When Carlo Leto di Priolo wrecked his Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce on the 1956 Mille Miglia, he had the car rebodied by his friend Elio Zagato, with lightweight and aerodynamic aluminium coachwork. The rebuilt car was further campaigned in races with such success that 18 further examples of the "SVZ" were constructed by fellow competitors in order to try to keep up with the nimble little Zagato coupe. Alfa Romeo refused to cooperate, either with Zagato or with competitors who wished to campaign these rebodied cars, to the detriment of any drivers of conventional Sprint Veloces. Eventually Alfa succumbed and collaborated with Zagato to build a production car which would embody the best features of the SVZ, and the Sprint Zagato, or SZ, was the result. "Zagato's Little Jewel," as the car was introduced by the magazine Sports Car World, "is as lively and exciting today as it was when new, over thirty years ago." The car's performance figures speak for themselves; 0-50 mph in 8.1 seconds and 120 mph top speed from a 1300cc engine which, mated to a five-speed gearbox, produced 100 horsepower in standard road tune. No other car in its class could match it for performance, style and all-around capability. The light and nimble Sprint Zagato became the choice of the competition driver and was the car which spearheaded Alfa Romeo's successful race return and rally program in the early 1960s. Only 210 examples of this superb little car were built and though designed primarily for competition use, it made a practical and fast road car too, providing today a perfect choice for anyone wishing to participate in historic road rallies. Having been completed on the 4th May 1961, this production SZ spent all its life in Italy as a road car until being sold through Coys in 1994 to an enthusiastic Portuguese owner. During his ownership, the car has been totally restored at a cost of $49,000 and sympathetically prepared for use in some of the retrospective events which are currently in vogue. To this end, the engine currently fitted is a tuned 1600cc unit, the cockpit has had a roll bar installed, along with competition bucket seats and Halda timing equipment. The owner has ensured that all these modifications are reversible to the extent that the original engine, fully rebuilt with zero hours on it, is supplied with the car. Finished in the correct Rosso Alfa with black interior, this is a truly exhilarating little car, capable of providing enormous fun while at the same time being amongst the most competitive in its class in any of the historic events for which it is eligible. {analysis} This car was sold for $72,092 including buyer's commission, at Coys' Chiswick House auction May 11, 1998, in London.{/analysis}

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