was a sports racing prototype raced by the Alfa Romeo works team between 1967
and 1977. The cars took part in Sport Cars World Championship, Nordic Challenge
Cup, Interserie and CanAm series. In 1967 18 road going cars were derived from
Alfa Romeo started
development of Tipo 33 in early 1960s, first car being built in 1965. First version was sent to 1963 established Autodelta to be finished and for additional
changes. First car was using Alfa Romeo TZ2 straight-4 engine. But soon
Autodelta finished its 2.0 litre V8. The 2000 cc Tipo 33 mid-engined prototype
debuted on 12 March 1967. The first version was named “periscopica” because
of it's very characteristic air inlet. It was powered by a 1995 cc 90° V8 of 270 hp, with
a large-diameter tube frame.
In 1968, Autodelta, created an
evolution model called 33/2. At the 24 Hours of Daytona, Alfa won the
2-litre class. From then the car was named "Daytona". However, in most races, the Alfa drivers were outclassed by their
Porsche rivals which used bigger engines. At the end of season 1968 Alfa Romeo finished third in the
The 33/3 debuted in 1969 at the 12 Hours of
Sebring. The engine was enlarged to 2.998 cc with 400 hp, which put the 33/3 in
the same class as the Porsche 908 and the Ferrari 312P. The chassis was now a
monocoque. Bianchi died tragically in a crash during a
trainingsession. The car took a couple of wins in smaller competitions but
overall the 1969 season was not good, and the team was again third in the
In 1970 an Alfa T 33/3 was one of the "actors" of Steve McQueen's movie Le
Mans, released in 1971.
In 1971, the Alfa Romeo
racing effort was finally successful. Rolf Stommelen and Nanni Galli won their
class at the 1000 km Buenos Aires (followed by De Adamich and Pescarolo), before
taking another class win (and second overall) at Sebring. De Adamich and
Pescarolo later won outright at the 1000 km Brands Hatch. They were then taking
a class win at Monza (where Alfa Romeo took the three podium slots in the
prototype class) and another one at Spa. At the Targa Florio, Vaccarella and
Hezemans won, followed by teammates De Adamich and Gijs Van Lennep. Hezemans and
Vaccarella won their class at Zeltweg, and De Adamich and Ronnie Peterson won
overall at Watkins Glen. Season 1971 Alfa Romeo finished with second place in
In 1972 and 1973 the 5L
sports car were banned.
A 4 litre version was entered to 1972 and 1974
CanAm series by Otto Zipper, driver was Scooter Patrick. Autodelta was also one
of entrants with T33/4 in the 1974 season.
In 1973 the 33 TT 12 was introduced. TT means
"Telaio Tubolare"; tubular chassis. For this chassis Carlo Chiti designed
a 12 cylinder 3.0L flat engine (500 hp). Season 1973 was more or less
development time and in 1974 the car won at the Monza 1000 km and finished the
season with second place in the championship. It wasn’t until 1975 when after
years of trying Alfa Romeo won the sport cars world championship. The season was
almost a total domination, seven wins in eight races.
Winning drivers were: Arturo Merzario, Vittorio Brambilla, Jacques Laffite,
Henri Pescarolo, Derek Bell and Jochen Mass.
In 1976 Autodelta was concentrating on other projects and the car was rarely
used in competitions.
In 1976 the 33TT12 was followed by the
33SC12.SC from SCatolato, a boxed chassis. The 3.0 L flat-12 engine now produced
520 hp. With this car Alfa Romeo won the sports car world championship in 1977.
The SC12 won every race in the season, with drivers as: Arturo Merzario,
Jean-Pierre Jarier and Vittorio Brambilla. On the Salzburg ring the car reached
an average speed of 203.82 km/h. In the same race Alfa tested the 2.134 cc
turbocharged SC12 with 640 hp. Arturo Merzario finished second with that car.
The SC12 Turbo was Alfa's first twin turbocharged V12-engine and it was
introduced around the same time as Renault's Formula One turbo engine. In Alfa
Romeo engine both engine rows were fed with it's own turbocharger.
The flat-12 engine was later
used on Brabham-Alfa BT45, BT46 and Alfa Romeo 177 F1 cars.