1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Zagato
RM | Private Sales - The Driver's Collection
- One of just 200 produced
- Desirable early production ‘Coda Tonda’ or ‘round tail’
- Previously owned by Alfa Romeo distributor and racer Karl Foitek
- Engine rebuild completed in 2018
- Period competition provenance, as well as extensive use in vintage racing
- An excellent candidate for further racing and touring
- Offered with spare engine block and seat, historical documentation, and service records from 2015-2020
Of all the notable postwar Alfa Romeos, and all the stunning hand-crafted designs executed by the celebrated Milanese carrozzeria Zagato, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ is perhaps the only one to have come about, quite literally, by accident. As the story goes, brothers Carlo and Dore Leto di Priolo rolled their new Giulietta SV during the 1956 running of the Mille Miglia; the bodywork was ruined, but rather that repair the car, or simply write it off, the wreck was entrusted to Zagato for complete reinvention.
The resulting “SVZ” blended Alfa’s competition-proven mechanicals with Zagato’s attractive lightweight bodywork. It was so popular and eagerly sought that the carrozzeria built a limited number for interested clients. This short run was in turn followed by a 200-car production competition version, dubbed the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, which was unveiled to the public at the 1960 Geneva motor show.
Instantly recognizable as a Zagato work, the production SZ consisted of a Franco Scaglione-designed, rounded body was attached to the shorter wheelbase of the Giulietta Spider. Further reducing the weight, a space frame chassis was used, and Zagato fitted each SZ with Perspex windows and a stripped-down interior. Though a second series would see remodeled bodywork, adding a longer nose and a “Kamm-tail” rear end known as “Coda Tronca,” the SZ offered here is one of the original series—dubbed “Coda Tonda” for their rounded tail.
Believed to be one of the first ones off the production line, this SZ landed in the hands of Karl Foitek, a noted Alfa Romeo distributer and racer. The car was sold to Foitek directly from Alfa Romeo for a heavily discounted sum in consideration of winning the Swiss championship in a 1959 Sprint Veloce. The car was even personally delivered to him in Zürich by the technical director of Alfa Romeo Svizzera.
Foitek would campaign the SZ in international races during the 1960 season, including earning championship points at the Nürburgring, Clermont-Ferrat, Gaisberg, and other races. After retiring from competitive racing, Foitek continued to enjoy his SZ in historic races across Europe throughout the 1980s, including at Hockenheim, Nürburgring, Salzburgring, Montlhéry, and the Targa Florio. The car was eventually retired from racing altogether and remained in Mr. Foitek's private collection until it was acquired by the present owner. Purchased by the consignor in 2015 from Foitek, the SZ presents today as a naturally beautiful classic, with an older repaint. Invoices for service performed from 2015 to 2020 attest to his care and attention to detail, though it also saw healthy use under his care, including participation in the inaugural 2018 Sports Car Market 1000 tour.
Of all the work performed since 2015, the highlight must surely be the engine overhaul completed in the Spring of 2018 by specialist Dan Allen. Beginning with a clean and well-preserved engine block, displacement was increased to 1,540-cc; oversized 81-milimeter pistons, specially made by J&E, fill the cylinders. All engine components were carefully machined to precise specifications, and the moving components were dynamically balanced to ensure performance as exciting as the car’s sporting Zagato bodywork.
This feisty, rare 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Zagato would be an ideal candidate for vintage racing and touring events around the world, where eligible. Further, the car includes a spare engine block as well as a spare bucket seat—Karl Foitek’s seat, in fact—for when one's driving style demands a little more support.
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