Take up the tale of this fascinating Alfa Romeo TZ

The Autodelta-developed Alfa Romeo TZ is not only sensationally beautiful, but with fewer than 100 known to survive, also exceptionally rare. This example, which boasts a successful period competition history, will be offered by RM Sotheby’s at its Monaco sale…

An impressive résumé

The 39th Alfa Romeo Tubolare Zagato built, this example claimed a class-win in its maiden event – the Valvisciolo-Bassiano in 1965 – before enjoying a successful competition career in Italy over the next several years. During this time, it was modified in line with the regulations and technological advancements, including the addition of the distinctive air vents in the bonnet and widened rear wheelarches.

During a later restoration when it resided in California, a handful of olive pits were found in the bowels of the car’s bodywork. It seems not even time-pressured work on the factory’s assembly line could come between an Italian engineer and his lunch. As a token of good luck, a few pits were left in the car – wishful thinking, perhaps, but a humorous tale nonetheless. 

It’s remained in the same Dutch hands for the last 33 years (kindly supported by the owner’s wife, judging by the sticker on the car’s Kamm tail), during which time it’s been modestly used, including successfully on a number of vintage rallies such as the Targa Florio. What’s more, this TZ is believed to be a concours virgin. Estimated to fetch 950,000-1.2m euros when it goes under the gavel later this month, we reckon it represents fantastic value for money in comparison to other Italian sports-racing cars of the same era. Way ahead of its time when it was introduced, the Alfa Romeo TZ – or as it’s widely referred to, the ‘baby GTO’ – has aged with the kind of majesty and grace of which we could only dream.

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s and the Archivio di Roberto Piccinini, Actualfoto

You can find the full catalogue for the RM Sotheby’s Monaco sale, taking place on 14 May 2016, listed in the Classic Driver Market.