1965 Alfa Romeo TZ-1

Alain de Cadenet explained to me a few years back that he bought his first Ferrari GTO because he couldn’t afford the TZ-1 he really wanted

Alfa Romeo replaced the Giulietta in 1962 with the Giulia range of cars, powered by 1,570 cc engines. In 1963, the company introduced a radical aluminum-bodied Zagato coupe incorporating the Kamm tail coda tronca design from the earlier SZ-2 and a low grille with covered headlights.

This was mounted on a tubular steel chassis made from small diameter tubing that bore no resemblance whatsoever to the Giulia product. In fact, the engine, gearbox, and a few other minor components were virtually the only Giulia parts used for the new car, which quickly became known as the TZ-1, for Tubolare Zagato. The rear suspension was innovative and fully independent, with differential-mounted disc brakes and trailing half axles, and many other parts were manufactured exclusively for the car with light alloy Electron components to save weight.

While most of the components were made at the main factory in Portello, the build of the car was entrusted to head competition engineer Carlo Chiti of Autodelta, the quasi factory race team based at Udine.


Chassis 094 was delivered to SOFAR, the Alfa Romeo France central distributorship, on May 14, 1965, finished in white with a black interior. The Alfa Romeo TZ-1 Registry offers the only known history of the car and suggests that it remained in France until September 1989, when it was sold to Holland in non-running condition, fitted with a roll bar, sliding windows, and finished in Alfa red with a brown corduroy interior. In 1994, the owner had the car restored at the Daytona Garage in Leiden before consigning it for sale. There is no real evidence that the car sold and only a passing reference to some possible rally competition and possible owners in Holland, France, and Switzerland. The engine is recorded as being rebuilt in early 1998 before being sold in March at a Brooks auction in Geneva.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor - %%page%%

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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