For some years Alfa Romeo competed successfully on the race track by using modified production cars, but in 1967 the company adopted a new approach — the 2 litre Tipo 33 racer was built from scratch.
This prototype was to become the basis of the legendary Stradale, a roadster born from racing car technology that not only vies for title of most beautiful car ever made but also performed in the same league as any supercar of the day.
Technically, the Stradale was virtually identical to the T33 racer but with a longer wheel base and a lower-tuned engine, a custom-built, powerful but compact, lightweight alloy shortstroke V8 designed by Ma’s racing engineer, Carlo Chiti, and a Valerio Colotti six-speed transaxle gearbox. The cars were assembled individually entirely by hand at coachbuilder Carrozzeria Marazzi of Milan to a daring futuristic design of Franco Scaglione.
The beautifully sculpted aluminum body had the first butterfly doors (opening upwards and outwards) to be found in a production car and side windows that arched seamlessly into the bubble roof. The finished product oozed sex appeal in a way that was far ahead of its time.
Anyone lucky enough to get behind the wheel of a Stradale is in for the experience of a lifetime. The car literally begs you to let go and give in to your lust for speed. But dream on! You’ve got about as much chance of driving one of these gorgeous million dollar roadsters as you have of going to the moon.
Only 18 were ever made and even they were outside the grasp of any but the very deepest pocket — the Stradale was one of the most expensive cars on the market, selling at $17,000, more than five times as much as the average car at that time.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
1968 (until 1971)
1,995 cc V8
Top speed 162 mph (260 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.4 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
You can see an Alfa T33 Stradale in the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese near Milan, Italy.