The Tipo 33/2 Project was a combined effort by Alfa Romeo and Carlo Chitti's Milanese company Autodelta. In the preceding years Autodelta had been fielding teams of specially prepared Alfa Romeos to good effect; perhaps the best-known exploits were with the TZ models. The experience and expertise of Chitti was utilized by the manufacturer in order to make an assault upon the World Championship, therefore bringing the famous name of Alfa Romeo back into the forefront of the sport.

Introduced in 1967 the prototype T33/2 2-liter V8 had a tubular chassis construction which incorporated the fuel tanks. The new engine had been designed by Satta and Busso of Alfa Romeo. The tubular chassis was to give way in a short time to a monocoque structure.

Four cars were entered for the 1967 Targa Florio driven by de Adamich/Roland, Bonnier/Baghette, Nanni Galli/Guinti and Geki/Todaro. Despite great promise early in the race and even leading the opening lap, the cars all eventually retired. The potential was obvious but reliability had yet to be achieved. Similar problems beset the team throughout that season and during the winter much development and testing was undergone.

The 1968 and 1969 seasons were much more successful; in both years Alfa Romeo secured second place overall in the World Championship.

1973 saw the incorporation of a 3-liter flat 12-cylinder engine and even after further modifications had been made the season was very much trial and error. The following season was much more encouraging and in this year the cars made a good account of themselves with placings at Imola, Nurburgring, Osterreichring and Watkins Glen although the fourth place for Andretti was later disqualified on a technicality.

Runners up again in the World Championship this year, the team set about their winter tasks with even greater enthusiasm. In order to lighten the financial burden sponsorship was taken from Campari whose name was carried for the season, and cars were entered by ex-Porsche exponent Wili Kausen of Aachen.

The cars fulfilled all expectations this time. Victory was theirs in all but one of the World Championship series. Only at Mugello in March did the Alpine Renault of Jabouille/Larrouse take the flag ahead of them. Merzario/Lafitte won at Dijon, Monza and Nurburgring, PescaroloBell at Spa, Osterrichring and Watkins Glen with a win at Enna for the Merzario/Mass entry. The season's results meant an overwhelming World Championship win for Alfa Romeo with Porsche second and Alpine Renault third.

The final swan-song of Alfa Romeo in Sports Car racing, a sport they had dominated at various time throughout their history, came in 1977 after the last of the Tipo 33 SC12 cars secured the World Championship of Makes. This flat 12-cylinder engine was in 1975 suitably adapted to become a Formula I unit in the BT45 Martini Brabham Alfa F1 car and then in 1979 Alfa Romeo had their own chassis which had a checkered career before finally finishing in 1986.

The car pictured is one of the 1975 World Championship team cars as driven by Artura Merzario and Jacques Lafitte and Rolf Stommelen. In 1988 the car was completely rebuilt by Ambrosiana Motors. Gambi Marzello and Vittoria Berno of this company are ex-Autodelta employees, and therefore were well qualified to undertake the project. No expense has been spared in bringing this vehicle to its present excellent condition and mechanical work has been carried out to full racing specification.

{analysis} SN 012 was sold at the Christie's Pebble Beach auction on August 22, 1993 for $222,500. As a world-champion sports racer, Alfa TT series cars must be considered seriously undervalued. Any Ferrari "P" car, even without the T33's formidable credentials, is a seven-figure item.

Also, because the refabrication of the now-brittle original magnesium bits is so expensive, a fully restored TT at today's prices is still less expensive than buying a bad one and restoring it.

However, except for the great pre-war 8Cs, no Alfa carries the panache of a Ferrari, and we don't expect the prices of TTs to rise appreciably in the near future. At the moment, they represent a good investment for a sophisticated collector of means who wants an interesting car to run at vintage events. - ED.

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