Image credits: © Alfa Romeo.

1963 Alfa Romeo TZ1

History

Early in the 1950's Alfa Romeo had revised their production methods and had created a new line of models. These new vehicles were mid-sized with sporty, small capacity engines. The Giulietta was introduced near the close of the 1950's and was first offered with the Type 101 engine, a 1290cc unit. By now Alfa Romeo had a wide range of bodystyle configuration including the four door saloons, Sprint Coupes, Spider, station wagons, and the Sprint Speciale. The Sprint Special came in two configurations, one by Bertone and the other by Zagato. Bertone's design was first offered mid-1959. Zagatos were first available in early 1960. Both Zagato and Bertone's design were based on the Giulietta chassis and running gear but were void of bumpers. Their intentions for these vehicles were competition. Zagato's creations were constructed of a light alloy bodies and were more performance oriented. Bertone's creations outsold Zagato's by 6-to-1, and soon began outfitting the vehicles with luxurious interiors.

Most of the Zagato's were constructed with rounded front and tail treatments though near the end of the 200 produced, they experimented with a 'coda tronca' Kamm tail treatment.

Racing has always been important for most automobiles manufacturers and Alfa Romeo was beginning to realize that their engines would do well in competition since they were compact, lightweight, powerful, and durable. Though the board would not sanction a factory race program they did understand the importance of racing and how it is used to promote products.

In 1962 the Giulia range of cars, also know as the 105 series, were introduced and served as a replacement for the Giulietta. These were powered by 1570 cc engines and shared the same bodies of the Giulietta. The five speed manual gearbox was operated by a column mounted shift. The suspension was modified in the rear to improve handling but remained the same in the front.

Just like the Giulietta series, the Giulia came in multiple body-styles including the four-door berlina, spider, TZ, sprint, and Sprint Speciale.

With racing in mind, Alfa Romeo designed and built the TZ series. The TZ, meaning Tubolare Zagato, was outfitted with a light alloy body, tubular frame, disc brakes and independent suspension. The performance of the vehicle was amplified by its light body and responsive and effective handling. The large disc brakes provided excellent stopping power. Most of the parts were produced in the main factory in Portello. The building of the car, however, was entrusted to the head competitions engineer, Carlo Chiti of Autodelta based at Udine. The base 1570cc engine produced about 90 horsepower. The engine installed in the TZ competition cars produced around 170 horsepower. This boost in horsepower was made possible, in part, through twin-plug cylinder heads by Autodelta. To reduce weight and improve safety, the side glass windows were removed and replaced with Perspex.

Road cars were commonly given a single-plug cylinder head, leather interior, and retained their glass window.

In 1963 these lightweight and capable cars proved their potential by winning the FISA Cup. In nearly every competition event that these cars were entered, they provided podium finishes for their drivers. They were entered in events such as hill climbs, Sebring, the Targa Florio, Monza, Spa, Nurburgring, and LeMans.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2006

1963 Vehicle Profiles

1963 Alfa Romeo TZ1 vehicle information

Zagato Coupe
Designer: Zagato

Chassis Num: AR10511750003
Engine Num: AR005110002

During 1964, this 1963 Alfa Romeo TZ1 Zagato Coupe competed at LeMans, the 1000Km Nurburgring, the Tour de France, Tour de Corse and at Criterium Cevennes. Following the 1964 campaign, this car was returned to the Alfa Romeo factory where it was tota....[continue reading]

1963 Alfa Romeo TZ1 vehicle information

Zagato Coupe
Designer: Zagato

Chassis Num: 25

TZ-1 Series number 25 was one of less than 12 factory competition cars built for racing. In 1963, Lorenzo Bandini of Formula One fame raced the car in its inaugural race in Monza, Italy, at the Coppa FISA. Subsequently, it was raced at Tour de Corse ....[continue reading]

Zagato Coupe
Chassis #: AR10511750003 
Zagato Coupe
Chassis #: 25 


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