Reviving its tradition of building special-bodied Alfa Romeos, including the original SZ (Sprint Zagato) competition coupé of the late 1950s, Carrozzeria Zagato unveiled its outrageous new SZ at the 1989 Geneva Salon. Built at Zagato's factory at Terrazano di Rho, the SZ was a joint project that also involved the styling departments of both Alfa Romeo and its parent company, FIAT, whose Robert Opron was responsible for the initial sketches.
Originally typed 'ES-30' (Experimental Sports 3.0-litre) but known popularly as 'Il Mostro' (The Monster) the aggressive-looking two-seater coupé eschewed the rounded styling and aluminium-alloy coachwork hitherto associated with Zagato's high-performance Alfas in favour of an angular bodyshell crafted in lightweight moulded plastic - alloy roof excepted - and bonded to the floor pan of the existing Alfa 75. Lessons learned from the latter's race programme influenced the SZ's suspension, which endowed the car with superlative handling and roadholding, some drivers recording lateral cornering forces of up to 1.4G. Suspension development was overseen by engineer Giorgio Pianta, formerly team manager of the FIAT and Lancia works rallying teams. Powering the SZ to its highly respectable 152mph top speed was a 206bhp version of Alfa's superb 3.0-litre four-cam V6, widely recognised as one of the finest power plants of recent times. Demand for the 1,000-or-so units scheduled for series production greatly exceeded supply, and today this rare and highly individual supercar is much sought after. There was also an even rarer open spyder version: the RZ.
The limited edition Alfa Romeo SZ was only manufactured in left-hand drive form and this example was first registered in the UK on 28th June 1993. The car has been in the current vendor's hands since October 2005, having been purchased with light-to-medium frontal damage (see notes on V5C document). It was repaired and re-sprayed by the insurer's certified and approved garage using original parts and another SZ donor car, and since completion has covered only some 4,000 kilometres (approximately 2,500 miles). The current odometer reading is 38,000 kilometres (23,600 miles). Noteworthy features include the rare Brembo brakes upgrade, Pirelli P Zero tyres and a new Wolfrace free-flow exhaust system in stainless steel. We are advised that the cam belts were changed some 1,000 kilometres ago and that the engine starts 'on the button'; however it should be noted that the car does not lock despite the central locking motors being operational. Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned V5C and a current MoT.