sarthe circuit.
The Alfa Romeo 33/2 liter “Daytona” is emblematic of the brand’s sporting spirit. After retiring from competition in 1951 following the second of two F1 world championships won with the 158-159 “Alfetta”, Alfa Romeo reappeared on the international scene in 1963 with Autodelta, the racing department official of the Milanese firm, whose 60th anniversary is being celebrated this year.
After the first successes achieved by passenger cars, Autodelta decided to make the leap into the “prototype” category, starting with the “Tipo 33”.
Sports prototypes are designed exclusively for racing. They are equipped with extremely sophisticated engines and chassis and produced in limited numbers to obtain approval. They are equipped with a refined and powerful two-liter 8-cylinder V-shaped central engine, developing 270 horsepower and reaching speeds of nearly 300 km/h.
The first version of the 33/2 (where 33 is the project number and 2 the displacement expressed in liters) won the Fléron hill climb in March 1967, near Liège, in Belgium, where it made its debut. Alfa Romeo then entered the World Sports Prototype Championship, achieving prestigious victories in endurance races, particularly at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1968, where it took the first three places in its class with the Vaccarella-Vaccarella crews. Schütz, Andretti-Bianchi, Casoni-Biscardi-Zeccoli. This important victory adds the name of the famous American circuit to the Alfa Romeo 33/2’s list of achievements. The 33 also distinguished itself at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with another hat-trick in their category. In certain races, they even manage to win in the general classification in front of much more powerful cars, like at Mugello, where the Vaccarella-Bianchi-Galli team climbs to the top of the podium.
The evolution does not stop there and finally in 1975, Alfa Romeo realized its dream of winning the World Sports Car Championship. The star of this overwhelming superiority is the Alfa Romeo 33 TT 12, a car equipped with a 3-liter 12-cylinder engine, capable of developing 500 horsepower and reaching 330 km/h. Thanks to great drivers, most of whom also raced in Formula 1 (Arturo Merzario, Jochen Mass, Jaques Laffite, Henri Pescarolo and Nino Vaccarella), the 33 TT 12s won seven victories out of the eight races counting for the championship. The legendary 12-cylinder engine fitted to the car laid the foundations for Alfa Romeo’s return to Formula 1 in 1976 as engine supplier to the Brabham team.