Alfa Romeo TZ1 (Tubular Zagato 1) jest jednym z najwspanialszych projektów w historii zasłużonej włoskiej marki. Powstała w jedynie 124 egzemplarzach i była czystej krwi wozem wyścigowym. Jej karoseria ma absolutnie fenomenalny kształt i w doskonały sposób pokazuje włoski sposób konstruowania samochodów – miały być przede wszystkim szybkie, a piękne stawały się tylko „przy okazji”. Sprzedawany egzemplarz występuje w swoich pierwszych, niebieskich barwach – historycznie odpowiadających Francji, skąd pochodził jej pierwszy właściciel.
In the words of Marcello Minerbi, scribe of one the most informative books on the Alfa Romeo marque, ‘Alfa Romeo-Zagato SZ TZ, ‘The history of a racing car is always very different from that of a mass-built model, but the history of the TZ1 is really exceptional’.
A lengthy research and development programme took place over four years in the Italian racing stable (1959-1962) prior to the first public presentation of the new Gulia TZ, to use its formal name, which was held in June 1962. ‘T’ stands for Tubular and ‘Z’ for Zagato and the concept behind the car was to build a racing model of an existing road car, echoing the front engine and rear-wheel drive configuration of the series salon with a very modern and rigid chassis that was easy to maintain and set up for racing purposes.
Benefitting from the excellent tailoring of Zagato, this example is one of 124 TZ1 cars built. It was manufactured in December 1964 prior to being delivered to its first owner, one Monsieur Gaspin of France. The car was subsequently sold in 1972 to Signor Graziani of Milan who raced her at several notable Italian race meetings. During his tenure he had the car re-liveried in red paint. After a lengthy period of ownership, Graziani sold the car to Jean-Louis Laborde, a French racing car driver who campaigned the car extensively during his long-term proprietorship, taking part in prestigious events such as the 1997 Tour Auto. During this period, FIA papers were issued by the FFSA including a photographic depiction of the car in its then red livery and a comprehensive and thorough restoration of 046 was undertaken.
2002 brought another owner in the form of Parisian, Thierry Moriceau, who piloted the car at a range of continental events including the Le Mans Classic (2003) and the Tour Espagne (2003). During this period, a feature-length article was written about the car in the December 2002 issue of Automobile historique magazine, a copy of which is included in the car’s history file.
Fiskens sold the car to its previous owner, Ross Warburton in October 2003, who had the livery returned to its original blue and black colour scheme. He raced 046 extensively at events in his native UK and in Europe. Notable events include the Masters Classic GP Magny Cours 2009 (finishing in eight position), Porto, Spa and Donington. Gelscoe Motorsport were retained to maintain and prepare the car during Warburton’s tenure and a full collection of invoices relating to race preparation and related rebuilds are in the car’s history file.
The current owner acquired 046 in 2011 and in 2012 competed in the Tour Auto, Tour Britannia and Le Mans Classic. He also was invited to and attended the prestigious Goodwood press day with the car. 046 is currently fitted with a competition twin plug motor, however, included with the car is an original single plug engine should the new owner wish to use this. Fully prepared with current HTP papers, 046 would be a welcome attraction at many of the world’s significant historic race and rally events.