1967 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale Prototype

The birthday beauty herself, the first of the street legal Tipo 33s and arguably the best work of the prolific Italian designer Franco Scaglione. Alfa had purportedly planned a production run of 50 of these cars, but their exotic nature made the tube-framed (including a relatively massive single-piece casting of magnesium for the front subframe), quad-cam V8-powered machine extremely expensive, as well as difficult to produce in such volume – the bodywork was carried out by the coach builders at Marazzi, the engine was more or less a detuned version of the 33/2 Daytona’s race-bred unit designed and built in-house, and Autodelta was tasked with assembly.

Later models (it’s generally agreed that no more than 18 were built in total, with five – some say six – of those chassis having been shipped to coach builders like Pininfarina and Bertone for re-bodies) featured just a single lamp inside each of those sumptuous headlight covers, but the prototypes with the stacked sets really look the business. And that’s exactly what these cars were: the absolute business. Motionless they are captivating, but 230 horsepower from a two-liter and just a few pounds over 1,500 makes a compelling argument for the functional side of the equation of one of the prettiest forms a car has ever taken.



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