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Official Alfa Romeo 33.3 (or 33/3) denomination


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#1 Muzza

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 16:34

Fellows,

What was the official - I mean, used by the manufacturer - denomination: Alfa Romeo 33.3 or 33/3?

Or, as this denomination comprises a long string of cars, is it possible that Alfa switched from 33.3 to 33/3, or vice-versa, along the way? If so, when?

(please note that the question is not what the press called the cars, but what Alfa Romeo did)

Thanking your help,


Muzza

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 18:29

Muzza - in my experience Alfa Romeo have always been a rather splendid shambles in terms of model classification and consistency thereof. Luigi Fusi's 'bible' on their cars uses 'La 33/3 Litri Sport Prototipi' and '33/3' designation in its text and captions but I have seen '33.3' used in other apparently official or semi-official publications. I don't think anybody would justifiably whinge if you used either - though the '33/3' form was certainly more commonly used by the media in period.

DCN

#3 Don Capps

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 18:54

I was stopped in my tracks because I realized that the rather great shambles of anything remotely resembling a designation system at Alfa Romeo/Autodelta during this period makes it possible to call it whatever you want, "33/3" being right there with "33.3" as far as I know. If someone doesn't beat me to it -- Cabianca or someone more learned than I am -- I will pose this question later today, this evening to a few who might have something resembling an answer. I will also get the serials of a few to see if that helps -- but will probably only confuse matters.....

#4 dretceterini

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 19:10

both systems were used in official Alfa documents. Many Alfa factory documents, especially pre-war create confusion

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 23:10

Years ago I found some beautifully presented genuine Scuderia Ferrari Alfa racing records in the factory collection. I was working my way through them open-mouthed - dying to have a photo-copier at hand before the volumes could be snatched away from me (I believe I was not meant to have sight of them) - when I realised something VERY peculiar about the method of record-keeping. In those race by race, car by car, record sheets the cars were identified by their race numbers only.

Thus from one race to the next there was no way of telling from those particular records how one car's individual racing record progressed.

The team cars might be race Nos 10, 12, 14 one weekend, and then (maybe in the reverse chassis order, maybe not) at the next race 32, 34, 36...but hang on a minute, which was which in terms of chassis identity?

Not a single chassis serial of the form we know the cars carried, nor a single 'SF' Scuderia Ferrari one or two-digit identity appeared to have been entered upon those forms, which otherwise recorded pretty faithfully what work was carried out, tyre pressures, fuel loaded, mix used, lap times, pit stops, work carried out, reason for retirement etc etc.

I was not able to get a repeat look after this tantalisingly brief inspection, but I subsequently found a similar approach had been adopted by Autodelta for their quasi-works Alfa Romeo sports-racing and Formula 1 endeavours - ID by race number. Hopeless shambles....

Charitably I always presumed there must, somewhere, have been a separate engineering record kept of chassis identities...if only accurately to 'life' components. But I would believe almost anything of Alfa's record-keeping. Almost unbelievable...

DCN

#6 dretceterini

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 00:58

I have visited the archives a number of times and Elvira Ruocco tried to be helpful, but as Doug says, things are a mess. I have been "obsessed" with the Tipo 412 sports cars and Bimotore for some time, and would like to know if they were really Alfa of Ferrari projects.

In regard to the 6c2500 Competitizione and the 6c3000 C50 Mille Miglia car, the record is VERY cofusing, and even after a discussion with A.T. Anselmi, the world expert on these cars, we are not certain if the 6c3000 C50 was a modification of one of the 3 earlier cars, or an all new car. Examination of the car leads one to believe it was all new or EXTENSIVELY modified, but Alfa's records onlyu show 3 chassis numbers..


There are countless other examples of things like this...like if the 3 liter version of the C52 Disco Volante spider (of which 2 were built) had a modified 6c3000 C50 motor or something else (I'm not speaking of the 6c3000 CM, which is a totally different car and motor)

#7 Don Capps

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 01:54

This was taken from a "33/3" -- chassis N° AR75080*019 engine N° 10580*0069

The defense rests.

#8 dretceterini

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 02:53

Yes, but 750 is the Type designation for the early Giuliettas, and there was also 2 made of a Tipo 750 "Competitizione"??!!

#9 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 12:04

Originally posted by Don Capps
This was taken from a "33/3" -- chassis N° AR75080*019 engine N° 10580*0069

The defense rests.


OK, but does the plate identify the car model as 33/3?

