When the Giulietta SZ was first announced, it was described by Sports Car World as "Zagato's Little Jewel" and, over 30 years later, there is n reason to dispute that assessment. With 100 bhp, a five-speed gearbox, a top speed of 120 mph and 0-50 mph in 81 seconds, there was no other car in its class which could match it for performance, style and all-round capability. Road & Track said that it went faster than it felt, a characteristic which it attributed to its "free-revving engine, the unmistakably sure-footed chassis, and a really low level of wind noise." Its heavier Bertone-bodied sister, the SS ,won points for curbside glamour, but the light and nimble Zagato-bodies car was the choice of the competition driver and the Giulietta SZ was the spearhead of Alfa Romeo's successful race and rally program in the early 1960s. Only 200 examples of this superb little car were built, and it remains one of the milestones in the history of the GT car. It may have been initially designed to win in competition, but it was also one of the best cars of its day for road use. From the huge 20.5-gallon fuel tank, its proven chassis and engine, and its unsurpassed pedigree to its "drop-dead" good looks, the SZ fulfilled every motorist's fantasies. Here was a car which epitomized everything which was good about Alfa Romeo in the 1960s when the company could still look over its shoulder at the great days of the Alfetta and other outstanding cars, when it was still small enough to create a car such as the SZ without appearing to be trying to be trying to create an image, and before it lost its way when it attempted to become a major maker of mass-produced cars. The SZ is on the cusp: it has the old values in trumps (as a look into the cockpit reveals) and yet is a thoroughly modern car. The example pictured here was offered at the Coys 1 December, 1994 auction, held at the Royal Horticultural Hall in London. It spent all of its previous life in Italy as a road car. Completed on 4 May, 1961, with coachwork in Rosso Alfa, it is still in very good original condition. {analysis} S/N 00135 sold at $60,192, including premium. While regarded by some as the ultimate Giulietta, SZs will never have the same value or appeal as the purpose-built TZ. Also, potential SZ purchasers should be wary of authenticity - there is widespread fabrication of SZs in Italy, with complete new bodies readily available. The price paid was exactly market correct. - ED. {/analysis}

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