A Million-Dollar Masterpiece: Alfa Romeo TZ1 Zagato

Zagato Designs Classic Sports Car: TZ1

The current forays of Alfa Romeo in motorsports have been far from impressive, yet it can flaunt a racing past that not many carmakers can imitate. During the 1960s, the Alfa Romeo TZ1 was truly a triumphant achievement of the brand.

The ever-storied Petersen Automotive Museum has acquired the famed 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ1 through a generous donation, further solidifying their spot in the motor museum landscape. In one of their recent YouTube series instalments, Peterson Pit Stop, they were generous enough to share a compact yet comprehensive knowledge of the car’s legacy and background.

Composed by Autodelta – Alfa Romeo’s high performance branch – the TZ1 was manufactured from 1963 up to 1965 with only 112 units being assembled, thereby creating a floating aura of exclusivity.


The model’s uniqueness is especially underscored by the coachwork of Italian firm Zagato, with a coda tronca (short tail) style design. This added feature gives the car a distinguished flair, making it stand out even more.

For those not previously familiar, Zagato is still mesmerizing viewers with their automotive designs for Alfa Romeo; the exceptional one-off Giulia SWB Zagato conceived from the Giulia Quadrifoglio being the latest of their collaborative creations. Additionally, Maserati have also availed themselves of the coachbuilding company’s services – 2017 saw the debut of the captivating Zagato-crafted Maserati Mostro Barchetta.

The TZ1, a classic Italian sports car, was designed with a two-door coupe body, a long hood, and round headlamps. It was also equipped with independent suspension and disc brakes on all four wheels, which were considered quite advanced for the time. This vehicle has been described as a “full-blown Italian race car.”

The iconic TZ1 first appeared at the 1963 FISA Monza Cup, sweeping the prototype category and claiming the top four spots. Designed for competing throughout Europe, it later participated in the Tour de France Automobile, the Le Mans 1000 km, the Nürburgring 1000 km, as well as the Targa Florio.

The vehicle was propelled forward using a 1.6-liter inline-4 double overhead cam engine, creating 110 horsetpower for the standard edition and 158 for the track variant. Efficiency was transferred to the back tires by way of a 5-speed manual gearbox.

As indicated by the museum, those desiring to acquire an Alfa Romeo TZ1 for their collection may need to pay upwards of a million dollars, should they participate in an auction.

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