Automotive News

Alfa Romeo SZ

Alfa Romeo SZ

New online auction platform, leBolide are selling the 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato #00001 with long time ownership and history including period Targa Florio racing.

The iconic Alfa Romeo Giulietta has been available as a coupe, saloon and spider. But its sporty characteristics peaked with the Sprint versions. When the Leto di Priolo brothers destroyed their Sprint Veloce (SV) in a violent road accident during the 1956 Mille Miglia, they turned to Elio Zagato to rebuild it. The Milanese craftsman decided to design a new car with a more streamlined shape. Aluminium panels were applied to its tubular steel subframe to reduce the weight to less than 800kg. Its 1290cc 4-cylinder aluminium engine with twin overhead camshafts and two Weber double-barrel carburettors delivered 100bhp at 6,500rpm, plenty of power for such a lightweight car.

The Giulietta Sprint Veloce Zagato (SVZ) is a true masterpiece of Italian motoring history and at the time immediately became a formidable challenger, winning numerous trophies in its category. So much so that several other drivers asked "Zagatino", as Enzo Ferrari liked to call him, to transform their SVs into an SVZ. The construction was entirely handmade and required about 300 hours of work. After 18 such cars had been built, Alfa Romeo entrusted Zagato with the production of a small series with the name Sprint Zagato in 1959.

This led to the Giulietta SZ “coda tonda” (round tail), which was even more elaborate and lighter than the SVZ. Serial number 00001 was built on 19 December 1959 and officially presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1960. It was the first of a series of about 200 cars and featured unique details such as the door handles, the SVZ seats and the glove box hatch that were all different on the final production versions.

00001 was used in competition by its first owner, Scuderia Sant'Ambroeus, of which Elio Zagato was one of the founders and whose driver Sergio Pedretti would demonstrate the little Alfa’s big talents, most notably at the 1960 Targa Florio. He also went on to win the 1300cc class in the 1960 Italian GT Championship. It was then sold to the Bolognese coachbuilder Giuseppe Brusiani before being bought in June 1982 by the current owner’s late father.

00001 will be offered for sale on leBolide, an online auction platform recently launched by car enthusiast Christian Philippsen, who is regarded as one of the most influential people in the collector car world. A link will be provided leading to BringaTrailor where the actual auction process will take place. As well as the Alfa Romeo, leBolide is also offering a diverse selection of fine automobiles, including a 1939 Delahaye 135M with coachwork by Figoni, the ex-James Coburn Ferrari 308 GTS, a Peugeot 905 Spider track car, a rare Citroën Méhari 4x4, and a half-scale Bugatti 35 toy car.

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