Thursday, April 22, 2010
I purposely avoided mentioning something in my previous post while playing with Oscar.
The styling. Now given this is still a Maserati MC12, you may expect that the overall style of this car has to be somehow recognizable as Maserati’s, and you’d be right. Except, this year things are different.
Different meaning that with the Alfa Romeo’s 100th anniversary in air, we were given the opportunity to style this car after this other iconic Italian company. Many went for this option, showing how large is the place occupied by Alfa Romeo in enthusiasts’ hearts.
Keep reading after the jump to know more.
I always thought that trying to force an MC12 into something more practical and road friendly was a bit pointless, especially with the rest of Maserati’s line up being made of just, well you guessed it, grand touring cars. A mid engined exotic over 5 meters long isn’t exactly what you’d call a grand touring car, and while many tried with relative success to force GT aspects on it, others ended up designing something more similar to a Ferrari, but with a trident on the hood.
So it may even appear like picking Alfa Romeo could be a way to change this trend. Thing is Alfa Romeo doesn’t have something like this in its line up since…ages, unfortunately. Yep, the 8C Competizione is an example of what you can do even while you are selling 20.000 € mini cars, but that’s just another grand touring car at the end of the day, plus it’s a front engine one, so it would be a bit silly to force its shape onto this platform. Even more, I’m afraid it could even be kinda obvious.
The next car to be featured in our list of possible muses it’s the deadly gorgeous Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, 1967. You gotta love the sixties. You may think it is even more obvious than the 8C Competizione, but you’d be surprised knowing how many of the students in the room thought about the other Alfa 33 when out teacher talked about the Tipo 33. Not only they were thinking of the wrong (very wrong) car, they didn’t even know about the Stradale either. That’s probably when you say “omg wtf?!”. True story.
Now the "Tipo" 33 Stradale, also reffered to as the "Tipo 33.2 Stradale" may even be good looking, but it’s also more than 40 years old, which means that it’s curvy beyond every possible level, that’s extremely low, and even more, that it’s small, really small. Once again the trend of building large and heavier cars creates once another problem.
Some of the following shots are taken from the book "Alfa Romeo, production cars from 1910 to 2007", which is the awesome present my lovable girlfriend bought to me for my recent degree. Divided into two volumes, it covers all production cars from Alfa, with chassis numbers, blue prints, specs, everything.
It's quite expensive as well...
Fortunately the 33 Stradale is very similar in proportion to the MC12, meaning that once you scaled the Alfa’s wheelbase to the MC12’s size, the height is very similar and the two overhangs are just a bit, a large bit, shorter on the Alfa. Which is great, as since the beginning I wanted to shorten the MC12 to at least 4.7 meters, so about half a meter shorter.
This would have been possible only shortening a little the front steel frame responsible for the passive protection and energy dissipation in case of accident, and moving elsewhere the two front radiators, responsible for the engine cooling. At the back, the only part I had to deal with was the gearbox, which is much shorter than the whole overhang so that wasn’t a problem at all.
Eventually, the car is now 4.45 meters long or thereabouts. It is also a bit higher than the MC12, being now 120 cm tall. As you can see the profile is somehow set, I’ve a few doubts on the position of the air intakes in front of the rear wheels, but everything else is somehow definitive. Many details are missing of course.
You should also notice that while the car is penned partially after the 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, the main inputs come from the 1969 Pininfarina Alfa Romeo 33 Coupe Prototipo. This idea was actually rejected by other members of the team at first, but since I’m doing it myself I’ve decided to keep going with my original idea. Right because of the references to the 33 Coupe Prototipo, I think that perhaps those air intakes could be moved higher as in the yellow concept car, while maintaining a smaller air intake on the lower part of the side as well, so basically inverting what’s going on on the MC12. The longitudinal position of the intakes is set though, as the radiators are just a little after that, while moving them forward wouldn’t be possible if not by just a couple of inches, as the chassis considerably increase its wildness near the cockpit area.
Regardless, now I’m working on the aerial view and while things are quite sketchy at the moment, I already have some ideas. The front end is giving me quite some problems, and it may requires me to change the profile as well, something I’d rather avoid. The front overhang looks indeed a bit too short now that I'm looking at it again. Oh well.
Regardless, the point of this post should be the fact that I don’t have a clear shot from this point of view for as regards the Pininfarina concept car, and even if I think I’ll be fine nonetheless, I thought asking could hurt.
So this is the question. Does any of view have a picture of the 1969 Pininfarina Alfa Romeo 33 Coupe Prototipo from the top/aerial view? If yes, please contact me, I’d really appreciate it. Images of this car in general are OK now that I think about it, and consider the Pininfarina Ferrari P5 as well, as they are pretty similar as well.
Other than that, any sort of input, suggestion or critic is welcomed.
Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale and Pininfarina 33 Coupe images copyright: Wouter Melissen from Ultimatecarpage.com
All other images copyright: Damiano Garro