Automotive Scarabeo

Published on December 6th, 2022 | by Sounder Rajen


Alfa Romeo Only Made 3 Units Of The Scarabeo

Take a look at the unique history of the ultra rare Alfa Romeo Scarabeo

Following the brand’s withdrawal from major racing competitions in 1953, Alfa Romeo came up with project Scarabeo in the mid-1960s. This project saw the Italian brand developing a racing prototype to return to the world of major racing and ended up producing one of the rarest cars in the world with only three units ever being made.


This car is none other than the historic Alfa Romeo Scarabeo. The prototype of the car sat on a H-shaped chassis and was engineered by Orazio Satta Puliga and Giuseppe Busso and featured a rear-engine layout with a Giulia GTA engine. The body of the car was built by O.S.I of Turin, a subsidiary of Ghia.

Moreover, the Alfa Romeo Scarabeo made its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 1966 and the car itself was so innovative that it later became the foundation for the legendary Tipo 33 racing car, which was also considered to have pioneering features itself and Project Scarabeo is to thank for all of it.

What’s more, the Alfa Romeo Scarabeo featured a transversely mounted engine which sat in the rear of the car, hence, it only had two seats. Along with the engine was the clutch and gearbox in left side of the back of the car and the drivers seat was on the right to ensure better overall balance.

Furthermore, the integration of the clutch and gearbox into the engine block was a feature that the Tipo 33 racing car also shared with the Alfa Romeo Scarabeo. Another shared feature between these two cars is the utilization of exotic materials such as magnesium.

On top of that, despite the mechanical elements of the Alfa Romeo Scarabeo concept being extremely innovative, only three units were ever built. The first was the model that debuted at the Paris Motor Show while the second one was built with a left-hand drive model and conserved at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo in Arese.

The third and final version of the Alfa Romeo Scarabeo was built but never technically completed and has probably the simplest body of all three models, even simpler than the simplified and more conventional second version which is located at the Museo Storico.

Regardless of how short a life the Alfa Romeo Scarabeo lived, it still managed to leave a profound mark in history and is still held in high regard today. I would have loved to see this car being mass produced and being driven around as a modern classic today but I think the car is perfect even with only three examples in existence.

What do you guys think? Should Alfa Romeo have produced a road legal version of the Scarabeo and mass produced it or not?

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