Now, we all know the meaning of the designation (tipo 33 comes from the factory project designation 105.33, the added '3' identifying the 3-litre version from 1969 on, until chassis became tubular and desgnation reflected that feature as 33TT3), and I would not become insomniac if we eventually conclude that both 33/3 and 33.3 are / were used officially.

I agree with Doug on the 'criminal' :eek: mess of race records organised after race numbers, this topic was already discussed time ago. I can testify as well about those prewar records.

Autodelta's records are more of a question mark. I haven't seen the documents myself, but a friend of mine told me that years ago (of course!), Chiti was visited by someone asking for individual cars' records. After he told several times that such a thing didn't exist, under insistence of a friend of him he ended digging and retrieving something like what was asked for...

I trust the person who told me that but, of course, having not seen the document, I cannot assert that proper chassis identification was on the sheets rather that 'something' allowing to identify the chassis number...

Now the sad new is that, while I haven't made request to Mrs. Ruocco for some time, a friend of mine has visited the archive recently and was told that FIAT's new policy was to let NOTHING out of the archive unless FIAT's press office head judges the request interesting enough to authorize Mrs. Ruocco to answer with some research :mad: :mad:

Once upon a time, there was a carmaker called 'Alfa-Romeo'... :cry:

#10 Don Capps

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 13:51

The information quoted came off a chassis that was deemed to be a "33/3" and the reactions it elicited then were about what it got now. I will say that I initially thought the engine number was the chassis number at first glance, the "105" being what I had thought the cars were in the projects list. I didn't have time to rummage around much more, but it is my understadning that this information was copied directly from a chassis plate -- however, I am not sure of it was a contemporary recording of the data or one done in recent years.

It appears that the art of Rivetcounting may be only hope for establishing some "identity" for various cars since any hopes of attaching official identities to them seems almost futile.

I will refrain from my usual comments on the sins of proprietary history.

#11 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 14:38

Originally posted by Don Capps
The information quoted came off a chassis that was deemed to be a "33/3" and the reactions it elicited then were about what it got now. I will say that I initially thought the engine number was the chassis number at first glance, the "105" being what I had thought the cars were in the projects list. I didn't have time to rummage around much more, but it is my understadning that this information was copied directly from a chassis plate -- however, I am not sure of it was a contemporary recording of the data or one done in recent years.

It appears that the art of Rivetcounting may be only hope for establishing some "identity" for various cars since any hopes of attaching official identities to them seems almost futile.

I will refrain from my usual comments on the sins of proprietary history.


I agree fully on 'rivetcounting' as unique way to try and put straight car records. IMHO, when dealing with Tipo 33s, it's hopeless except for a very few cars with straight history from when they were bought from Autodelta, if such sale happened long time ago. And the refrained opinion about owner claims is the reason for which such an attempt is hopeless.

'105' would have made sense as chassis number prefix, but '750' should not surprise us as it was, after the first-series Giulietta, also the Giulia TZ prefix. This has been explained as a consequence of the TZ study beginning as early as 1959 and having been first thought and built (first prototypes) as a 1300cc, Giulietta derivation. Let's suppose that a '750' prefix had been retained for most racing cars.

Type designation is one thing, both as 'commercial designation' (i.e. Giulia TZ, or, in this case, 33/3 vs 33.3) and as designation code (105.33 as 'Tipo 33' type code - I'm not sure whether this code applied to later 33s, I mean after they dropped the large H-shaped chassis construction).; chassis number prefix doesn't need to have any signification. For instance, my 2000 GTV is Tipo 105.12, but for some reason (or maybe none...), chassis numbers start at 2420001, mine, the 1538th built , has 2421538. This doesn't imply that anything like a '242' prefix makes sense.

Also remember, getting back to 33/3s, that the initial 105.33 project was an Alfa Romeo's one, carried over by G. Busso at the experimental department, later passed with acrimony to Autodelta. Succerssive variants of Tipo 33s, such as 33/3, 33TT3, 33TT12, etc. were fully Autodelta projects, and probably more loosely tied to Alfa numbering rules - if any!

In your chassis number example, however, the * seems to indicate a first part where 75080 stands for the type designation and 019 as chassis progeressive number. This is consistent with 10580 as engine number prefix, but again, for other cars, the type code is not part of the chassis number.

#12 petefenelon

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 15:20

On a vaguely related theme, I seem to recall an Alfa prototype turning up in the jungles of southern Africa a few years back, with no obvious provenance...

I don't recall seeing any tales of it being auctioned or restored -- what's the story? Was it genuine and is it in circulation or in well-known restorers' hands these days?

