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Old 02-26-2011, 04:00 PM
Cobrafan427's Avatar
Cobrafan427 Cobrafan427 is offline
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SSZ Stradale

I was browsing through a racing website looking at pictures of the various entrants in the FIA GT series when a certain car caught my attention. It didn't have a picture so i did some searching and found some and then I searched the forums to see if there was a thread started about it which there isn't so i decided to make one.

The car's called the SSZ Stradale and the only info i could find on it was that it was generally powered by an Alfa V6 or a Nissan V6. Does anyone else know anything about this nifty piece of work?
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File Type: jpeg ssz stradale 1.jpeg (51.1 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpeg ssz stradale 3.jpeg (70.7 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpeg ssz stradale 4.jpeg (103.7 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpeg ssz stradale 5.jpeg (63.4 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpeg ssz-stradale 2.jpeg (30.3 KB, 66 views)
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 179
Northamptonshire, UK
I think this is what you're looking for
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:09 PM
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250gto boy 250gto boy is offline
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West Coast of Florida
Interesting car. Very nice but all it seems like at first glance is a heavily modified Karmen Ghia.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:44 PM
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LHamilton_w LHamilton_w is offline
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Orange County, California
The racing upgrades seem overblown even by today's standards, but I must say the car is pretty interesting indeed.
Buy a car for you, not for other people
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:08 PM
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csl177 csl177 is offline
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Too bad the stance forced on it by those wheels and tires don't fit the car's vibe. Looks like SSZ Motorcars wanted "Italian-ness" filtered through NASCAR. Mirrors don't help either. Pretty cool kit car otherwise.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:33 PM
vitoreis vitoreis is offline
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One of my dreams car!
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:53 AM
leroy leroy is offline
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Bushey, UK
Originally Posted by 250gto boy View Post
Interesting car. Very nice but all it seems like at first glance is a heavily modified Karmen Ghia.
I would say that the car looks like it's basd on the Giulietta/Giulia SS of the 1960s
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:57 AM
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Magnum9987 Magnum9987 is offline
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Sad to say, you can tell that car was built in some blokes garage.
"Don't think your time on bad things
Just float your little mind around"
Jimi Hendrix
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:18 AM
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aNOBLEman aNOBLEman is offline
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Originally Posted by csl177 View Post
Too bad the stance forced on it by those wheels and tires don't fit the car's vibe. Looks like SSZ Motorcars wanted "Italian-ness" filtered through NASCAR. Mirrors don't help either. Pretty cool kit car otherwise.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Give it different wheels/tires that fit the car's proportions better and I would love it. Right now I just like it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:11 PM
FastDriver FastDriver is offline
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all i know is i like that car! very nice body lines
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:33 AM
undy undy is offline
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Resurrecting an old thread here.

Imagine that with 1000hp.

From what I understand, one of the original SSZ Stradale prototypes may be going up for sale in the not-too-distant future. Even close to 20 years old, they still look fantastic and even hold their own technology-wise.

FWIW, I thought some of you might enjoy learning a bit more about Tom Zat, the guy who created the SSZ Stradale. Here's a bit of his history (and my opinions) that I wrote up, based on my conversations with him:

