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“I guess I was always born to go fast” – inside the Alfa Romeo 33 supercar programme

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Photography: Alfa Romeo

“I guess I was always born to go fast,” chuckles Texan Glynn Bloomquist, one of the 33 lucky souls to order a new Alfa Romeo 33 supercar. “I was born in an Air Force base hospital; maybe that’s where it comes from.”

Magneto is meeting Glynn, pictured below, at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Milan, to discuss the bespoke Alfa Romeo 33 that he has crafted with the marque’s in-house team. Glynn is no stranger to Italian cars – he owns several Ferraris and a Maserati Ghibli Spyder. However, his automotive passions were much different to begin, inspired by his father.

“My father was an American racing fanatic – he loved stock cars, Richard Petty and AJ Foyt, but not just the big time,” Glynn says. “He would go to the local dirt tracks in Austin and the surrounding areas, too.”

That instilled a love of racing and performance cars, as evidenced by Glynn’s first car – a 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge. “It was the epitome of the American muscle car – 400ci V8,” he laughs. “In a straight line, wonderful – but don’t try to corner.”

Glynn admits that at the time he had little or no knowledge of European cars’. That would come later. However, following a sequence of muscle cars, he found himself working in motor sport when his management job took him to Indianapolis. Once there, he took up a second job heading up the marketing efforts for his company’s IndyCar.

“I spent ten years doing that, travelling the world sponsoring IndyCar; Jimmy Vasser was my first driver, but he became too good for us, we couldn’t afford him!” Glynn remembers. “He left our little team, and eventually won the IndyCar Championship for Chip Ganassi – but I’m still very proud of Jimmy and being able to stand with him as a rookie on the podium at Indianapolis. He set the record for the fast rookie in the history of the Indy 500, at more than 222mph in 1992.”

These experiences elevated Glynn’s passion for cars, but his taste evolved over time. “The tipping point was when I read Luca Dal Monte’s definitive book on Enzo Ferrari – I read it cover to cover, several times,” Glynn says. “Through that I learned about this company called Alfa Romeo, which Enzo drove for.”

From there, Glynn’s interest in European and Italian motor sport legends grew, and he’s developed a taste for memorabilia. “In my garage I have a poster for the Cuban Grand Prix signed by Fangio – the one where he got kidnapped by Fidel Castro, I collect things like that,” he explains. “Five years ago I was walking through Modena, and in a stamp shop they had a motor sport painting; it took me two days, but I bought that painting, of the last race Fangio ran for Ferrari at the Nürburgring. That kind of stuff intrigues me.”

Glynn owns an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 100th Anniversary edition, after a serendipitous meeting with the 33 project team at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas – a place he has a strong connection to.

“There are four of us who became the first customers to pick our seats when the Circuit of the Americas was just dirt; they had just had it graded, so we could see the banking and the turns,” he remembers. “Many of my buddies wanted to get high up in the main grandstand, or in the suites, but not me – I wanted to be in the stands, I wanted to be able to have the smells, sights and sounds. We picked turn 15: a beautiful place on the track, with a lot of passing.”

In 2022, Glynn was invited to do some hot laps at the Circuit of the Americas Formula 1 weekend by his local Alfa Romeo dealer. “I drove a Giulia Quadrifoglio, and I thought ‘wow, I need to have one of these’,” he grins. “So I went to the hospitality area and was talking to the local Austin marketing director, and asked why Alfa Romeo didn’t have a supercar with such a rich history. She kind of turned white and introduced me to Cristiano Fiorio [Alfa Romeo’s head of strategic projects, such as the 33 Stradale] (pictured below).”

Glynn didn’t take long to think about signing up to be part of the 33 lucky owners, or to pick its colour. “Of course, it had to be red – I spent five seconds on that,” he laughs. “However, a lot of thought went into the type of red. The matt-type finish would have been more historical, but this is a modern car, so I went for a multi-layer paint. I’ve had other cars with multi-layer paint, and they’re just stunning.”

The particular finish is Rosso Villa d’Este, but this was only the start of the exterior configuration. “The number was important, 14 – it’s a tribute to the racing heritage of Alfa Romeo, with Enzo Ferrari driving an Alfa Romeo with 14 on it,” Glynn explains. “My favourite American driver is AJ Foyt – he won the Indy 500 four times – and my favourite car of his, a Foyt Coyote, wore number 14. It was a pretty revolutionary car that Lotus picked up on. You can see how scary it would be riding 220mph down Indy’s back straightaway in a car like that.

“Not only was he an American driver, but he and Dan Gurney won the Le Mans 24 Hours, he won the Daytona 500 in a stock car and many, many dirt track and sprint car races. So for me, it was a no-brainer – it had to be 14.”

The car’s colour scheme is a nod to one of the most storied cars in Alfa Romeo’s competition history. “The genesis of that is the Tipo 33 racing car,” Glynn explains. “Most cars have vertical stripes, and very few have horizontal stripes – I love that design element.”

Getting the nose stripe perfected took several attempts. “The team and I worked really hard to get it to be what we felt would really suit this car, and be a modern interpretation of the Tipo 33,” Glynn says. Other elements included careful placements of the Cloverleaf and Autodelta logos, which can be placed at each 33 owner’s requested location.

Further changes were body-painted air intakes, and one of several different wheel choices made available. “To me this wheel goes with the design and philosophy of the car; I liked all the wheels, but this was an easy decision,” Glynn smiles. “As soon as we saw this wheel, it was ‘that’s the one’ – even when still, it looks like it’s going fast.”

Glynn’s interior choices hark back to the very original 33 Stradale. “The seats are so forward-thinking for the 1960s, to have that design,” he says. “My choices are a tribute to that car. I wanted to use Alcantara, but as a homage to the original design.”

Glynn was sent a selection of leather samples from which to make a choice: “I wanted a kind of rustic-looking leather; modern materials but with that patinated feel, yet which would be comfortable, too. Those are the compromises you go through with the programme – you end up getting something really special.”

Glynn can’t wait to get behind the wheel. “We have a lot of great drives in and around central Texas, where I live – great roads and racetracks,” he chuckles. “I track all my cars – this is not gonna be a garage queen.”

For more information on Alfa Romeo, head here.

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