Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/TT/3
The success of the two-litre 33/2 had whetted Alfa Romeo’s appetite. The company started the development of a three-litre prototype in order to compete with the “big boys”.
The chassis of choice was a monocoque design. The car had a compact and aggressive look. It was fitted with a V8 engine, with the maximum allowed three litres capacity, giving around 410 bhp. This was a bored-out version of the original engine, also with four valves per cylinder. Initial testing was done by John Surtees, a driver highly renowned for his testing abilities. Despite this, the car did not live up to expectations.
They won the 1971 Targa Florio with Dutchman Toine Hezemans at the wheel, partnered by Nino Vacarella. However, Alfa Romeo decided to build a new chassis in order to make the car lighter and thus more competitive. The car was given a tubular chassis (TT, meaning Telaio Tubolare), which was effectively a technological step backwards. The engine output was increased to 440 bhp. With a car weighing 660 kg this promised to be the ideal package.
And so it was. Reliability improved, as did the results, among which numerous podium finishes, most notably second place in the Targa Florio.