Competition Alfa Romeo TZ at Gooding's London Auction

Competition Alfa Romeo TZ at Gooding's London Auction

1965 ALFA ROMEO GIULIA TZ - Coachwork by Zagato - Auction Date: 3RD SEPTEMBWER

Estimate £1,000,000 - £1,200,000
Chassis 10511AR*750081
Engine AR00511*00068

One of 112 TZs Built Between 1963 and 1967
One of the Most Successful Competition Cars of the Era
Incredibly Well Documented and Retaining Its Original Engine
Known Competition History and Provenance
A Wonderfully Presented Example of an Italian Masterpiece

Technical Specs
1,570 CC DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Two Weber 40 DCOE Carburetors
160 BHP at 6,500 RPM
5-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Front Double-Wishbone Suspension with Coil Springs
Rear Lower-Wishbone Independent Suspension

Alfa Romeos enjoyed tremendous success in the 1920s and early 1930s in distance, circuit, and hill climb events across Europe. However, as WWII approached, German super teams from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union attempted to overshadow the cars from Portello. Postwar, Alfa Romeo picked up its winning ways with privateers running prewar 8C 2900s.

Through the 1950s, private owners kept the marque alive in competition, most notably those who ran Zagato-bodied variants of the Giulietta and 1900 models. One of the most successful series was the Sprint Veloce Zagato (SVZ) cars, which began to appear in 1956. Their achievements attracted the attention of Alfa Romeo, which then commissioned Zagato to create the Sprint Zagato (SZ), as a catalogued model in 1960.

The SZ was succeeded in 1963 by an even more specialized car, the stunningly beautiful Tubolare Zagato (TZ). It was named for the new tube-framed chassis it was built around, providing weight savings and rigidity over the SZ. The TZ was built in the shops of Autodelta, the Alfa Romeo factory’s official race team, and immediately became a winner, capturing class honors at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Targa Florio, the Nürburgring 1000 Km, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964, as well as winning the Tour de Corse and Coupe des Alpes outright. There were 112 examples of the TZ built, adding rarity to its many redeeming qualities.

According to a copy of the original invoice on file, chassis 750081 was invoiced by Autodelta to Alfa Romeo S.p.A. on September 9, 1964, and fitted with engine no. 00068, which it retains today. It was sold in May 1965 to its first owner, Luigi Citeroni of Ascoli Piceno, Italy, and, according to copies of its Italian registration book, the Alfa was registered on Italian plates numbered “AP53000.” The race debut for 750081 was on August 22, 1965, at the Ascoli Colle San Marco, where Citeroni won his class. Citeroni later sold the TZ to fellow Ascoli Piceno resident Barbaro Grelli in 1966, and somewhat uniquely for an Italian racing car in the 1960s, the Alfa would remain in his ownership for 15 years.

According to documents on file, which include detailed club records, as well as many period photos, between July 1966 and August 1970, Grelli drove his TZ in 15 competitive events in Italy, regularly placing well in his class. These were highlighted by two entries in the Gran Premio del Mugello in 1968 and 1969, with class finishes of 4th and 3rd, respectively.

Fabrizio Arengi of Padova bought the TZ in 1984 and sent it to one of Italy’s foremost restorers, Dino Cognolato, for refurbishing. Sig. Arengi subsequently used the TZ in rallies, which included the 1988 Coppa d’Italia, and the Alfa Romeo was featured in the April 1993 issue of Auto d’Epoca magazine.

Alfa Romeo enthusiast Boy Houtman of Gravenhage, Netherlands, purchased the TZ from Arengi in 1993 via A.B. Cars of Padova. In 2011, Mr. Houtman sold the TZ to noted collector Pierre Mellinger of Switzerland, who immediately drove it in the Tour Auto in France, before shipping it to the Alfa Romeo specialist GPS Classics in Parma, Italy. As documented by numerous invoices, GPS did extensive work to the TZ, including rebuilding the engine and gearbox, as well as completing FIA’s Heritage Technical Passport certification. It then traveled to Carrozzeria Quality Cars in Vigonza, Italy, for cosmetic fine-tuning.

The consignor acquired this remarkable TZ from Mr. Mellinger after a careful search for an example to use in rallies. Inspection resulted in the body no. 663 being found in multiple places on the car, including the shock mounts, window trim, and the back side of the door panels. Upon purchase, it was taken to Mugello Engineering in the Netherlands for mechanical sorting, and then it received attention to the bodywork by Classic Skills.

In its current condition, and with its extensive file of period documents, photos, and correspondence, this TZ may be the most desirable and intriguing example to come to market in recent history. Eligible for events such as the Le Mans Classic and Tour Auto, this incredible Alfa Romeo Giulia gives any prospective buyer a shot at experiencing the legendary performance that has made this model a must-have for the most discerning collectors.

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