1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale
“Hidden in the trailer is one of the sexiest front profiles ever. Elegantly formed wings are filled with teardrop headlight cowls, the chrome applied like a Vogue cover girl’s eyeliner. The delicate Alfa shield sits proudly on an aggressive, narrow grille. Rarely are power and beauty melded so masterfully.” Mick Walsh, Classic & Sportscar magazine, January 1999, in a rare feature on the Tipo 33 Stradale.
“In those days there was no speed limit in Italy and the police only stopped you out of curiosity. More often they would gesture you on: “Avanti, Avanti.” Once, on the autostrada to Venice, I ran it for 4km at its 10,000rpm rev limit in sixth. I clocked it at 180mph. Amazingly, below 150mph there was little engine noise, but past 160 it became really intense inside. The car was fantastically stable- even in crosswinds it still ran brilliantly straight.” Henry Wessells II, American motoring connoisseur and first private owner of a Stradale.
Chassis ‘0104’ spent its early years in Italy where it was registered ‘VI 500033’, remaining there until sold in 1984 by collector Pietro Brigato to Kiyoshi Takihana in Japan. It returned to Europe in the late 1980s and entered the ownership of pioneering collector, and Nurburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix founder, Count Hubertus von Donhoff, who recalls that another Japanese collector arrived in the middle of winter determined to buy it, the previous Japanese owner having refused to sell to him.
From 1990 until 2004 the car remained in Japan until acquired by a leading American collector who immediately commissioned a comprehensive restoration, rewarded by Best in Class at Pebble Beach. Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradales are rare, exotic and elusive even in the uppermost echelons of the classic car world. The opportunity to acquire one, particularly in this condition, is rarer still.