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  • Known ownership and well-documented history from new, raced extensively in period
  • The subject of a meticulous, CHF 185,000+ restoration from 2015 to 2016
  • Ready for historic racing, rallying, tours and events
  • Complete with current FIVA ‘A3’ Identity Card (19 April 2018)
  • Swiss registered
Ordered new by Scuderia del Grifone driver Angelo Corio

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ

Coachwork by Zagato

“Presented for the first time in 1960, the round-tail SZ dominated its class for two years, winning all the most important races up to 1,300cc… It represented the best the market could offer for competing in [that] class” – marque and model expert Marcello Minerbi summarises the SZ in the standard on the subject, ‘Alfa Romeo – Zagato SZ and TZ’

The combination of fast Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce running gear and lightweight and advanced ‘high penetration’ coupé bodywork by Elio Zagato proved almost unbeatable in small-capacity, early 1960s racing. Approximately 200 exquisite SZs were lovingly built at great (LIT 2,600,000) expense from 1960 to 1963.

The Giulietta SZ

The Giulietta Sprint Zagato (SZ) came about – quite literally – by accident. After the 1956 Mille Miglia, Giulietta Sprint Veloce driver Dore Leto di Priolo went to Zagato to ask them to rebody his car, heavily damaged in the famous 1000-mile road race. The Milanese coachbuilder did, producing a lightweight racing car (the SVZ) that had a considerable edge over the already fast Sprint Veloce.

In 1959, when Alfa Romeo was prepared to offer independent coachbuilders the shorter, 2250mm-wheelbase chassis and five-speed running gear of the Giulietta Spider Veloce, Zagato took the opportunity to build a new racing car, the Giulietta Sprint Zagato, or simply ‘SZ’.

The new SZ was egg-shaped and based on the ‘high penetration’ theory of aerodynamics. Its hand-beaten aluminium panels were fixed to a tubular steel framework attached to the standard Alfa’s chassis. A traditional Alfa Romeo heart-shaped grille was flanked by two other air intakes. Wheels were solid steel, or steel/alloy, by Borrani with hubcaps. Inside the black cockpit the lightweight Zagato racing seats and plastic-rimmed aluminium steering wheel dominated. With its highly tuned 1,290cc, single-spark, DOHC engine, a good SV could easily top 200kmh (124.28mph).

The SZs were very effective both on the race tracks and in rallying, and were available to order from regular Alfa Romeo agents. Well-known proponents of the Giulietta SZ included Carlo Abate, Carlo Facetti, Jean Rolland and Elio Zagato himself.

Production ceased in 1963 after some 200 cars were sold, the model replaced by the tubular-chassis TZ.

This Motor Car

Italian rally driver Angelo Corio took delivery of this car – chassis ‘00031’, the 31st SZ built – on 18 August 1960. The Torinese resident, a member of the Scuderia del Grifone (a famous Ligurian sporting club founded in 1958), who maintained his interest in competition for another two decades, registered the new SZ ‘TO 342120’. The pairing’s first event was the 26 February 1961 Rally dei Fiori – the forerunner of the modern Rallye Sanremo.

Over the next three years, Corio and his Giulietta SZ competed in 24 events and in 1963 finished third in class in the Italian Rally Championship. A letter from Ignazio Quattrocchi on Scuderia de Grifone letterheading dated 2 November 1962 congratulates Corio on his class victory at the October 1962 XXII Coppa Riviera di Ponente, the final round of the Italian rally championship. On this event Corio finished second overall, and his exploits were written up under the headline ‘CORIO VINCE’ (Corio wins) in a local magazine together with a picture of the car.

Corio transferred ownership of the car to Antonio Bottassi on 29 January 1964, who then quickly sold ‘00031’ to Carlo Aureli of Savona (a Ligurian seaside town) on 27 April 1964. Corio went on to rally more Italian greats such as a Lancia Fulvia HF and Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA. By then the SZ’s period competition career was over.

Aureli registered the car ‘SV 54128’ and kept it until 20 March 1970 when he sold it to fellow Savonard, Walter Carlini. Later that year (10 August 1970) it was bought by Egidio Cervo, also of Savona. Its later provenance can be summarised:

·       25 August 1971. Stefano Berrino (Savona). On his death passed to his widow, Pierina Bellardo. ‘SV 54128’

·        24 July 1979. Tito Caffarana (Torino, Italy). ‘SV 54128’

·         9 October 1979. T. Franssen (Helden, Holland). ‘SV 54128’

·         2 October 2011. Carlo Confidati (Viterbo, Italy). ‘SV 54128’

Our Swiss client bought the car on 2 October 2015, later registering it in Zurich. During Franssen’s and Confidati’s ownership the car had been placed in long-term storage. Complete but requiring recommissioning, the current owner entrusted the body and chassis to See Garage Portmann on Lake Zurich in Switzerland, who carried out all necessary repairs before respraying it using colour samples from Zagato’s former supplier Lechler. Model specialist Facetti rebuilt the correct-type engine and gearbox in Italy, while the balance of the work was completed by our client’s regular mechanic, Zurich-based Alfa Romeo expert Peter Zahnd. The cost of the work exceeded CHF 185,000 and copies of invoices accompany the car.

In 2016 the now immaculate Giulietta SZ joined the owner’s other Alfa Romeo Zagato (a pre-War 6C 1750 GS), ready for action. From 2016 to 2018 ‘00031’ was exercised rigorously at time trials such as the Vernasca Silver Flag and the Arosa Bergrennen. Its FIVA Identity Card was granted on 19 April 2018.

We have rarely come across a racing Alfa Romeo of this period with such clear and unsullied provenance. Eligible for all the right events including Goodwood and the Tour Auto, a delight to drive with its free-spinning powerful jewel of a motor and visually stunning – post-War Zagato at the top of its game – we cannot recommend this delightful Giulietta SZ highly enough.

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