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Alfa Romeo publicity shot of Prince Albert and Princess Paola, Belgian Royals at Balocco, Alfa’s test circuit. The Prince is about to test the ultimately very successful Tipo 33, here in ‘Mugello Spyder’ 2 litre 1967 form…

Thanks to Claudy Schmitz for identifying both the Royal Couple and Balocco as the correct venue, the power of Facebook! Whilst the Princess was born of Italian Royal blood it would be interesting to know the circumstances of this ‘test’ drive, the car definitely too small for their family of five!

Alfa’s first mid-engined racer made its competition debut at the Fleron Hillclimb in Belgium on 12 March 1967, factory test pilot Teodoro Zeccoli took a win from some stiff competition.

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Zeccoli at the Belgian Fleron Hillclimb upon the T33 ‘Periscopica’ debut meeting. Alfa 2600 Berlina behind. Fleron is in the Province of Liege, location appears very industrial, power station in the background. (Unattributed)

The 33 made its race debut at Sebring that summer on the weekend of 1 April. Andrea De Adamich lead the 12 Hour event’s first lap but both cars entered retired with suspension and overheating dramas.

Here are some shots of the cars in the Sebring paddock; #65 is DeAdamich/Zeccoli, #66 Roberto Businello/Nanni Galli. The race was won by the factory Ford Mk4 of Bruce McLaren and Mario Andretti.

I covered the 1967 Endurance Season in some detail in an article i wrote a while back about Ferrari P4/CanAm350 ‘0858’ which may be of interest to some of you;

https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

33 1

(Paolo Devodier)

33 2

The more you look the more you see, Sebring. DeAdamich/Zeccoli T33. Engine, 2 coils, behind the engine the circular vertical ducts which take cool air to the inboard discs when the body is lowered into position. Rear chassis diaphragm and coil spring/dampers, inboard Girling discs, oil tank to left of 6 speed Alfa ‘box, battery to its right. Build quality clear. (Paolo Devodier)

33 3

Those beautiful Alfa mag alloy wheels, filler for centrally located fuel tanks, spare had to be carried under the regs of the time, front of cast magnesium chassis extension houses front mounted radiator. You can just see the nearside suspension ‘top hat’ and adjustable roll bar going forward and mounting at its outer end. (Paolo Devodier)

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Engine change in the Sebring ’67 garage. ‘Periscopica’ 2 litre T33 all alloy, Lucas injected, DOHC chain driven 2 valve V8 engine developed a claimed 260-270bhp @ 9500rpm. (Paolo Devodier)

Four cars were entered at the Targa Florio, all failed to finish due to suspension (De Adamich/Jean Rolland Bonnier/Baghetti) and a minor accident involving the Geki Russo/Nino Todaro. The race was won by the Porsche 910 of Paul Hawkins and Rolf Stommelen.

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Targa Florio 1967. The Bonnier/Baghetti T33 ahead of the other factory cars…Periscopica clear to see. Love the ‘period’ hand-painted numbers. (Unattributed)

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Jo Bonnier in the T33 he shared with Giancarlo Baghetti during Targa 1967. (Unattributed)

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T33 cockpit shot at ’67 Targa. LHD unusual in sports cars, Alfa would later change to the ‘norm’. ‘Momo’ steering wheel, Veglia instruments, change for 6 speed box all clear, lots of instruments for the driver to monitor. Not sure which chassis this is, or the T33 in front, you can just see the tail of the Scuderia Filipinetti Ferrari P3/412P ahead.(Rainer Schlegelmilch)

Nani Galli and Andrea De Adamich finally broke through for the team at the Nurburgring, they finished 5th in the 1000Km behind 4 Porsche 910’s.

The winning Porsche 910 was driven by the combination of Joe Buzzetta and Udo Schutz. The De Adamich/Galli T33 had another suspension failure on lap 18, but they shared the other car driven by Businello/Zeccoli, the four drivers getting the joy of the cars first race finish.

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Autodelta SpA lineup in the Nurburgring pitlane, 28 May 1967. #20 DeAdamich/Galli (DNF suspension) #21 Russo/Baghetti (DNF ‘box) and #22 fifth place car of Businello/Zeccoli/DeAdamich/Galli. (Accursio Cassarino)

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Andrea DeAdamich in the T33 he shared with Nanni Galli, the Italian duo DNF with suspension failure, then hopped into the # 22 surviving car for 5th place. (Unattributed)

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The ‘pre-owned’ T33 of de Adamich/Galli during Nurburgring practice 28 May 1967 (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

The ‘Periscopica’s’ final start for 1967 was the Circuit of Mugello in July, 8 laps of a tough 66Km road circuit.

Udo Schutz and Gerhard Mitter won the race tailor made for the fast, light but tough Porsche 910. A privately entered GTA was the best place Alfa in 7th, the three Autodelta T33’s of DeAdamich/Galli, Lucien Bianchi/Giunti and Colin Davis/Spartaco Dini all failed to finish.

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Ignazio Giunti with tyre problems at Mugello. (unattributed)

It had been a patchy start but the Tipo 33 continually evolved over the following decade ultimately winning many races, sometimes not against the strongest of opposition, but ultimately winning the World Championship of Makes in 1975 and 1977.

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Alfa Romeo won the World Sportscar Championship in 1975 and 1977. Pictured here is the 1977 Alfa 33 SC12 driven by Spartaco Dini at Enna-Pergusa in June. The car used a spaceframe chassis (Alfa used both spaceframes and monocoques during the models long life and evolution) and a 2.1 litre fuel injected, twin turbo 4 valve V12 producing circa 640bhp. Dini practiced the car but did not start, this car driven by Francia/Merzario DISQ for a startline infringement, Art won in another SC12. (Accursio Cassarino)

The T33 in its original guise had an unusual chassis design. The main structure comprised two longitudinal aluminium spars to which was mounted a complex magnesium casting at the front, the front suspension mounted to it. At the rear the spars had a fabricated sheet metal saddle to which the suspension was attached.

The suspension itself was conventional for the period; upper and lower wishbones and coil spring/ damper units and single top link, inverted lower wishbone and twin radius rods, coil spring/ dampers at the rear. Adjustable sway bars fitted of course. Uprights were cast magnesium, steering rack and pinion with Girling disc brakes front and rear. Weight 580Kg.

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This shot shows the main elements of the chassis referred to in the text; 2 longitudinal spars and cast magnesium frame at the front to which the suspension was mounted. (Vic Berris)

The heart of the early T33’s was of course it’s superb little all alloy DOHC V8. Initially 2 litres (1995cc) and 2 valves per cylinder, the cams chain driven, the Lucas fuel injected engines power output was a claimed 260bhp @ 9500rpm, the gearbox Alfa’s own 6 speed transaxle.

The tall ram air intake gave the car it’s nickname ‘Periscopica’…

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Etcetera…

Also see this article on the Alfa T33/3 4 litre Coupe i wrote a while back. https://primotipo.com/2014/05/15/when-im-in-a-car-i/

Chassis.

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T33 ‘Periscopica’ chassis albeit upside down. The cast magnesium front bulkhead referred to in the text is clear to the right, the spars at the back (top of picture) accept the tubular rear ‘saddle’. (unattributed)

Photo and Other Credits…

Cutaway drawing of car Vic Berris, engine cutaway G Cavara, Claudy Schmitz, Paolo Devodier, Accursio Cassarino, Rainer Schlegelmilch, Facebook ‘Alfa Romeo 33 Sport Car’ Group

Tailpiece…

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Andrea de Adamich jumping the T33 he shared with Nanni Galli at the Nurburgring 1000Km in 1967 DNF (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

 

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