1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Daytona
- Exotic sports racer built and raced by Autodelta, the Alfa Romeo works team
- Retaining its original Alfa Romeo V8 engine, and 2.5 litre Alfa Romeo V8 engine
- Light and nimble racer weighing only 580 kgs, with 315 bhp!
- Maintained regardless of cost with historic competition specialists, Sporting & Historic Car Engineers
- Road registerable and highly eligible for many of the world’s greatest historic motoring events, including Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic, Monterey Historics and the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship
The Alfa Romeo T33/2:
Alfa Romeo first built the Tipo 33 (T33) as a sports racing prototype in 1967 and continued development through to 1977. The first iteration, the T33, began development in the early 1960’s with the first car being built in 1965. The car made its competition debut at the 1967 Belgian Hillclimb event at Fleron with Teodoro Zeccoli driving it to victory. As a result of this victory, the car quickly became known as the T33 ‘Fleron’. The car also featured a novel approach to chassis design, joining three large-diameter aluminium tubes in a ‘H’ pattern which also incorporated the fuel tanks. The assembly was rivetted together and lined with plastic to prevent leakage, with front and rear subframes mounted to this central core.
After extensive testing at Balocco, Autodelta developed a new model for the 1968 season, the T33/2. Testing had resulted in a newly designed rear tail section, which had already seen much focus during the second half of the 1967 season. The new body design resulted in less drag and a more central weight balance. To further assist the weight distribution, the water and oil radiators were relocated to the side of the driver’s cockpit. Another issue experienced in 1967 was a tendency for the car to lift at high speed leading to instability meaning the drivers were not able to extract everything the car had to offer. For 1968 Autodelta focussed on lowering the side profile and front leading edge, generally lowering the height and increasing handling. Other changes to the bodywork were focussed on increasing accessibility for the mechanics during the races, whilst also improving air-cooling to the brakes, engine and cockpit.
The revised and improved Alfa Romeo T33, also now called the T33/2 (thanks to its 2.0 litre, aluminium, dry-sump, V8 engine), made its debut at Daytona with three examples competing in the famed 24-hour race in February 1968. The race was intense with the motoring press watching closely, fortunately all three T33/2’s finished, claiming class victory as well as an impressive 5th, 6th and 7th overall. The aim for the remainder of the season and development for the T33/2 was clear, claim victory in the 2.0 litre championship, so regularly won by Porsche, and develop the engine further for eventual production line use. That year alone, the T33/2 went on to claim 21 victories, 15 overall triumphs and six class wins, with the greatest undoubtedly the complete domination at Le Mans, with T33/2’s filling all three steps on the podium! Alfa Romeo were back, and they were dominating.
This, the most beautifully elegant sports racing Alfa Romeo, raced in an era where competition its competition were the Porsche 906, featuring a developed 911 flat-6 cylinder engine, Lotus 47 and the Ferrari 206 Dino. None of the cars in this class received the same level of factory development and support as seen from Autodelta. Also, none of the competition featured a V8 engine, the T33/2 really was the most exotic, prettiest and developed car competing in its class.
This T33/2 ‘Daytona’:
The stunning T33/2 presented here, chassis AR 75033 019, was constructed during 1967 to enter the 1968 Daytona 24 Hours. For this famed event, Alfa Romeo and Autodelta chose to enter three cars, with star drivers including Mario Andretti, Lucien Bianchi, Teodoro Zeccoli, Udo Schütz and Nino Vaccarella. The team conducted re-race tests, constantly fettling these new cars, which showed huge potential, and after qualifying 9th, 11th and 13th on the grid, the Italian squad were in for a tough 24 hours. The race started at 3pm on Saturday afternoon with the Autodelta Alfa Romeo’s crossing the line in 4th, 5th and 6th in the Sports Prototype category.
After the event, Alfa Romeo sold this car to its American dealer, William (Bill) Knauz, who owned Continental Motors. Bill quickly sold the car to one of his clients, Mr Joh Martino who almost immediately entered the USRRC Vanderbuilt Cup Race at Bridgehampton in May. As can be seen in the period images within this car’s impressive history file, 019 was assigned race number 33 and driven by Horst Kwech, an Australian racing driver who claimed two championships in the Tran-Am Series, whilst also competing at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours. For the Bridgehampton event, the car was presented in a beautifully elegant red with only a handful of sponsorship decals, with the optional roof panel removed. Sadly, luck was not on Martino’s side, Kwech started the car and was forced to retire, despite being 5th fastest in practise.
