Alfa Romeo Carabo…

Posted: May 15, 2016 in Compound curvature, Obscurities
Tags: , ,
babe and alfa 1

Alba, Italy (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

I wrote about the Alfa T33 a while back, this fantastic prototype racer, specifically Stradale chassis number # 75033.109 donated its mechanicals to one of the most iconic show cars of the twentieth century, Bertone’s Carabo…

The project was a collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Bertone, a partnership that dates back to the 2000 Sportiva and BAT concepts of the mid-fifties. Sensational road car that the thinly disguised racer Stradale was, Alfa struggled to sell the cars. So five chassis were passed to Italian carozzerie for concept use. Pininfarina designed the 33.2 and Cuneo, Italdesign the Iguana, the two to Bertone yielded the Carabo and Navajo.

car clay

Full size clay rendition of Carabo at Bertone (unattributed)

Key mechanical elements of the car were covered in the earlier article; an H-section tubular chassis and 1995cc, DOHC, chain-driven, 2 valve, fuel injected all alloy V8 producing circa 230bhp @ 10000rpm, slightly detuned from the racers 250-270bhp. The gearbox was a Colotti synchro 6 speed, the car did 160mph despite or because of its stunning looks and aerodynamic efficiency! Click here for the Alfa T33 Periscopica article;

car summ

Marcelo Gandini created a car which had a revolutionary impact on the motor industry because of the trends it set, such design elements a function of the mid-engined architecture of the donor chassis; Carabo’s wedge nose, ground hugging stance, extreme lowness and squared off ‘butt’ inspired many wedge-shaped designs of the 70’s and 80’s. The cars name is derived from ‘Carabidae’ a family of green and gold colored ground-beetles.

Gandini used the wedge shape to address aerodynamic lift issues of the Lambo Miura P400 he also designed. He hid headlights beneath active flaps, Carabo was also the first car to use the front-hinged wing doors the great Italian maestro later used on his Countach. The car also gave styling cues to the Lancia Stratos Zero concept and the ‘closer to production’ Stratos HF.

car broc

If subsequent adoption of trends set is the yardstick by which show and concept cars are judged Bertone’s Alfa Romeo Carabo is one of the automotive industry’s greatest…

Alfa Romeo Museum link…

car nuc

Nuccio Bertone with one of his studio’s most influential designs (unattributed)


Classic Car magazine, Alfa Romeo Museo Storica, Hull & Slater ‘Alfa Romeo’

Rainer Schlegelmilch


car babe



  1. Grant says:

    Rainer Schlegelmilch found a couple of exquisite angles there to catch the essence of the bodywork.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s