Alfa Romeo Tipo A
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||2 × 1752 cc I6 DOHC |
230 bhp at 5200 rpm,Memini DOA carburetor and supercharger
|Wheelbase||110 in (2,794 mm)|
|Curb weight||930 kg (2050 lb)|
Alfa Romeo Tipo A Monoposto was the first monoposto (single-seater) racing car, designed by Alfa Romeo. The car had two 6C 1750 straight-6 engines and gearboxes assembled side by side. Producing 230 bhp (172 kW), the car had top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h).
Alfa Romeo were intrigued by display of speed and power though coupled to the usual Bologna unreliability with Sedici Cilindri V 4, and for 1931 Vittori Jano drew up a fearsome Formule Libre Prix car of his own, which became known as the Tipo A. Janotook two of the company's existing and successful 1750cc supercharged six- cylinder engines and mounted them side-by-side in a style similar to the Maserati NT4. The engines were 'handed' so that their exhausts exited respectively on the left and right side of the car, and their crankshafts revolved in opposite directions to counter one another's torque reaction.
On the rear of each power unit was a gearbox, with both individual clutches coupled to the same pedal, and there were also two gearlevers, interlinked so that the driver could change with either hand.Two parallel propeller shafts ran to individual bevel-gear final drives for each rear wheel.
The car was completed with the first genuine 'monoposto' (centrally-disposed single-seat) bodyshell seen in a European Grand Prix racing car. The engine dimensions were 65 mm x 88 mm, giving a total twelve-cylinder capacity of 3504 cc and power output of about 220 bhp at 5000 rpm, although at least 300 bhp was claimed at the time.
Grand Prix regulations then asked little more than that race endurance should be not less than a staggering ten hours and on May 24 the new Tipo A made its debut in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Unfortunately, Luigi Arcangeli was killed in the car during practice, but the car was repaired and driven by Nuvolari and Borzacchini in the race—where it proved a pig to handle and flopped.Later that year Giuseppe Campari won the important Coppa Acerbo race at Pescara in the car, now better developed and more manageable, and for the Monza Grand Prix two Tipo As were entered for Campari and Nuvolari. Both failed, one with gearbox and the other with tyre troubles and the double-six Alfa was never to be raced again. Even so, they had showed Jano the way ahead.
The car's best racing achievement was in the Coppa Acerbo of 1931; Tazio Nuvolari was third with Giuseppe Campari winning. Luigi Arcangeli was killed at Monza in 1931 while practising with this car for the Italian GP. The car's complex design ultimately led to it being very unreliable; Jano started to design a new car, the Tipo B (P3), to fix this problem.The Tipo A was made only four examples and only one replica exist today in Alfa Romeo Historical Museum in Arese.
The Alfa Romeo Tipo A Monoposto side view