In the 1960s, supercars dominated the market, with vehicles like the Lamborghini Miura adding a new kind of style. A lot of motors fitted into the supercar category, and one of the most beautiful was the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. 2017 marks the car’s 50th anniversary, so we’re taking a look back at the history of the Stradale.
Designed by Franco Scaglione and built by Carrozzeria Marazzi, the first 33 Stradale was built in 1967. It was built at Autodelta’s workshop in Settimo Milanese. A second prototype with a magnesium body was started by Scaglione. Both featured a dual headlight arrangement, but Scaglione redesigned future cars because of regulations on minimum headlight distance from the ground. The first prototype was chosen as the official Stradale and it was introduced at the 1967 Turin Motorshow.
The Stradale was the first production car to feature stylish butterfly doors, which opened vertically to make it easier for the driver to enter and exit the car. A sleek, aluminium body gave it a streamlined appearance. The windows looked like they curved up into the roof, lending to a futuristic design that was years ahead of anything else on the market.
With a powerful 2.0-litre V8 engine, the car could reach 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and had a top speed of 160 mph. In 1968, it was the fastest commercially available car in the standing kilometre with a time of 24 seconds. This was measured by German Auto, Motor und Sport magazine. It even had a six-speed manual gearbox, making the Stradale very advanced for the time.
As each model was built by hand, they all had unique features. The earlier models had twin headlights, while later versions had vents added behind the front and rear wheels. The vents helped hot air to escape from the brakes.
Between 1967 and 1969, only 18 Stradales were built, which is a shame because the car really is one of the most magnificent around. Of the 18 that were made, 13 were sent to customers, one was kept by Alfa Romeo and the rest were delivered to Italian design houses for concept styling. The Stradale served as the inspiration for Pininfarina’s 33.2, Bertone’s Carabo and the Alfa Navajo. But none of them stood up to the original Stradale.