Alfa Romeo Design History


Alfa Romeo continues its journey in the past with the “Storie Alfa Romeo” series prepared for its 110th anniversary.

In addition to the cars that appeal to the masses, the Italian brand has produced a limited number of zamIt also made cars with futuristic designs that left deep marks in the world of motor sports. The basis of the design architecture of “Tipo 33”, one of these models, was a style in which creativity and technology were blended, skills such as mastery and courage in material selection.

The design in question was based on the assertive and competitive spirit that brought every Alfa Romeo car to life. While the same spirit brought many racing victories, it gave life to the 33 Stradale and Carabo models, which can be described as different twins.

The 33 Stradale is the same blend of innovative aerodynamics and functionality. zamAt the moment it presented a synthesis of technical expertise and creative prowess. Its different twin, Carabo; It was designed as the car of the future with its futuristic design features. Equipped with Tipo 33 engine and embracing Carabo's innovative chromatic color discovery Montreal The model revealed the "desire of modern man for the best cars".

Headlight eyes, front grille mouth and front section face, side line and fenders made up the body. In fact, these anthropomorphic analogies are still used in automobile design today. But how and why did they arise? The first automobiles were true 'horseless cars' without specific embellishments. Bodybuilders began to specialize in the use of metals in automobile manufacturing in the 1930s. By shaping the metal by hand, they integrated it with wood and the combination of two different materials created shapes that look very attractive to the eye. As the industrial production techniques became more intense, the forms began to simplify, because he moved away from manual labor. zamThe molding technology of the moment did not allow for too many details and three dimensions. These two production techniques diverged significantly in the late 1960s. The difference between the 'anthropomorphic car' and the 'car of the future' is clearly highlighted by the 33 Stradale and Carabo, two Alfa Romeo models built on the same technical structure.

Two different automobile approaches using the same technical structure

Two cars using the same technical architecture could only be so different. One activates all the senses and feels tense and strong like a mid-race athlete; the other shed light on the future of transportation with its smoother lines and angular curves. The common technical architecture of these two cars was the synthesis of Alfa Romeo's 50 years of racing experience.

Desire to compete

Alfa Romeo; It reinforced this production capability, which was eye-catching with designs and also aimed at performance, by purchasing Auto-Delta, a competition and racing car development company, in 1964. Under the leadership of Carlo Chiti, an engineer who previously worked at the Alfa Romeo Portello plant, and under the name Autodelta, the company set out to revive Alfa Romeo's racing success in the 1950s. Alfa Romeo President Giuseppe Luraghi from the Autodelta team, various from the world championship zamHe asked them to design a racing car that would be successful in every field until the moment races and would attract the attention of the media and the button was pressed for the 33 project. Autodelta moved to the Alfa Romeo facility in Settimo Milanese, closer to the Balocco test track, in the mid-1960s. The first Tipo 33 designed by Alfa Romeo came to Autodelta workshops in 1965. Chassis; it had internal integrated fuel tanks and an aluminum alloy asymmetrical 'H' shaped tubular structure. This structure provided the necessary support for the magnesium front panel, front suspension, radiators, steering wheel and pedals. The engine and transmission are positioned longitudinally in front of the rear axle. The upper body is made of fiber to limit the weight to 600 kg, and this lightweight structure has once again become Alfa Romeo's secret weapon in the racing world.

1975 and 1977 World Brands Championship victories

It took two years for the Tipo 33 to be ready for the race, and for the first tests, the 2-cylinder engine of the Alfa TZ1.570 with a volume of 4 cc was used. However spousezamImmediately a new engine with V8 cylinder, two liter volume and 230 horsepower was developed. Since the air intake point is located above the roll bar, the first 33s competing were given the nickname 'Periscope-Periscopica'. After a meticulous preparation period, the Tipo 33 entered the world of motorsport on March 12, 1967 with Autodelta's test pilot Teodoro Zeccoli. Tipo 33 has made its mark in history by winning several victories, including the 1975 and 1977 World Brands Championships.

