1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca
Coachwork by Zagato
Among the Most Collectible and Sought-After Postwar Alfa Romeos
Late-Production Coda Tronca; One of Approximately 30 Built
Well-Documented Provenance Dating Back to Its Original Roman Owner
Retains Correct Tipo 00120 Engine and Three-Shoe Front Brakes
Faithfully Restored in Its Original Livery by Italian Specialist Classic Motors
1,290 CC DOHC Alloy Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin Weber 40 DCOE2 Carburetors
100 BHP at 6,500 RPM
5-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Finned Aluminum Drum Brakes
Front Independent-Wishbone Suspension with Coil-Over Shock Absorbers
Rear Live Axle with Radius Arms and Coil-Over Shock Absorbers
Fedele Cova, Rome, Italy (acquired new in 1962)
Viviana Fabrizi, Rome, Italy (acquired from the above in 1964)
Bruno Sebastiani, Perugia, Italy (acquired from the above in 1965)
Gino Bestiaccia, Perugia, Italy (acquired from the above in 1969)
Carlo Frosini, Italy (acquired from the above in 1976)
John Winter, Toronto, Canada (acquired from the above in 1977)
Jim Weber, Belmar, New Jersey (acquired from the above circa 1986)
Nakamura Takahashi, Japan (acquired via Steve Foristall circa 1989)
Franco Giuffrida, Italy (acquired in 1997)
Private Collector, US (acquired in 2003)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
In 1956, when a wrecked Sprint Veloce was taken to Elio Zagato for new coachwork, a remarkable transformation took place. By fitting a lighter, more aerodynamic body to the already potent Giulietta Veloce, Zagato created an Alfa Romeo that could rival cars of far greater displacement. Other Sprint Veloce owners soon followed suit and, after witnessing the performance attained by these re-bodied Giulietta SVZs, Alfa Romeo contracted Carrozzeria Zagato to build a limited run of factory-sanctioned racing cars.
A true dual-purpose competition car, the Sprint Zagato – or SZ – was built on the short-wheelbase Giulietta Spider chassis and equipped with finned aluminum drum brakes, a five-speed gearbox, long-range fuel tank, and high-performance tipo 00120 engine. In typical Zagato fashion, the SZ’s coachwork was minimal to the extreme, with lightweight aluminum panels, Plexiglas windows, and virtually no ornamentation. The cockpit was businesslike, with tube-frame bucket seats, vinyl upholstery, and Veglia gauges.
Designated by type no. 101.26, the SZ was first delivered to customers beginning in late 1960 and immediately dominated the 1300 GT class in endurance events, circuit races, and hill climbs. Wins were innumerable; the car soon developed a reputation as a giant killer.
In total, just 200 Giulietta SZs were built, including approximately 30 examples of the updated Coda Tronca. Featuring aerodynamically effective long-nose, Kamm-tail coachwork, these late-production SZs were specially developed for high-speed circuits like Monza and Le Mans. The final evolution of the racing Giulietta and direct predecessor to the Giulia TZ, the SZ was the premier small-displacement sports car of the early 1960s and now ranks among the top tier of collectible Alfa Romeos.
According to factory records, this SZ Coda Tronca, chassis AR10126.00195, was completed on February 14, 1962, and finished in Azure, an attractive sky blue. According to Italian registration records included in the history file, this SZ was first sold to Fedele Cova of Rome and registered as “Roma 517904.” Another Roman, Viviana Fabrizi, acquired the Alfa Romeo in 1964 and owned it for about a year before selling it to Bruno Sebastiani of Perugia, Italy.
In 1969, the SZ was sold to Gino Bestiaccia, a fellow Perugia resident. Under his ownership, the Alfa Romeo was repainted red, its interior re-trimmed in black, and a roll bar fitted. The Giulietta remained in Sig. Bestiaccia’s ownership until 1976, when it was sold to Carlo Frosini, an Italian who relocated to California in 1977 and established a dealership in Los Angeles called Eccentric Car Imports Inc.
Later that year, Mr. Frosini sold the SZ to John Winter, who collected the car in California and drove it back home to Toronto, stopping along the way at the Alfa Romeo Owners Club reunion in Aspen, Colorado. Soon after acquiring the Alfa Romeo, Mr. Winter performed a complete mechanical rebuild and then campaigned it with success in vintage races. During his ownership, Mr. Winter wrote an article about his SZ for Alfista magazine, and the car was also pictured in the book Alfa Romeo Veloce: The Racing Giuliettas, 1956–1963, by Donald Hughes and Vito Witting Da Prato.
In 1986 or 1987, Jim Weber of New Jersey purchased the SZ, then restored and sold it to Japanese collector Nakamura Takahashi via Steve Foristall. The Alfa Romeo remained in Japan until the late 1990s, when it was sold to Franco Giuffrida and returned to Italy. Soon after acquiring the SZ, he commissioned Classic Motors of Como, Italy, to perform a complete restoration, which included a mechanical overhaul and bare metal repaint in the original Azure. This high-quality restoration was completed in the early 2000s, and the SZ was then registered with the Automotoclub Storico Italiano.
Since restoration, this Coda Tronca has returned to the US, where it has resided in private collections and has not been publicly exhibited. Today, the Alfa Romeo remains in lovely condition in all respects, and is an unusually authentic example, retaining important SZ-specific components such as the correct tipo 00120 engine and three-shoe front brakes.
This rare Coda Tronca, with its well-documented Italian provenance, attractive original livery, and superb restoration, is surely one of the finest examples to be found. Eligible for numerous events, thrilling to drive, and aesthetically satisfying, this Alfa Romeo SZ offers the quintessential Italian GT experience in a lightweight Zagato-bodied package.