Two months later, Martino entered his prized T33 in another event, the Annual Watkins Glen 6 Hour Race for Manufacturers Championship, where he was again assigned race number 33. Martino had now decided to add some pin striping to the edges of his beautiful T33/2, as can be seen in the colour images accompanying 019. For this event the car was entered by Ausca Racing Inc, with Martino choosing to drive alongside Kwech. Although pace in practise showed some promise, qualifying 11th on the grid, the T33/2 retired.
After Watkins Glen Martino used the car in the promotion of his company’s products, antennas, before selling the car back to Knauz. At the end of February 1971, 019 was displayed at the 62nd Annual Chicago Auto Show. Again, the cars impressive history file contains an image of a female model standing next to 019 on the Alfa Romeo stand at the Chicago Auto Show. In October 1970, Knauz was advertising this T33/2 in Road & Track Magazine, asking $12,000, and in January 1971 sold it to Alan Marsh, a lawyer in Ottawa, Illinois.
Marsh’s first task was to have the car delivered to his mechanic, Al Allin of Grand Haven, Michigan, for a complete restoration, prior to competition. Pictures of the car immediately after restoration are included in the expansive history files. 019 returned to the track in September 1972 at the SCCA Regional Race held at Elkhart Lake, Road America. Marsh guided this car to first in the B Sports/Racing class and second overall. The following year, Marsh put 019 into storage, where it remained for five years, during which time it was advertised for sale in Road & Track Magazine, asking $25,000. Joe Moch of Michigan was the next owner, although he quickly sold it to Mr Tom Hart in California, who in August 1978 entered the Monterey Races.
In 1982, Hart advertised the car for sale, asking $25,000, at which point it joined the famed Yoshiyuki Hayashi Collection in Japan. Hayashi was one of the world’s leading classic car collectors, owning greats such as a Ferrari 166MM, 250 LM, California Spider, Alfa Romeo T33 Stradale all the way through to a Ferrari Enzo. During this cars time in the Hayashi Collection, a Le Mans-specification Alfa Romeo T33/2 long tail rear bodywork section was sourced and fitted, this bodywork still accompanies the car and can easily be fitted.
In the mid-1990’s, Mr Hayashi sold the car to fellow Japanese Mr Kosaka, owner of the world-famous Abarth Museum near Mt Fuji, where he chose to prominently display 019. Throughout this period the car was regularly started and ran to temperature.
Returning to Europe in the early 2000’s under the ownership of the prominent Belgian historic racer, Marc Devis, 019 was displayed at the Brussels Retro Mobile Salon. In 2002 019 returned to the track, competing in the European Prototype Trophy, whilst also competing in the 2004 and 2006 Le Mans Classic events.
Later, in 2004 Marc Devis, sourced an extremely rare, original Alfa Romeo Autodelta 2,500cc V8 T33/2 engine, from Australia. This 2.5 litre engine was originally built by Alfa Romeo for the Tasman series in Australia producing more torque, and is currently fitted to 019. The original 1,995 cc twin-plug Alfa Romeo engine beautifully presented on a bespoke stand. Throughout his ownership period, Marc Devis reached out to several of the past owners, helping confirm the cars history, with copies of these documents retained within the cars extensive history files.
In more recent years, 019 entered the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed before being bought by its current owner over five years ago. Since taking ownership, the car has been maintained regardless of cost with historic competition specialist Tim Samways, Sporting & Historic Car Engineers Ltd. The current owner is a true connoisseur, not only indulging in his passion of Italian competition cars, but specifically Alfa Romeo. Sitting alongside 019 in his stable is a T33/3 and a 33TT12.
During this ownership, 019 has been regularly exercised on private track days and some of Europe’s leading circuits, whilst also entering a handful of historic races, including Monza in July 2015. The car received FIA papers again in March 2016 and in preparation for sale has been fully detailed with the original short-tail being fitted. The car was also photographed along with this owner’s T33/3 and 33TT12 at the Autodelta test circuit, Balocco, where great period drivers, Nanni Galli and Derek Bell shared memories of these cars, culminating in a hugely entertaining and video.
Today, this road-registerable sports racer is presented as a truly beautiful work of art from one of Alfa Romeo’s most successful eras in motor racing. The late 1960’s into the early 1970’s was a phenomenal time when manufacturers were experimenting and drivers pushing the limits of what was truly possible, an era of which we are unlikely to witness again. The opportunity to drive this piece of Alfa Romeo and Autodelta history on the public road, whilst competing in the Tour Auto, indulging in the sound of that fabulous 2.5 litre V8 is not to be missed!
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