Tom Zat, the Carroll Shelby of Alfa Romeo.
By Paul Underwood

Tom Zat (Zatloukal) was born into a car family. His father operated various new car franchises including Alfa in the Chicagoland area. Tom began racing in the late 1960s, switching from British cars to Alfas in 1972 because he appreciated their advanced technology. He campaigned a 101 1600 Spider Veloce, in E Production, for several years with moderate success. Throughout the 1970s, Tom operated several businesses focused on the repairs and sales of Alfas in the St Louis area. In 1980, Tom and his wife Dale moved their operation to Wisconsin, built a new facility and opened Alfa Heaven. The racing effort was expanded as a development platform for the "Racing Technologies" and "Glastek" brands of performance components. This led to a business relationship with A.R.I., the U.S. importer for ALFA. Under that agreement, Zat's company obtained all the vintage and obsolete parts and in return, Alfa Heaven would assist dealers with old car needs and emergency spares for current models. A.R.I. supplied Alfa Heaven with vehicles for racing and display purposes. Alfa Heaven provided A.R.I. with a vintage 101 Spider that was awarded at an owners club convention. This unofficial relationship proved beneficial to both companies. It grew to include Fiat Research and Development and eventually, ARDONA (Alfa Romeo Dealers of North America). Meanwhile, Alfa Heaven's race team was doing quite well in SCCA, consistently winning events, setting track records and winning championships with Alfa V6 powered cars. Alfa Heaven sponsored cars competed in SCCA road races, rally races and autocross events plus FIA GT, IMSA, Sports Car, World Challenge, International Ice Racing, USRRC and many special events.

At the same time, Tom was creating one-off concept cars, some based on Alfas. He calls himself a re-engineer and enjoys making something new, and often better, from existing automobiles. The results have been nothing short of amazing. 'The Tube', 'Corvilac', 'Moonbuggy', '165', 'Milano DTM' and 'LaBamba' were all designed to be one of a kind autos for personal entertainment. The SSZ (Sprint Speciale Zatloukala) was originally conceived as a heavily modified 101 SS, race oriented but still street-able. Upon completion, Tom and Dale took the SSZ to shows and track events across the U.S.A. The car was a hit. After considerable arm twisting, Tom agreed to build a second SSZ for a friend. The styling was enhanced by a wider stance and tilt front, solving many design limitation issues and creating a graceful flowing shape. But before the car was completed, Tom had already begun designing the next version, incorporating a tilt rear clip for better access. Work was halted on prototype 3 in favor of a wider, longer and lower car that finalized the shape and was used as the body pattern for the Mark I SSZ Stradale. Although the prototypes were based on Alfa Sprint Speciales, the Stradale was a completely new car having its own body and chassis design including all mechanicals except the 3.0 V6 Alfa Romeo engine. Even a custom bellhousing was created to adapt the Alfa 105 gearbox to the engine.

SSZ Motorcars, Limited, was formed to manufacture the Stradale. When Alfa Romeo ceased its North American operations, SSZ switched to Nissan 3.0 V6 turbo engine and gearbox for the Mk II Stradale. The body was slightly restyled to increase downforce and accommodate wider tires. While MkI and MkII Stradales were intended for street and track, the Mk 3 was designed for competition purposes only, racing in FIA GT and USRRC. The new independent rear suspension (IRS), front and rear wings, flat bottom and 1000 HP V6 turbo charged engine vaulted the Stradale to true supercar status. The Mk 3.1 retained the body and IRS from the Mk 3 and was fitted with a Corvette LS engine capable of both road and race applications. The Mk 4 was the final version of the SSZ Stradale, being very similar to the 3.1 except having a longer wheelbase for enhanced high speed stability.

In total, 28 SSZ Stradales were produced including the 4 prototypes built on Alfa Sprint Speciale chassis. SSZ Motorcars also manufactured The Shark, an open roadster resembling the Scarab on a Corvette chassis. Four of these cars were produced.

Creating an automobile manufacturing company, surviving three decades of racing, building dozens of custom cars, engineering two high performance product lines, founding a non-profit auto museum and authoring car legislation (which is when I got to know Tom), is an impressive list of accomplishments. It's also made him somewhat of a legend in various automotive circles, much like the aforementioned Mr. Shelby.

Today, the enigmatic Tom and his lovely wife Dale still reside in Wisconsin on Stradale Lane. They recently opened the Motorama Auto Museum there, featuring the Alfa Heaven collection of over fifty vintage Alfa Romeos, several SSZ Stradales, rare Prototypes and unique cars from around the world. Most days, they'll guide your tour personally.

It's a rare opportunity to explore history with the guy who made it, and as Tom himself once observed to me, "There aren't that many of us left anymore."

Link to Tom's Motorama Museum
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