Besides celebrating the 100th anniversary of the legendary Quadrifoglio symbol, Alfa Romeo this year also commemorates the 60th anniversary of Autodelta, the legendary racing department founded by the famous engineer Carlo Chiti and the Chizzola brothers on 5 March 1963.

Based in Feletto Umberto near Udine, the small company aimed to collaborate with Alfa Romeo to construct the Giulia TZ, a compact GT car designed by Zagato. 

This marked the beginning of a hugely successful chapter in international motorsport, prompting Biscione to buy the company in 1965 and make it Alfa Romeo’s official racing department, with the aim to return to international motorsport. Under the charismatic Chiti, the Autodelta workshops were relocated to Settimo Milanese, and some of the most famous Alfa Romeo racing cars came to life here. 

This included the legendary 1965 Giulia Sprint GTA, which won three consecutive European championships, dozens of national championships, and hundreds of individual races (including in South Africa). In 1967 Alfa Romeo developed the 33 prototype to compete in the premier class of international motor racing at the time.

The 33/2.0-litre model won its first trophy on debut in Fléron, Belgium. The following year the Autodelta prototype won its category at the 24 hours of Daytona, the 1,000 km of Nürburgring, the 500 km of Imola, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The remarkable 33 TT 12 won the World Championship in 1975, repeating it two years later with the 33 SC 12. 

After that, Autodelta took over the management of all Alfa Romeo’s sports programmes, from the Alfasud trophy to Formula 1 (and the GTV 6 3.0 programme in South Africa). Chiti left the company in 1984, and the partnership ended the following year. However, the Autodelta logo was revived by Alfa Romeo two years ago, thanks to the Giulia GTA project.

Report by FERDI DE VOS | Images © ALFA ROMEO


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