It is no doubt that Alfa Romeo produces not only beautiful cars but also cars that you can be very proud to drive because of how smooth they run.
If you’re anything like us, you love the wide variety of models and configurations released by Alfa Romeo’s design teams of the past and today, we are placing the spotlight on the classic Alfa Romeo TZ models.
The Tubolare Zagato
Manufactured from 1963 to 1967, the Guioz TZ (Tubolare Zagato or Tubular Zagato) was designed as a race car. A simple glance at how it looks and you will notice the similarity in appearance with the Ferrari 250 GTO.
The name TZ is due to the tubular frame chassis that it has instead of the usual unitary steel construction of the Guilias. Additionally, the body is built and designed by Zagato. Although it may not look like the other Guilia models, many of the mechanical parts are based on it.
The Lightweight Alfa Romeo Guilia TZ1
The first of the TZ was produced in 1963 and it’s mechanically based on the Giulia. However, Autodelta, the racing arm of Alfa Romeo created the tubular frame chassis, where it gets part of its name. Zagato designed it to be a very lightweight vehicle.
Additionally, it also has a shorter wheelbase at 150mm, a bare cabin, independent suspension, and disk brakes. The resulting total weight of the vehicle was only at around 650 kilograms. This low weight vehicle carn reaches speeds up to 216 km per hour. This car is not only for racing but also for street use. The engine is capable of producing about 160 horsepower with the race trim and is detuned to 112 horsepower for road use.
Apart from being lightweight, the body of the TZ is also narrow and sleek. This helps with aerodynamics to reduce drag. This is where you might see the similarities to the Ferrari 250 GTO. Both vehicles are designed to be in the shape wherein aerodynamics is carefully considered. Additionally, it also had Guilia’s standard wet steel liners but they were at an angle to further improve airflow.
The rear of the TZ also positively affects it’s performance. It features the coda tronca style. Coda tronca is Italian which means short tail. This style works in the principle that if the tail isn’t long like the once you’d see on an aircraft, it would be best to chop it off. Zagato has used this style previously on their other sports-racing cars like the Sprint Zagato.
The Lighter Alfa Romeo Guilia TZ2
The production of the TZ2 started in 1964. This vehicle also has a strong resemblance to the Ferrari GTO. However, there are certain differences from the TZ1. First of all, the body of the TZ2 is slightly sleeker, wider, and lower than the TZ1. It was made even lighter by substituting the aluminum body with fiberglass. That reduced the weight of the TZ2 further down to about 620 kilograms. It is designed to be tightly molded to the chassis to further lower the drag.
The TZ1 was created for race and street but the TZ2 was specifically designed with a race trim only. To raise the output and reach 170 horsepower, it has twin spark plugs plus dry-sump lubrication for a lower center of gravity. These slight changes further improved the TZ2 when it comes to racing. It was now able to reach top speeds of 245 km per hour. A slight difference on the rear window is also noticeable. With the previous having three-part windows, the TZ2 now has a single unit.
The production wasn’t long and has stopped by the end of 1965, which is why only 12 TZ2s were ever built. In 1966 onwards, Alfa Romeo stopped the car racing program on the Giulia and made room for their other GTA racing program.
The Modern TZ3 Stradale
Fast forward to 2010, as an homage to Alfa’s centenary, the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale was conceived. Instead of having the Italian mechanicals, it uses the last Dodge Viper. It has the same 8.4-liter V-10 engine and 98.9 in wheelbase. However, the exterior is made to resemble an Alfa Romeo. Although it still has side exhaust tips, the body is very much of the Zagato style such as the coda tronca tail, Kammback shape, and double-bubble roof. Zagato considers this as the first American Alfa. Looks aside, driving it feels just like driving a viper.
A Rare Gem
The Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ is truly a gem and a rare collector’s item because Zagato only created 112 units for the first generation and 12 for the second. That’s the reason why it is one of the most valuable classic cars that many Alfa Romeo collectors dream of having.