Classified spotlight: Alfa Romeo TZ

Racing History


What cars would make the shortlist in your dream garage if you were given a generous – but not unlimited – pot of money? Perhaps you would spend a large chunk on a Ferrari 599 GTO, justifying the spend because its angry V12 sounds so good. You may want to try your hand at some historic racing; if so a 1960s Alfa might do the trick. With the change left from the GTO a race prepared GTA Junior would provide endless thrills in a very stylish package. You could even work on it yourself, upgrading components over time as you become increasingly competitive.

Alternatively, you could leave the Ferrari off your list and plump for an Alfa Romeo TZ instead, much like this example, currently for sale from Fiskens Fine Historic Automobiles. Produced between ’63 and ’67, only 124 TZs ever left the Alfa factory. They’re very rare indeed. They are also very light, rather pretty and boast an impressive on-track record. Design and construction was overseen by former Ferrari engineer Carlo Chiti and featured a tubular space frame chassis and lightweight coachwork by Zagato. The car inherits its initials form these features – Tubolare Zagato.

Hidden underneath the aluminium clothing is a front mounted, inline four-cylinder engine that sends power to the rear axle via a five-speed gearbox. TZs also feature independent suspension, double wishbones, coil springs and telescopic dampers at each corner, all attributes which keep the 660kg curb weight firmly in check. In its day, these elements combined to create a rather formidable racing car.

The car’s class victory list reads like a roll call of legendary events. The Italian racers won at Sebring, the Targa Florio, the Nürburgring, Le Mans and the Tour of Corsica to name a few. Chassis number 750046 has also seen its share of competitive action having been campaigned in historic race and rally events across Europe by its previous owners. This example is even fitted with the more powerful twin-plug engine available on later-run production TZs. Should you place the car on a dyno, expect to see in the region of 170bhp from the current motor. The original unit, also included in the sale, produced 116bhp in ’64.

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If you haven’t already done so, take a little time to pore over the photographs of 750046. It looks cracking from dead ahead with its open grille, bonnet bulge and gleaming side-mirrors. Flick through to an interior shot and there’s more to love. The large tachometer is tilted at 40 degrees so the 7500rpm redline sits horizontally to the drivers view. Best of all, cast your glance below the door sills for an exposed view of the tubular chassis. In this regard the TZ is similar to Alfas latest sports car, the 4C, where exposed carbon sills leave occupants in little doubt they’re sitting in a full carbon tub. Unlike the 4C, the TZ’s engine bay also makes compelling viewing.

After a comprehensive restoration in ’01, 750046 is currently race-ready, complete with valid HTP papers and a history of maintenance and preparation through Derby-based Gelscoe Motorsport. Theoretically then, the car could have competed in yesterday’s Graham Hill Trophy at the 73rd Goodwood Members’ Meeting. It may not have beaten Shaun Lynne and Emanuele Pirro in their AC Cobra, but it remains dream garage material.

Click here to visit this car’s classified page

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