• by M. Vinci (Autodelta Italia Club)

33/3 coupè - A chance to Win!

This story is about how sometimes the best Car, best Drivers or Team are not strong enough against a mistake! On the early 70s, most classic road races had been banned or considerably scaled back, in Italy the Giro d'Italia was revived in 1975. The multiple-day event was run on public roads and featured timed stages on circuits and hill climbs. Strictly speaking the event was a rally but it attracted a wide variety of machinery, including best circuit racers. The race go on many famous Italian Rally roads as: Cesana-Sestriere, Il Ciocco and Rieti -Terminillo, other the Special Stages on the best Italian Circuits as Monza, Imola, Vallelunga, Misano. The first evocation in 1973 was won by a DeTomaso and the following year Jean-Claude Andruet won with a turbo-charged Lancia Stratos.

Giro d'Italia start at Monza Circuit, the 33/3 and Stratos on back the Fiat Abarth 031

The Maps of Race in 1978

The best Roads

In the 1975 season, Jean Claude Andruet was under contract with Autodelta, so in order to defend his title, the Frenchman need Autodelta to supply him with a suitable machine. Always up for a challenge, team leader Eng.Carlo Chiti decided to do just that and created a one-off coupe based on the Tipo 33 sports prototypes. For homologation reasons, the car was stamped with a Tipo 33 Stradale chassis number, even though there was no direct relationship between the new Giro d'Italia Coupe and the road going Tipo 33 of the late 1960s.

The chassis used for Andruet's special was more closely related to the T33/TT/12, he raced for Autodelta during the regular season. The steel tubular spaceframe was modified only in detail to accept a V8 engine of 33/3 with 2998cc - 440hp - 9800rpm, which would bring it more in-line with the Tipo 33 Stradale (Franco Scaglione Design), it was supposedly was derived from. Using the shorter engine also reduced the car's wheelbase. The bodywork was similar in design to the Tipo 33s used that year on tracks with the exception of the added aluminium roof , which was required to comply with the regulations of Racing also the particular Air frame at "Periscopio" on back.

The Autodelta 33/3 Coupè chassis assembled

Entered in Group 5, the new Autodelta 33 Coupe's main opposition consisted of Lancia Stratos and Fiat-Abarth. On paper, Andruet's new Autodelta was easily the fastest car in the field but due a last minute engine rebuild before the Race the car's V8 never ran well! Despite competing most stages on just six cylinders, Andruet did manage to hold on to the lead until the engine finally gave way completely. The race was eventually won by an Abarth-modified Tipo 031, driven by Giorgio Pianta.

Fiat Abarth 031 Prototype

Revenge came a few years later with the victories in edition 1988 and 1989 with Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo IMSA to Alfa Corse Team and driven by R.Patrese e G. Pianta.

The 33/3 Coupè built specifically for the 1975 Giro d'Italia, the unique Tipo 33 was not raced again. It's a realy rarities, fortunately, it has survived to the times and is today part of an fantastic collection of Alfa Romeos in the USA.

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