Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale : A Classic from the Sports Car Pantheon

There are few sports cars that can truly stand the test of time, and the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is one of those classic sports cars with a timeless appeal. Produced between November 1967 to March 1969, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is the sports car that set the tone for future offerings from the famed Italian automotive manufacturer.

Alfa Romeos, as evidence by the 33 Stradale are fun, sexy, and not at all intimidating—just the perfect sports car to take when you want to enjoy scenic drives and navigate narrow roads.

The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is the street-legal version of the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33, another classic from the Italian car manufacturer’s stable. This sports car, a gorgeous two-door coupe, was introduced in the Monza Sport Car Show in September 1967, and was production for two years. Only eighteen units of the 33 Stradale exists, and it is perhaps the small number of existing cars contributed to the allure of the 33 Stradale. When popular car magazine Top Gear published their "100 Sexiest Cars" list, the 33 Stradale ranked pretty high at number 15, considering that it has been out of production for more than forty years.

The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale borrows heavily from the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33, a very popular racing car at the time. The street-legal sports car edition of the 33 (“Stradale” is Italian for “road-legal”) was designed by Franco Scaglione, and was assembled by the Carrozzeria Marazzi in Milan, Italy.

Soure: flickr/Brian Snelson

In the 1960’s, Alfa Romeo wanted to bring their cutting-edge race car technology to the public, and the 33 Stradale is the manifestation of that objective. At the time, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale was the most expensive car available for public sale—this gorgeous car was sold for US $17,000. In its home turf in Italy, the 33 Stradale was sold for 9,750,000 lire, more than 2,000,000 lire more expensive than the Lamborghini Miura.

The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is powered by a 2.0-liter V8 engine with a Colotti six-speed manual transmission. Top speeds clock in at 160 miles per hour, and the car takes 5.5 seconds to go from zero to sixty. These days, of course, these numbers are not as impressive, but back then, the 33 Stradale left every other sports car in its level sputtering in the dust.

Design-wise, the 33 Stradale introduced several unique features. One of these features is the use of butterfly doors (the 33 Stradale was the first production car to have used this type of door). The car’s body is made from aluminium, and each unit was built by hand in Milan. Each of the 18 units of this Italian sports car is slightly different from the other (as a result of the handcrafting process), making the 33 Stradale one of the most desirable vintage sports car in the world. But the market can be quite competitive—remember, there are only 18 of these beauties in the whole world.

Soure: flickr/Andrew Basterfield
Soure: flickr/Andrew Basterfield