Alfa Romeo commissioned Turin firm O.S.I. to build a rear-engined sports car prototype with tubular chassis - the solution already adopted on the Alfa Romeo 33: the Scarabeo was presented in Paris in 1966.
In the early Sixties, engineers Orazio Satta Puliga and Giuseppe Busso - who headed the Alfa Romeo design team - were working on the development of a new racing car. The project included an H-shaped tubular chassis, which laid the foundations for the creation of the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33. The car was initially developed by Alfa Romeo and then finalised by Autodelta, led by Carlo Chiti, who opted to install a two litre V8 engine.
Very early in 1966, after the 33 project was transferred to Autodelta, Busso proposed the construction of another rear-engine sports car, but this time using the four-cylinder engine of the GTA: the Scarabeo. The engine was mounted transversally in the rear of the car, in unit with the clutch and gearbox, and in the left-hand side to enable the hot exhaust side to be directed towards the rear of the vehicle. This meant that the driving seat was placed on the right for better weight balancing.
The car debuted at the Paris Motor Show in October 1966. The body built by O.S.I. is sleek and streamlined, especially in the front, but the most curious feature is the absence of doors: the cockpit is accessed by tipping the roof, which incorporates the panoramic windscreen, forward. To conclude, in keeping with the aerodynamic dictates of the time, the rear shell encasing all the mechanics ends with a Kamm tail.