Alfa Romeo is an Italian automaker that has a long, storied history on the road and on the track. As a progressive and pioneering organization, it has not been afraid of taking chances with its automotive design language. Indeed, Alfa Romeo has even taken a perfectly good and accepted design and thrown it to the trash for the sake of showing the public how forward-moving it can be. One perfect example of this is the chassis to the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale and the Alfa Romeo Carabo Concept.
Rebadging is not a new thing
This day in age, many of us fans of the automotive industry are familiar with rebadging the same product. Sometimes there are a few changes between the brands, but underneath things stay the same. For example, the Fiat 124 and the Mazda Miata are built upon the same chassis. Still, each brand has its own take on the vehicle design. So, some body panels are different. Likewise, a Chevrolet Silverado and a GMC Sierra are essentially the same vehicle as well. Most of the times this happens, there are still some lingering similarities between the models. With the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale and the Carabo Concept, however, things are strikingly different. Honestly, there are no similarities remaining.
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale
First, it is important to note that this was not a rebadging across brands. Both of the Alfas would stay under the Alfa Romeo banner. This brings us to the second point. Alfa was eager to show the public that it could build the “car of tomorrow”. So, it ordered the creation of that would be a departure from the swoopy streamlined design of the Tipo 33. The new car would need to be fashioned after the new wedge shape design of the future. There were two catches. The new car needed to use the same chassis and be ready in a year. So, in essence, this would be a dramatic, quick, and total re-bodying effort.
The Alfa Romeo Carabo Concept
In 1967 the Tipo 33 was revealed with round, smooth, bulging, muscular, and flowing lines. A short year later, the Carabo Concept debuted. It was a departure from any of the flowing lines of the previous model. Instead, the car had hidden headlights and was full of knife-edge creases to encapsulate a wedge design ethos.
Both Alfa Romeos are iconic and only a year apart
Both mid-engine cars are so incredibly different, a paradox to each other. Yet, they are both at the same time beautiful in design. The body lines can stand on their own with no apologies to each other. The Tipo 33 has been compared to the most beautiful cars in the world. By contrast, the Carabo has gone on to inspire the Lamborghini Countach, another Italian wedge-shaped iconic car. In fact, the designs of both of the Alfas have inspired young children for decades. It is hard to believe that one would evolve into the other in one quick year.