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Concept Car of the Week: Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 Sport (1965)

Fri, 08 Feb 2013

Autodelta produced 112 Alfa Romeo TZs between 1963 and 1965. The TZ abbreviation – for Tubulare Zagato – refers to the innovative lightweight spaceframe chassis that kept the weight at an impressive 660kg and assured great performance both on the road and on the track.

Out of those desirable TZs, Zagato bodied the vast majority but two of the chassis were also handed to rival carrozzerias Bertone and Pininfarina. The mechanical base had so much potential that both companies went on to create their own one-off show cars while refining the already-attractive proportions.

Bertone's interpretation of the TZ, the timeless Canguro, was penned by Giorgietto Giugiaro and presented in 1964 Paris show. Pininfarina challenged it shortly afterwards with the achingly beautiful Giulia 1600 Sports Coupe presented at the 1965 Turin show.

The designer of the Giulia is no less than Aldo Brovarone, the man behind the Ferrari 375 Agnelli, the Ferrari Superamerica Superfast II or the Lancia Gamma Coupe to name but a few.

He skillfully accentuated the reduced height of the car by lengthening the rear overhang and lowering the tail. The Giulia appears a lot lighter and more elegant then the original TZ.

The curves undulate from the pronounced front fenders down to the side window and rise again above the rear wheel to finally disappear into an elegant teardrop.

A clean waistline splits the body in half while adding bit of rigidity to the otherwise curvaceous volumes. The icing on the cake is a seductive red stripe linking the pointy nose to the back.

Just looking at the seats makes you want to climb in. Not only are they a vibrant red, they also feature exquisite reversed V stitching, giving the cabin a unique touch of refinement. The large, purposeful dashboard and the oversized gear stick are raised on a plinth, which is covered in teddy bear skin.

As you would have guessed already, the engine is a front-mounted 1600cc. The four-cylinder produces 170bhp, which doesn't sound like much, but on a car of only 610kg the power to weight ratio is better than on the latest Porsche 991. Put the engine at the back and you get the foundation of what would become the Ferrari 246 Dino, another of Brovarone's creations.

Nowadays, the Giulia is still in a remarkable condition and won the ‘Best Preserved Car' during its last appearance at the Concorsa d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in 2010. Today, both the Pininfarina Giulia Sport and the Bertone Canguro belong to the same lucky Japanese collector.

Designer Aldo Brovarone
Engine Configuration Straight four
Location Front, longitudinally mounted
Construction Light alloy block and head
Displacement 1.57-liter
Bore / Stroke 78mm / 95.8mm
Valvetrain Two valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Weber Carburettors
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Power 170bhp
BHP/Liter 108bhp / liter

Your author, Flavien Dachet, is a UK-based, French-born car designer. You may know him as the purveyor of KarzNshit, a photo blog that if isn't already in your bookmarks, certainly should be.

By Flavien Dachet