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Giulietta SZ Coda Tonda
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  Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tonda

  Article Image gallery (36) AR10126 00113 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1960 - 1961
Numbers built:180
Designed by:Zagato
Successor:Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 06, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAmong the famous Italian coach builders Zagato held a special spot;most of them specialized in appearance, but that came second at Zagato where motor racing took top priority. Zagato designed their bodies to be very light weight and aerodynamically efficient. Despite aesthetics being less important, the designs usually looked very good and were easily recognizable. The most famous of trademark design cues was the double bubble roof design, which enabled the roof to be as low as possible.

When Alfa Romeo contemplated a return to motorsport, Zagato was an obvious partner. In the past the combination had been successful at Le Mans and in Formula 1. There were no plans to return as a works team, but rather offer a customer GT racer. In 1957 Alfa Romeo in collaboration with Bertone had already launched the 'Sprint Speciale' high performance version of the Giulietta. Although it was not designed for track use, but its shortened chassis would form the perfect base for a new racer.

On the Sprint Speciale chassis Zagato fitted an alloy body that was considerably rounder than the Bertone design and more importantly much lighter. Around 100 kg was shaved off the Giulietta's weight, bringing it down to 854 kg. Mechanically the Giulietta SZ of 1960 was very similar to the ss, and shared its high compression 97 bhp engine. In 1961 a second generation version with a cut off Kamm tail and wrap around rear window was introduced. It was lower, slimmer, lighter and featured discs brakes on the front wheels.

Production ceased in 1962, when it was replaced by the Giulia TZ. Each car took around 300 hours to assemble, which explains its high price compared to the other Giulietta models. Between 210 and 217 examples were produced, of which just 30 were of the second 'Coda Tronca' (Italian for 'cut-off tail') generation. The small Giuliettas were campaigned with a lot of success in the first half of the 1960s and signalled Alfa Romeo's return to motorsport success.

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  Article Image gallery (36) AR10126 00113 Specifications