Florentine aristocrat who wanted to be a designer

When Alfa Romeo decided to produce the 33 model for a very small number of private users, Franco Scaglione was commissioned to give the vehicle a new look that conveys its sporty character to the road. Born to a former Florentine aristocratic family, Scaglione studied aviation engineering until he joined the army and was captured in Tobruk by joining the Libyan front. After returning to Italy in late 1946, he wanted to become a car designer. He worked first with Pinin Farina, then with Bertone, and later with freelance. Scaglione then transferred all its technical expertise and creative courage to the design of the 33 Stradale, resulting in a masterpiece that combines innovative aerodynamic design and functionality.

33 Stradale

The hood of the 33 Stradale is designed to be fully opened to facilitate access to mechanical components. Road type one spore The 'elytra' type doors, which were the first in the car, made it easier to get into the car that was less than one meter from the ground. Unlike the racing version, the wheelbase has been extended by 10 cm and a steel frame was used instead of aluminum. Engine; It was created in a similar structure to Tipo 33, including indirect mechanical injection, dry sump lubrication and all aluminum-magnesium alloy components. Modern and sophisticated engine; It had two valves per cylinder, double spark plugs and double overhead camshafts. The engine, which produced 230 HP power and accelerated the car with a light body from 5,5 to 0 km / h in just 100 seconds, also allowed a maximum speed of 260 km / h.

Priceless cars

A few weeks before the 33 Stradale was officially launched at the 1967 Torino Motor Show, it was introduced to an audience of automobile enthusiasts and competent in the field. The demonstration was held on September 10, 1967, at Monza, the Italian Grand Prix, the ninth leg of the Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship. This GP made history with Jim Clark's epic return against Jack Brabham and a preview of one of the most beautiful sports cars ever. That same year, it became the highest-priced sports car on the market, with 10 million Italian lire; Its prestigious competitors were sold for 6-7 million lira. Only 33 of the 12 Stradale were produced with the Scaglione bodywork. Today, "invested in their lives" expressions were used for those who bought this car, which is theoretically invaluable.

Spaceship-themed cars

While the 33 Stradale represented the pinnacle of the 'anthropomorphic-humanoid-car' design, Alfa Romeo, on the other hand, continued its concept studies on the 'car of the future'. However, the idea of ​​a spaceship-themed 'car of the future' began in the 1950s with the 'Disco Volante (Flying Saucer)', a car designed in collaboration with bodybuilder Touring and with advanced aerodynamic studies. In the subject Alfa Romeo Spider model, an extremely aerodynamic body and fenders integrated with the body covering the tires were used. At the 1968 Paris Motor Show, a 'dream car' was introduced, representing the evolution of this radical idea. This car, named Carabo, was designed by 30-year-old Marcello Gandini for the Bertone design company.

Different twin: Carabo

Alfa Romeo Carabo, with its sharp lines, was built on the technical architecture of the 33 Stradale. This technical architecture in the same period; It was also used in one-off projects such as Giorgetto Giugiaro's Iguana, 33 Special Coupé, Pininfarina's Cuneo and Bertone's Navajo. While the height was the same in all vehicles, the round lines disappeared completely in Carabo. Every detail, down to the door sections, has been shaped with much more straight and sharp lines. The body of the car, named Carabo, was inspired by the Carabus Auratus, a bright metallic colored insect, and bright green tones with orange details were used. From this date on, Alfa Romeo began to pay particular attention to exaggerated colors and special paint techniques to further emphasize the brand's originality. The same chromatic discovery found use in the Montreal model.

The "Ideal Modern" Car: Montreal

Canada Montreal International and Universal Fair hosted the best technical and scientific achievements of countries from all over the world in 1967. In this context, Alfa Romeo was asked to create a technological symbol representing 'the desire of modern people for the best cars' for the fair. Mobilized Alfa Romeo designers Satta Puliga and Busso received support from Bertone, who commissioned Gandini to design the bodywork and interior, and Montreal was produced. The result was tremendous and successful; Montreal is admired by North American visitors. Upon these positive reactions, a standard version was developed for the Geneva Motor Show in 1970. Contrary to the original concept, the new Montreal is equipped with the V33 engine in the Tipo 8. The power of the engine, whose volume was increased to 2,6 liters, was limited to 200 HP. Pastel and metallic colors are used in the model, from green to silver and gold to orange. This chromatic discovery of color; It has become an Alfa Romeo tradition, also used in later models. These colors, which are still used today, including Red Villa d'Este, Ocher GT Junior and Montreal Green, are inspired by the brand's 110-year history and continue to be used in very special models.


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