Alfa Romeo 164 ProCar: the Formula 1 street clothes that did not take off

During the 80s, the Series ProCar had some fame. They were racing exhibition: their careers were held before the GP of Formula 1 and their pilots were competing with cars like BMW M1 ProCar. In the mid-eighties, Bernie Ecclestone suggested its replacement by a new series called Formula S machines with bodies of street racing and F1 engines. Alfa Romeo had developed a new F1 engine and decided to file a “feasibility study” in the form of Alfa Romeo 164 ProCar . Is the best Alfa Romeo in history?

engine V10 3.5L would become a standard for the Formula 1 in the late 80s

The year was 1985 and Alfa Romeo had built new engine V1035 , a bright ten-cylinder propeller V and 3.5 liters. Its designer Pino D’Agostino had managed to balance their internal forces, creating what would be a standard for Formula 1 in the years to follow. The engine would be mounted in a Ligier Formula 1, but Fiat broke its agreement with the team by economic disputes. With nothing to do with their propellers, Alfa Romeo decided to present their interpretation of a Formula S, the future of ProCar.

then contacted Alfa Romeo Brabham, whose economic ties with the Fiat Group were so strong. The British expert on chassis got down to work to develop a new car chassis ProCar, similar to a car outside street, a real Formula 1 inside. Brabham had much experience in chassis development, and built a carbon fiber monocoque with tubular aluminum subframe for the Alfa Romeo 164 ProCar. On the chassis V10 settled in rear center position.

ProCar The Alfa Romeo 164 was almost identical to a road car outside.

The car was covered by a glass fiber body, with the same measurements street car . If not for the huge slicks – which made him look from behind a hot rod – would have been difficult to distinguish this ProCar 164 of 164 street. Alfa Romeo engines built fifteen V1035 Brabham and built two full chassis. The premiere of the car took place during the Grand Prix of Italy – where but -. In 1988. Ricardo Patrese took care to give two quick laps at Monza

The performance of the car was awesome. His V10 worked perfectly, and roared like a demon on the long straight at Monza before the eyes of thousands of spectators and television, which however failed to excite. It was a spectacularly fast machine: it was said that their slicks were a little old, but still achieved tip of 329 km / h thanks to a streamlined much higher than that of the cars and weighing – in which sources disagree – close to 750 kilos


The propellant developed the tremendous power 620 hp at 13,300 rpm figure that the engine roared desperate, in a wrapper that surprised all and sundry. The problem was that other manufacturers have not shown interest in the new ProCar. The global financial situation began to deteriorate, and many did not want to invest in a category in which Bernie also renewed its interest. However, Alfa Romeo used the experience for their future participation in the WTCC and DTM German.

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Source: Top Gear | VeloceToday
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