- Written by webmin
While we were out at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Monterey Motorsports Reunion in August, we ran across this intriguing Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato in the paddock. What’s so unusual about it? It has never been restored. This is from the placard the accompanied the car:
Zagato bodies were always known for light weight. Unfortunately, the price for that was a lack of robustness, so an unrestored Zagato-bodied car is almost unheard of.
This car, the history of which is recorded in detail from its first day, was originally a Spider Veloce, sold new to a German buyer, who raced it in the 1,000 km of Nurburgring. As often happened then, he had it rebodied by Zagato. He hadn’t crashed the car – the situation that led to many rebodies. He simply sought weight reduction.
Zagato did this car in ’59-’60, before series production of the Sprint Zagato. This car still carries its Spider chassis number.
By 1965, it had come to the U.S., and was acquired by a San Franciscan, Fred Amigo. Fred owned it for about 35 years.
It has been in its present ownership since 2004.
The SZ’s current owner, Camilo Steuer of San Rafael, California, doesn’t swathe the car in bubble wrap, either. We saw it racing in Class 4B on Sunday afternoon at Laguna Seca.
The Sprint Zagato featured Alfa’s 1,290cc, four-cylinder, dual overhead cam, all-alloy four, which made 116 horsepower in race tune. With its good aerodynamics, the coupe was able to reach a top speed of 120 MPH.
The SZ Register tells the story of how Zagato was employed to build a lightweight, aerodynamic body for a Sprint Veloce that had crashed in a the Mille Miglia; this car won its class at the Coppa Intereuropa GT race, beating factory-prepared SVs. Other competitors took note of the car’s success, the result being private orders for another 18 Zagato-bodied SVs. It was prohibitively expensive for Zagato to buy and convert finished Sprint Veloces, and so in 1959 Alfa allowed the coachbuilder to buy unfinished Spider Veloce chassis from Pinin Farina.