1965 Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ
Seller Asking: €159,900
Alfa Romeo in the 1950s and 1960s is famous for producing sporty, small cars that were symbolic of the types of roads found around Italy after World War 2. Most were based around the Tipo 750 and Tipo 101 chassis and were powered by small displacement four-cylinder engines that were happy running at high revs all day and were built to handle tight winding roads with ease. But starting in 1958, Alfa Romeo also began offering a high-end flagship coupe and sedan-first known as the 2000 and then later, 2600. Powered by an all-alloy dual overhead cam Inline-6, these cars were predominantly built for grand touring and could produce up to 165 horsepower with exceptionally smooth power delivery. The 2600 series represents a unique point for Alfa Romeo as it was the final car to come from the brand with an Inline-6- an engine layout that they had found tremendous success racing with both before and immediately after the war.
Although Bretone designed most of the 2600s, Alfa Romeo tapped legendary design house Zagato to build a limited run of coupes that would be the highest-performing variant in the range. Penned by Ercole Spada-the same stylist who came up with cars such as the DB4 GT Zagato and Alfa Romeo TZ-1- the 2600 Sport Zagato was based around a spyder chassis to keep the wheelbase as short as possible and the weight down. With a price that rivaled 12-cylinder Ferraris of the time, the inline 6-cylinder Alfa Romeo was a tough sell but for the discerning enthusiast, it was a unique and stunning alternative. In total, just 105 examples were built- including 5 prototypes- and according to the SZ register, less than 65 are known today.
This 2600 Sport Zagato was built in December of 1965 and first sold in Novara, Italy in February of 1968. When the car came out of the factory it was finished in Grigio Chairo Metallizzato over a Black “Skai” leatherette interior. After its original ownership in Italy, the car was sold to an enthusiast based in Fort Wayne, Indiana where it stayed for a number of years before being sold to a collector in South Lyon, Michigan in 2012. The Sport Zagato remained in his care until July of 2018 when it was sold and exported back to Europe, ending up in Belgium where it has stayed with that owner until the present day.
In the nearly 60 years since this car was produced, it has remained in largely original condition and has never been apart for restoration. At some point, the car was repainted from its original metallic gray to a striking shade of blue that suits the lines of the car very well. What is particularly unique about this example is that even after moving overseas and multiple ownership changes, the car still retains its original tool kit, spare parts catalog, original service book, and brochure for the car. These can be some of the most difficult things to find all these years later and the fact that they are included with this car makes it a very interesting restoration candidate. Mechanically, the car is in fine form- the DOHC inline-6 runs smoothly and judging by the overall condition under the hood, has been well taken care of for its whole life. This would be a perfect car to buy and take on your favorite driving event this summer before tucking into a restoration over the winter and coming out the other side with one of the best 2600 Sport Zagatos anywhere.
With less than 65 examples known in the world today, this 2600 SZ will be a great conversation piece everywhere you take it and a welcome addition to any collection. Most limited-production cars with designs that come from the desk of Ercole Spada will set you back deep into the 7 figures but this car with its striking shape and refined Alfa Romeo underpinnings represents tremendous value for a coachbuilt 1960s Italian sports car. Finding such a well-kept 2600 SZ with a documented ownership history and all of the original bits is no easy task and with this car, whether you choose to go the route of a restoration or you would prefer to get in the car and just start driving, this Zagato is the right car for the job.