1991 Alfa Romeo SZ Coupé

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1991
  • Chassis number 
    ZAR1620000300062
  • Lot number 
    639
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

1991 Alfa Romeo SZ Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Zagato
Registration no. H881 JLE
Chassis no. ZAR1620000300062

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 - which was bonded to the floor pan of the existing Alfa 75. Lessons learned from the latter's IMSA racing 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 during testing. Suspension development was overseen by engineer Giorgio Pianta, formerly team manager of the FIAT and Lancia works rallying teams. There was power assisted steering but no ABS.

Powering the SZ to its highly respectable 152mph top speed was a 210bhp version of Alfa's superb 3.0-litre four-cam V6, widely recognised as one of the finest power plants of recent times. This excellent performance was achieved thanks partly to the body's exceptionally low drag coefficient of 0.30 Cd, the product of many hours spent in FIAT's wind tunnel. Demand for the 1,000-or-so SZs scheduled for series production greatly exceeded supply, and today this rare and highly individual supercar is much sought after.

The limited edition Alfa Romeo SZ was only manufactured in left-hand drive form, and this example was purchased from an Alfa Romeo dealer in Italy in 2000 at an indicated 14,000 kilometres. Maintained as part of a private collection since then, it currently displays a total of 32,297 kilometres (approximately 20,000 miles) on the odometer and is described by the private vendor as in generally good condition, with very good engine and interior. Finished in Rosso with beige/tan interior, the car is offered with sundry bills, a V5C Registration Certificate, and current MoT. The sensible provision of superior four-pot brakes callipers is the only modification notified. A wonderful opportunity to acquire one of these ultra-rare Zagato-built Alfa Romeos that can only become increasingly collectible.