If you are a fan of classic cars, you might have heard of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, one of the most prestigious and elegant events in the automotive world. Held every year since 1929 at the stunning Villa d'Este on Lake Como in Italy, the concorso showcases some of the most beautiful and rare vehicles from different eras and categories, ranging from pre-war classics to modern supercars.
This year, one caught my eye: the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33. This car is a masterpiece of design and engineering and a legend of motorsport history.
What is the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33?
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 is a series of racing cars developed by Alfa Romeo between 1967 and 1977. The name "Tipo 33" refers to the 3-liter engine displacement and the number of cylinders (V8 or flat-12). The cars were designed to compete in various endurance races, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Targa Florio, and the World Sportscar Championship.
The Tipo 33 series had several variants with different specifications and features. The most famous ones are:
- The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 debuted in 1967 and had a V8 engine with around 270 horsepower. It was nicknamed "Daytona" after winning its class at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1968.
- The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 debuted in 1969 and had a flat-12 engine with around 400 horsepower. It was the first Alfa Romeo car to win a race in the World Sportscar Championship at Brands Hatch in 1971.
- The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12 debuted in 1973 and had a flat-12 engine with around 500 horsepower. It was the most successful Alfa Romeo car in motorsport history, winning the World Sportscar Championship in 1975 and 1977 and several other races, such as the Targa Florio, the Nürburgring, and Watkins Glen.
- The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 SC 12 debuted in 1976 and had a flat-12 engine with around 520 horsepower. It was a turbocharged version of the TT 12, and it set several speed records at Nardò in Italy.
Why is the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 so special?
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 is not only a fast and powerful car but also a beautiful and elegant one. Some of the most renowned Italian designers, such as Franco Scaglione, Carlo Chiti, Giuseppe Busso, Marcello Gandini, and Giorgetto Giugiaro, designed the cars. The cars have a sleek and aerodynamic shape, with distinctive features such as the triangular front grille, the round headlights, the curved windshield, and the large rear wing.
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 is also a car representing the passion and spirit of Alfa Romeo, a brand synonymous with excellence and innovation for over a century. The sports cars were built with craftsmanship and attention to detail, using advanced materials and technologies for their time. The cars were driven by some of the best drivers in history, such as Mario Andretti, Nino Vaccarella, Arturo Merzario, Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell, Henri Pescarolo, and many others.
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 racing car has left an indelible mark on automotive culture and history. It is a car that has inspired generations of enthusiasts and collectors around the world. It is a car that deserves to be celebrated and admired.
How did the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 perform at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este?
This year, the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 displayed at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este was a Tipo 33/2 Stradale, one of only 18 examples ever made. The Stradale was a road-going version of the Tipo 33/2 racing car, with some modifications to make it more comfortable and suitable for everyday use. The car had a V8 engine with around 230 horsepower, a top speed of over 160 mph, and a price tag of $17 million (adjusted for inflation).
The racing car was owned by Corrado Lopresto, an Italian architect and collector who has one of the most impressive collections of classic cars in Europe. He bought the car in 2014 from its previous owner, who had kept it for over 40 years. Lopresto restored the car to its original condition, using original parts and materials whenever possible.
The car was presented at the concorso in the category "Glamour on Track: Endurance Racing Legends," where it competed against other iconic racing cars from different brands and eras. The car received a lot of attention and admiration from both judges and spectators, who praised its beauty, rarity, and history.
The car won two awards at the concorso: The Trofeo BMW Group Italia, which is given by public vote to the best car among all categories, and The Trofeo BMW Group Classic, which is given by jury vote to the best preserved or restored car among all categories.
These awards are not only a recognition of Lopresto's work and passion for his car but also a testament to the timeless appeal and charm of the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33.
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 is one of those cars that make you fall in love with automobiles. It is a car that combines performance, design, history, and emotion in a unique way. It is a car that has been honored at one of the most prestigious events in the automotive world: The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este.
If you ever have a chance to see this car in person or on display somewhere else (such as at Museo Storico Alfa Romeo), don't miss it. You will be amazed by its beauty and power.
And if you are lucky enough to own one or drive one someday (which I doubt), cherish it. You will be driving one of the most amazing sports cars ever made.