19-20 January 2017

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Lot 150

1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ II 'Coda Tronca' by Zagato

  • Chassis no. AR10126 00207
  • Engine no. AR00120 01011
  • Body no. 634

Sold for $379,500

100 hp, 1,290 cc DOHC inline four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with transverse quadrilaterals, coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar, rear suspension with rigid axle, upper wishbone, longitudinal push rods, coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 88.5 in.

  • One of 44 “Coda Tronca” examples built
  • Eligible for historic racing and track events the world over
  • An older restoration that presents well
  • Includes spare 1.3-litre engine, believed to be original

The Sprint Zagato is the ultimate sporting development of Alfa Romeo’s legendary Giulietta. Two series of Sprint Zagato were produced between 1957 and 1962. In the hands of private racers, the SZ won a series of impressive races, oftentimes outperforming cars of greater engine capacity. The Lotus Elite and the Abarth Simca 1300 proved to be formidable competitors, so in order to remain competitive, Alfa offered the second series SZ. In collaboration with the Servizio Esperienze Speciale (test department), Carrozzeria Zagato, and the results of aerodynamic studies by Kamm, the SZ II was born. Even with an engine of just 1.3 liters, the cars were very successful and surprisingly fast, capable of easily topping 120 mph. The lightweight bodywork by Zagato, in combination with specially tuned engines which featured more power thanks to high compression, tighter tolerances, more aggressive cams, and careful tuning, made the car a winner right out of the box.

Initially, Zagato had to use an uneconomical method of private elaboration—requiring the coachbuilder to acquire the cars at full price, then dismantle and rebuild them (that situation changed in 1959). Once the chassis was sent to Zagato, more than 300 hours was required to build the body, resulting in an expensive automobile, keeping production at a minimum. Little more than 200 examples were built, the last of which were 44 “coda tronca” versions such as this example. Most were modified in some manner, as few were actually used as touring cars.

To fully exploit the car’s potential, Ercole Spada, a newly employed designer, fashioned more aerodynamic bodywork. Bodies with lower roofs and long tails ending in a Kamm treatment (very much in the style of the Giulia 1600 TZ which immediately followed in production) helped the car gain top speed. Other technological advancements included Girling front disc brakes and three-shoe big finned rear drums, along with a standard five-speed transmission. A higher final drive ratio was sometimes included in order to enhance speeds made capable by the streamlined body shape. Along with Giulia-type instruments, the SZ IIs featured steel inner wheels with aluminum outer rings. The SZ’s inherent stability and instantaneous response to steering input made it a driver’s car par excellence and the preferred choice of many private racers. When new, the car proved virtually unbeatable, and its desirability continues today in historic motorsports as it remains eligible for a wide variety of prestigious events.

According to the consignor, chassis number 207 was completed on 11 August 1962 and sold on 22 November that same year in Vercelli, Italy. While little is known of its subsequent history until September 1993, it is understood by experts to have been in the United States for some time under the ownership of renowned enthusiast Peter Sachs. It was later imported to Japan by a Swiss owner. Mr. H. Suzuki sold it to the consignor, a U.S. enthusiast of Italian cars with a collection of competition-oriented vehicles, in 2014.

While in the consignor’s possession, Zagato body number stampings of “634” have been located, fitting properly within the sequence of Zagato factory numbers and confirming its authenticity. Chassis number 207 is currently fitted with a non-original Alfa Romeo 1750 engine (re-stamped to read: “AR00120 01011”). Accompanying the car is a 1300 Type 750 Veloce engine, number AR00120 00634 (long block, unrestored), believed to be original to the car. Also, paperwork including Japanese export and shipping documents, United States import documents, email correspondence concerning its purchase, and the 2014 purchase receipt, are included with the sale.

An older restoration, the car is described as an excellent driver. The body has straight panels and both the brightwork and paintwork remain highly presentable. The window glass, lenses, and emblems are all intact and in good order, and the windshield appears to have been replaced during the car’s tenure in Japan. A smart set of headlight covers are installed and the car retains its rare bi-metal wheels. The interior also displays nice cosmetics, including a rare Nardi wood rimmed steering wheel, correct under dash mounted windscreen washer bag, original switchgear, and proper Zagato seats.

A rare and a very attractive Alfa Romeo, this SZ II is eligible for a host of prestigious international rally and historic driving events.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more