#13 dretceterini

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 16:12

The Alfa numbering system was crazy. Take a look at how 1900 series individual cars are numbered!

As to Alfa prototypes, the first Giulietta spyder was found a few years ago, restored at Galbiati (the "official" Alfa and Zagato restoration shop), was at the Villa 'd Este concours, and is now with the wife of the original owner.

As to the 33 found in S.A. a while ago, I have no idea what happened to it, nor it's real history.

If FIAT won't let Elvira help Alfa enthusiasts out with out going though the press office first now, we are *******

:cry: :mad: :(

#14 Martin Krejci

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 22:04

I've heard that official Alfa Romeo types were as follows:

Alfa Romeo T33/2
Alfa Romeo T33/2.5 (=T33/2 with 2.5 litre engine)
Alfa Romeo T33-3 (=T33/2 with 3 litre engine)
Alfa Romeo T33/3
Alfa Romeo 33TT3
Alfa Romeo 33TT12

There was also T33/4 in Can-Am, which was T33/3 with 4 litre engine but I think it was not official designation.

#15 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 14:11

As I said to Muzza, the name "33/2" is not the original, but it was created "a posteriori", after they developed a 3-liter engine and named the car 33/3.

33 is the original name of the sport-prototype Alfa Romeo (V8 2-liter) born in 1967. First race of this car was an unknown regional hillclimb in Belgium, at Fleron where Alfa Romeo test-driver Teodoro Zeccoli was classified second overall. In 1969 Alfa Romeo created a V8 engine 3-liter (also used in F. 1 in 1970 by McLaren with De Adamich and Nanni Galli, and in 1971 by March with Galli and Ronnie Peterson): they assembled a 33 chassis with this engine and called the car 33/3 (or 33.3) to identify with third "3" the 3-liter engine. Consequently, old 33s 2-liter were named 33/2, to distinguish the 2 and 3-liter.

Some year after they created the 33TT3 to identify a 33 model, 3000 cc with "Telaio Tubolare", and then 33TT12 for a 33 with "Telaio Tubolare" and 12 cil. boxer engine, MartinKrejci is correst.

#16 David McKinney

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 15:38

I am far from being an expert on Alfas of this period, but my understand is that the T33 was the original 2-litre model, the 33/2 was the later 2.5, and the 33/3 the 3-litre.
No?

#17 Reyna

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 17:04

Originally posted by Martin Krejci
I've heard that official Alfa Romeo types were as follows:

Alfa Romeo T33/2
Alfa Romeo T33/2.5 (=T33/2 with 2.5 litre engine)
Alfa Romeo T33-3 (=T33/2 with 3 litre engine)
Alfa Romeo T33/3
Alfa Romeo 33TT3
Alfa Romeo 33TT12

There was also T33/4 in Can-Am, which was T33/3 with 4 litre engine but I think it was not official designation.

And the 33sc12 (1.977 ?), like the 33tt12, but with turbo engine.

#18 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 17:10

The 2,5-liter engine is the one created for Tasman Cup 1968, reducing a V8 3-liter. If I remember well, this engine was assembled for Frank Gardner in a Brabham Bt23D in 1968 and in a Mildren in 1969.
First Alfa Romeo 33/2.5 (so, with 2.5-liter engine) partecipated the Targa Florio 1968 with Nino Vaccarella, and then 1000 km Nurburgring and others races in the season.

So 33/2 identify only the 33 2-liter model. More, the 1968 "berlinetta", than the original 1967 spyder.

#19 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 14:08

I don't think the 2.5 was a 'reduced 3-litre'. Instead, they increased the capacity by steps from 2 to 3 litres. Chiti was telling everyone in early 1969, when asked about the 3-litre "there's no car to put it in". There was no 3-litre version in 1968. The 2.5 engine did fit into the original, large diameter tube chassis, but the 3-litre didn't. I don't know if for strength reasons, linked to the extra power, or for some other reason, including possibly different external size of the larger engine. Sorry, I have no time to check that now.

The 3-litre is also the first to feature 4 valves per cyl. albeit I can't tell for sure if so from the very beginning.

Indeed the 33/2 is an apocryphal designation, coined after there was a larger capacity model. Instead, the real period designation distinguished the 33, which was the 1967 version - both with 'periscopic ' airscope and flatter and longer tail as at Mugello 1967 and the 33B, the improved 1968 version, called 'Daytona' after their good perfromance at the 1968 24 hours.

And yes, there is also the 1976 / 1977 33sc12, whose designation is not related to the turbo, but to the chassis construction, now monocoque ("scatolato" in Italian) instead of tubular.