Here’s The Mythical Blue Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale After a Full Restoration
Alfa Romeo built just one 33 Stradale in blue and it’s been missing for decadesby Ciprian Florea, on
Alfa Romeo has built many beautiful cars over the years, but none is more impressive than the 33 Stradale. A breathtaking design with curvy and muscular lines, the 33 Stradale is not just beautiful, but it’s also a full-fledged race car that you can drive on public roads.
Alfa Romeo built just 18 from 1967 to 1969, but two were prototypes and six chassis were converted to concept cars. In all, only 10 actual units were built, which makes the 33 Stradale extremely rare. But this limited series also includes a special unicorn that was painted blue instead of red. And it just resurfaced after a full restoration in time for the company’s 110th anniversary.
The mythical blue Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is now as real as they get
Alfa Romeo had all examples of 33 Stradale painted red, the company’s official racing color. The Tipo 33 race car that the Stradale was based on raced in this color for its entire career, which spanned from 1966 to 1977 if we include all the versions that followed.
However, one 33 Stradale was painted in bright blue. This specific car was delivered to Italian aviation tycoon Count Corrado Agusta, who also ordered it with seats based on the ones found in his helicopters, as well as an ashtray between them.
The blue 33 Stradale remained a mystery for much of its existence. It was featured only briefly in European magazines back in the day and was only briefly shown in an Italian car museum. Some years later the car was painted red, like its regular siblings, and found its way into a Japanese car collection. It wasn’t until recently that its was sold to a Swiss collector who commissioned a 5,000-hour restoration process that brought the back to its original specification, including the Royal Blue color.
Restored behind closed doors, the blue 33 Stradale was supposed to debut in public at the 2020 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. But the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so its public unveiling was postponed. But Egon Zweimuller, who reportedly oversaw the car’s transfer to Switzerland and the restoration process, unveiled it online in all its glory.
While red is a fitting color for the 33 Stradale, I think it looks way better in blue, an exotic color for an Alfa Romeo.
The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale was a fast and expensive exotic
The 33 Stradale was the result of Alfa Romeo’s wish to make some of its technology available to customers. It was based on the Tipo 33 race car designed by Autodelta and it was penned by Franco Scaglione and built by Carrozzeria Marazzi. It made its debut in late 1967 with a 2.0-liter V-8 engine rated at 227 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque.
The 33 Stradale was quite fast, as it needed less than six seconds to hit 62 mph on its way to a top speed of around 160 mph. This was mighty impressive given that its V-8 had less than half the displacement of those in cars like the Lamborghini Miura, Ferrari Daytona, and Maserati Ghibli.
But the 33 Stradale was also one of the most expensive sports cars of its time. It was sold for around $17,000 in 1968, which was nearly six times more expensive than the average car. It was also around 20 percent more expensive than the Lamborghini Miura. The 33 Stradale is now estimated at more than $10 million.
Of the 18 chassis built by Alfa Romeo, six were used for concept cars with bodies built by various coachbuilders. The Carabo is the most iconic of them, a wedge-shape coupe designed by Bertone in 1968. The P33 Roadster concept by Pininfarina was also unveiled in 1968. These were followed by the Iguana (Giugiaro) and 33/2 Coupe Speciale (Pininfarina) in 1969 and by the P33 Cuneo (Pininfarina) in 1971. The last concept based on the 33 Stradale, the Navajo, was shown by Bertone in 1976.
|Layout||Rear/mid-engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Engine Type||All-aluminum 2.0-liter V-8|
|Lubrication Type||Dry sump|
|Valvetrain||Four chain-driven cams, two valves per cylinder|
|Horsepower||227 hp at 8,800 rpm|
|Torque||152 pound-feet at 7,000 rpm|
|0 to 60 mph||<6 seconds|
|Top Speed||160 mph|
|Gearbox||Six-speed Colotti manual transaxle|
|Chassis Type||Aluminum tubular|
|Weight||700 kg (1,543 pounds)|