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1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ I Coda Tonda by Zagato

Eligible For Goodwood Revival, Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic, Monterey Historic Reunion and More. Known History. One of the All-Time Great Cars for Italian and Competition Car Enthusiasts.

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sold

VIN AR10126*00037
Exterior Color Red
Interior Color Black
Mileage 64008 Kms TMU
Engine 1300 c.c. 4-Cylinder no. AR00120*00157*
Transmission 5-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ1930

Comments

1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ I “Coda Tonda” by Zagato
s/n AR10126*0037, Engine no. AR00120*00157*
Red with Black Interior

The Sprint Zagato is the ultimate sporting development of Alfa Romeo’s legendary Giulietta. Featuring lightweight bodywork (the car weighs just 770kg/ 1700 lbs) by Zagato and specially tuned engines, the cars were very successful and surprisingly fast. Lighter than any other variant of the Giulietta, the SZ also had more power thanks to its high compression engine, tighter tolerances, more aggressive cams, and careful tuning. In the ultra-competitive racing in period, specialists continued to develop the power and performance of these very special Alfa Romeos. The cars were quite expensive owing to the 300 hours necessary to build the bodies by Zagato, this after receiving the chassis from Alfa Romeo. A few more than 160 Coda Tonda (round tail) examples were built, and they became the choice ride in the small bore production class, dominating the Targa Florio with first, second, and third in class in 1964, and second, third, fourth, and sixth in class in 1965. The SZ was raced all over the world with great success, due to its handling and brilliant performance.

Today, Sprint Zagatos are welcome entries to virtually all of the premier historic rally and race events around the globe. These events include the Goodwood Revival, Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic, and Monterey Historic Reunion, among others. Increasingly, the Alfa Romeo SZ is regarded as one of the all-time great vintage cars for Italian and competition car enthusiasts.

One of the “Coda Tonda” first-series SZs, chassis number '037' was manufactured on 23rd August 1960 and delivered to its first owner, Greek shipping magnate and racer Harry Theodoracopulos of Athens, Greece, on 6th July 1961. Not long for the Greek Isles, it would quickly find its way to the United States where according to documentation on file, it is understood to have been raced at a Bridgehampton, New York meeting in 1961. From there '037' would head south to the 1962 Sebring 12 Hours where it was likely used as back-up machine to Mr. Theodoracopulos's Coda Tronca. The car returned to Bridgehampton for the Double 400 where it is believed to have run with Mr. Theodoracopulos and Freddie Barrette co-driving—returning a 9th place finish.

Raced throughout the 1960s at various SCCA events, Harry would later acquire an Alfa TZ and sell the SZ to a Mr. Tuttle who would race it at Road America in 1967. The car would eventually reach the collection of Jack Zalinger of South Holland, Illinois before '037' was acquired by Alfa enthusiast Richard Lesniewicz of Leawood, Kansas in May of 1986.

There was clear evidence of a life of enjoyment by the time Mr. Lesniewicz took delivery of the car. Retaining what is believed to be its original engine, the body had a number of repairs that had occurred during the decades it had raced on the track. A complete restoration was begun with the car torn down to bare metal, all Bondo repairs replaced with correct aluminum and the badly damaged nose refitted with a correct replacement. A thick binder of photos documents the work completed from start to finish.

Following the completion of the restoration and about a decade of personal enjoyment, the Alfa was acquired by a West Coast enthusiast in about 2002. The car was an active participant in the West Coast’s most prestigious historic racing events between 2002 and 2008, and following that, '037' was acquired by the present owner in 2013. It has been sparingly driven and carefully maintained since acquisition, kept as part of a collection of competition-bred Italian machines.

The car presents nicely with its original, ultra-rare 101-series block topped with a 750 series cylinder head—a combo considered by many to be hottest motor Alfa offered. Induction is fed by a pair of Weber DCOE carburetors mounted to the often missing cast aluminum cold air box—its original set up. The engine was rebuilt by Alfa specialist Scott Gray of Santa Ana, California in 2012. The example appears to retain its original ID plate, fixed to the inner engine cover fame which is correctly drilled for lightness. The Zagato body number of “445” has been located on various parts, confirming authenticity.

Presently in stradale-trim (but with a rear roll over hoop for safety) with its original fuel tank, 5-speed manual transmission, and correct Girling front disc and three shoe big finned rear drum brakes, the car is set up to be driven and enjoyed on the road, or with minimal preparation, the track.

Cosmetically the car is very correct, sorted, and shows well today. It is still trimmed in its original colors scheme of red over black interior, now accented by a white stripe on the nose. Still present are the correct Marchal headlamps and a Proiettori-Carello aluminum headlight surrounds. The rare rectangular side market lights are correctly mounted above the Zagato badges, and are in good order. The car sits on ultra-rare bi-metal wheels with stamped steel inners with polished aluminum outer rings.

The Spartan interior is also very correctly restored, retaining the original switchgear and instruments, as well as the original steering wheel and Zagato-specific lightweight seats.

The car is quite sprightly to drive, and thanks to its very low final drive ratio, demonstrates brisk acceleration considering its mere 1300cc displacement. The engine starts easily from cold and has a healthy exhaust note. The 5-speed transmission shifts smoothly, and rapidly, and is frequently used by the pilot to keep the car in its optimum rev range. This SZ, even more than others we have driven, has an extremely “quick” steering ratio, and the car is extremely reactive to even the most subtle directional inputs. The brakes are effective, and thanks to its lightweight, stop the car in a most satisfactory fashion. This particular example feels to have more leg and headroom, and will comfortably accommodate drivers in the 6’ 2” height range.

One of about 160 SZ Coda Tondas built, this well sorted example of Zagato's 'little jewel' is eligible for a variety of the most prestigious historic motor sports events including the Goodwood Revival, Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic, and Monterey Historic Reunion, and is a potential class winner in the right hands.

 


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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