Founded in 1919 by Ugo Zagato in Milan, Italy, independent design studio and coachbuilding company Zagato are known globally for creating some of the worlds most beautiful, and most unusual automobiles. Usually produced in very limited numbers, any automobile that features the world famous “Z” logo is extremely rare, therefore highly desirable amongst enthusiasts, collectors and even your everyday petrolhead.
Although Zagato have partnered with quite a few auto manufacturers over the years including Aston Martin, Bentley, Spyker and Toyota, it is Zagato’s take on Italian vehicles that has always caught our attention, and who can blame us? After all Zagato were the people behind the absolutely beautiful, yet outrageous Alfa Romeo SZ from 1989, as well as the Ferrari 550 and 575 GTZ from 2006, and more recently the Ferrari 599 GTZ Nibbio from 2017. However, long before any of the above mentioned creations were brought to life, Zagato created a rather special and extremely beautiful Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
Known as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, this absolutely stunning vehicle was unveiled at the 1960 Geneva Motor Show. Sporting a new curvy body which was handbuilt by Zagato using aluminium panels and designed by Franco Scaglione of Bertone, the little Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ took the world by storm. As expected, the Giulietta SZ was based on a factory standard Alfa Romeo Giulietta, as a result the Giulietta SZ’s gorgeous new body sat on top of a spaceframe chassis which was taken directly from the shorter Giulietta Spider.
Inside, the gorgeous Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ featured a spartaninterior and Perspex windows which ultimately reduced the overall weight of the vehicle. Powered by a tuned version of Alfa Romeo’s 1.3 litre, twin-carbureted four-cylinder engine, the little Giulietta SZ had an overall power output of 115 hp, as a result the Giulietta SZ was the perfect vehicle for private racing drivers and private race teams, as a result the Giulietta SZ made an appearance in numerous motorsport events, including the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With a little over 200 Giulietta SZ’s ever produced, these little Alfa’s are now extremely rare and highly desirable today. However, recently an Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ crossed the auction block and sold for a staggering $650,000 (€547,000). However, it wasn’t the final selling price that caught our attention, instead it’s the fascinating story behind this particular vehicle that did.
The vehicle pictured in this article is a 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ and it features the original “Coda Tonda” rounded rear end, which means this particular vehicle is one of the final cars built before Alfa Romeo and Zagato switched over to the Kamm-back rear design for improved aerodynamics. This particular vehicle was found in November, 2018 after being trapped underground, all by itself for 35 years, yes you did read that correctly.
So how did it get underground then? Well, this 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ which is finished in Blu Chiaro Metallizato, once belonged to a mechanic from Turin, Italy who stored it in his basement. Unfortunately due to a broken elevator, the vehicle could not be raised from the basement. As a result, the owner could not get this beautiful Alfa Romeo out of his basement, so he left it down there for 35 years. After the owner of this beautiful little Alfa Romeo passed away, the vehicle was discovered and auctioned off by the local Government on 31 January, 2019.
By looking at the pictures provided to us, this little Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ seems to be in rather good condition, considering it spent the last 35 years stored underground. Regardless of how much it sold for or how good it looks, I am extremely happy thatthis beautiful piece of Alfa Romeo and Zagato history can be driven and enjoyed once again.