Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Daytona
At the end of 1951, after winning the first two World Driving Championships with its Tipo 158/159 racers, Alfa Romeo retired from international Grand Prix competition. The company’s next major competitive effort was to be the famed Disco Volante (the ‘Flying Saucer’) sport car. An entirely new design, it appeared in 1952–1953, in both open and closed form. An intriguing 2-litre V-8 prototype engine design, built shortly afterward and intended for a sporting GT car, was shelved.
In the early 1960s, when Alfa Romeo and its competition arm, Autodelta, were scoring many victories in touring and GT races, especially with the Giulia coupé derivatives and the TZ1 and TZ2, Alfa Romeo decided to re-enter international sport car racing. The stillborn 2-litre V-8 engine, which had been set aside ten years earlier, became the heart of Alfa’s return to sport cars. This effort would encompass eleven racing seasons and result in Alfa Romeo winning the World Championship in 1977.
The first of the new cars appeared in 1967, with a rather exotic H-shape chassis made of magnesium and aluminium. It was powered by a 2-litre V-8. This car was entered in a number of events, the first being a Belgian hill climb at Fleron, where Teodoro Zeccoli finished 1st overall. Zeccoli of course had a long history with the marque, having been an Abarth Works driver, a well-respected Le Mans and hill climb veteran and an Alfa Romeo test driver who was actively involved in the Tipo 33 project development. The name ‘Fleron’ became associated with this model, and that name persisted with the Tipo 33 Alfa Romeo sport cars. Alfa Romeo won four victories in 1967: three were in hill climbs and one was at the Vallelunga circuit later in the year.
For 1968, Autodelta’s brilliant chief engineer, Carlo Chiti, was preparing an “all-new” car for a serious international effort. Although it retained the original H-shape chassis, everything else was re-designed. Testing began in late-1967, and four cars, equipped with beautiful new coupé bodies, were ready for the February 24 Hours at Daytona race. They finished 5th, 6th and 7th overall, with an impressive 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 2-litre class. These short-tail cars soon became known as the T33/2 ‘Daytona’. The later long-tail Le Mans racers similarly became known as the ‘Le Mans’ models. The new bodies had much better aerodynamic qualities, and the 1995 cc V-8 benefited from significant development work, producing 270 bhp at 9600 rpm. The 6-speed gearbox had been refined. The long-tail version was reaching just under 300 km/h at Le Mans. Factory and private entry T33/2s took part in 23 racing events in 1968, and won eight victories at various venues.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2012 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.
270 bhp, 1,995 cc fuel-injected DOHC V-8 with dual ignition, six-speed gearbox, independent front and rear suspension by double wishbones, rear-wheel-drive, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,250 mm (88.58”)
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Simon Clay