Sold for $1,302,241 (€1,008,000) at 2012 RM Auctions
.By the mid-1960s, Alfa Romeo had returned to GT racing and appeared poised to reclaim its place of prominence amongst the motor racing world, a place it once held with its 158/159 single-seater grand prix cars throughout the late 1940s and into the first couple of years of the '50s decade. In charge of heading up the assault would be the Autodelta team directed by chief engineer Carlo Chiti.
By 1968, Chiti had an idea for an 'all-new' design that would compose Alfa's main thrust in endurance racing. Utilizing the H-shape that had been first debuted in 1967, Chiti would set about designing a chassis that was totally different than the previous couple of years. And by the end of '67 this new chassis would take to the track for testing and being readied for the 1968 season that was rapidly approaching.
The car Chiti had designed would become known as the Tipo 33/2. The car would feature elegantly flowing lines at the front of the chassis and stout looks toward the back. Of course, one of the most prominent features would be the radiator sidepods that would extend out of either side of the car.
The beautiful coupe bodies would be ready in time for the 24 Hours of Daytona. When the short-tailed version of the car arrived for the race it would receive the name 'Daytona'. Making use of its 270 bhp 2.0-liter engine, three 33/2 'Daytona' would sweep the 2.0-liter P-class and would finish 5th, 6th and 7th overall. This would be followed up with another sweep of the P2.0 class and a 4th, 5th and 6th place finish overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All in all, the Tipo 33/2 would be a very successful car for Alfa Romeo and seemed to signal the manufacturer's return to form.
One of those Tipo 33/2 'Daytona' sports racers that would take part in the 1968 season would be 75033.029. While much of the records surrounding Alfa Romeo chassis of that period remain relatively unknown, this particular chassis being offered at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco would have a lot of history known about it.
Of the twenty or so believed to be built, 75033.029's race history would be able to be confirmed through race entry forms and other such diaries kept by people like Teodoro Zeccoli who did most of the testing. And since the certainly surrounding the car is relatively high its place in Alfa Romeo history is unquestionable, and therefore, its value, especially to Alfa's beloved fans, only grows.
Still, much about 029 is up for debate. While it is known the car would take part in the 500km of Imola, a non-championship event held in September of '68, it would be unclear some of the other races in which the car had, for sure, taken part.
Nonetheless, at Imola the car would be driven by Nino Vaccarella and Teodoro Zeccoli to an overall victory despite Galli and Giunti having set the pace throughout practice and the early part of the race.
This result, and a comment by Vaccarella, would have many investigators believing 029 had also been used back in July of that year to win the Circuit of Mugello. If this were to be true, 029 would have helped Alfa Romeo earn its best result since its one, two, three sweep of the P2.0 category at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Autodelta was developing a 3.0-liter car for the 1969 season. As a result of this, a few of the 2.0-liter 33/2 chassis would be sold to interested privateers. Fortunately for 029, it would be one of those that would be sold. The car would be sold to Antonio Zadra who would race it along with friend Giuseppe Dalla Torre.
Zadra and Dalla Torre would enter the car in the 1969 1000km of Monza and would come away with a 10th place overall finish and a victory in the P2.0 class. If some of the claims concerning the car are correct, this would have made at least three victories for chassis 029. Then, in the Austrian 1000km, amongst the new Tipo 33/3s, Zadra and Dalla Torre would end up being the only Alfa Romeo to finish the race. They would finish 17th overall.
029 would continue to compete well into the early 1970s. It would compete in races throughout Europe and would even enjoy a stint in the United States in the 1980s before it returned to Europe where it would be found by Paul and Matt Grist.
Paul and Matt Grist would set about restoring the car and would end up entering it in a number of historic races and events including the French Tour Auto. Taking up its place in historic motor races 029's drivers would find it very surprising. In fact, it owner would comment saying, 'It's well-sorted and blindingly fast for an 8 cylinder 2.0-liter.'
Perhaps easily regarded as the best looking of Alfa Romeo's design running between 1966 through to 1977, the Tipo 33/2, with its elegantly shaped and flowing front end countered by a square and stout backend, offers the paradox many only come to realize when they sit behind the wheel and drive it.
As Classic and Sports Car would attest, 'Once you're in the groove, it has a lightness of touch not unlike that of a Grand Prix racer.' And while all Alfa Romeos models have a place in the heart of Alfa aficionados, the Tipo 33/2, with its truly aggressive looks certainly has the ability to win over the most ardent of detractors. And given the rare known history of 029's racing heritage, and even some of the questionable historical achievements, the value of this particular chassis to any serious racing collection would be hard to underestimate. This is why it would go on to garner 1,008,000 EUR at auction.
'Lot No. 333: 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 'Daytona'', (http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r303&Currency=EUR). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r303&Currency=EUR. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
'Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 (105-33)', (http://www.alfa-models.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=88&Itemid=91). Alfa-Models.com. http://www.alfa-models.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=88&Itemid=91. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
'1968 Alfa-Romeo Tipo 33/2 News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z10330/Alfa-Romeo-Tipo-33/2.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z10330/Alfa-Romeo-Tipo-33/2.aspx. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
'Daytona 24 Hours 1968: Race Results', (http://www.racingsportscars.com/results/Daytona-1968-02-04.html). Racing Sports Cars. http://www.racingsportscars.com/results/Daytona-1968-02-04.html. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
'Le Mans 24 Hours 1968: Race Results', (http://www.racingsportscars.com/results/Le_Mans-1968-09-29.html). Racing Sports Cars. http://www.racingsportscars.com/results/Le_Mans-1968-09-29.html. Retrieved 14 May 2012.By Jeremy McMullen
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