Storie Alfa Romeo, seventh episode: Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale and Alfa Romeo Carabo. 

 

The twins.

Drawn on the same platform

 

In many ways, the 33 Stradale and the Carabo could not be more different. One is all nerves and sinew, and the other all straight lines and angles. The shared technical basis of these two cars, however, is the synthesis of 50 years of racing experience at Alfa Romeo. Ingenious and rigorous planning, expertise and courage in the selection of materials has produced a style that marries technological innovation and creativity.

 

The desire to compete

 

In 1964, Giuseppe Luraghi felt it was time for an official return to the track, marking the beginning of the 33 Project. Luraghi asked his team for a car that could compete among the “classes of the moment” for public success and media attention. Two years later, the first 33 to race immediately began collecting victories at the most prestigious circuits, including in the 1975 and 1977 World Championship for Makes.

 

33 Stradale, from the track to the road

 

When Alfa Romeo decided to produce the 33 in very small numbers for private individuals, it needed a new look that would bring its sporty character to the road. Scaglione invested all his technical expertise and creative daring in the design of the 33 Stradale, resulting in a masterpiece in which a clear innovation in style blended with the quest for superior aerodynamics and functionality. The car was unveiled at the 1967 Italian Grand Prix in Monza. It was the most expensive sports car on the market at the time, and only 12 models were produced with Scaglione bodywork.

 

Carabo, the car-spaceship

 

The quest for style has taken Alfa Romeo in other directions too. A ‘dream car’ was presented at the 1968 Paris Motor Show, representing the evolution of this radical idea: the Carabo, designed by Marcello Gandini.

This car was based on the same mechanics of the 33 Stradale. The height was the same, but the rounded lines had disappeared completely. Everything the Carabo is comprised of is clear-cut, from the wedge design to its ‘scissor’ doors. The name Carabo was inspired by the Carabus auratus, a brightly metallic-coloured beetle. The same hues are used for the car's body: luminescent green with orange details. From then on, Alfa Romeo began to pay particular attention to extravagant colors and special paintwork techniques, in order to further showcase the brand’s uniqueness.