Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS & SZ
The story starts in 1956, when Zagato unofficially rebodied some Giulietta Sprint Veloce's with an aluminium body supported by a frame of thin steel tubes. The external style was almost identical to the SV production car, although the different examples tended to employ different features, the last versions becoming more different and looking like the later SZ. The much reduced weight led to these cars performing significantly better in motorsport.
Having seen the success of this unofficial model, the decision was made to design a production car with more overtly sporting characteristics. It was decided to use the shorter chassis of the Giulietta Spider combined with the mechanicals of the Sprint Veloce. Franco Scaglione, working for Bertone, was chosen to design the new body, the resulting prototype being displayed in 1957. This had an aluminium body and a much more aggressive appearance than the steel bodied production cars which began to be built in 1959. Small changes were made, such as the addition of bumpers, during production.
At the same time, Zagato reached an agreement with Alfa Romeo to use the same chassis and mechanicals for a more radical racecar. The SZ was first shown at the Geneva Motorshow in March 1960 and followed the lines of the earlier SVZ cars. The Sprint Zagato used a steel spaceframe and aluminium panels as well as perspex side windows and a relatively sparse interior to keep the weight to a minimum. An engine producing 115bhp could also be specified for those customers wishing to compete in their cars, which was the aim of the SZ, the production run of 200 exactly that needed to homologate the car. As with the SS, small changes were made during production, early cars featured plastic fairings for the headlights which were then dropped and the design of the door handles changed.
In 1961 Zagato began development of a revised SZ, concentrating mainly on aerodynamics. The result emerged late that year, known as the 'Coda tronca' (or 'clipped tail'). This was due to the new rear end, employing a cut-off Kamm type design. Although this was the most noticeable difference, in reality the entire body changed, it became longer, lower and narrower, with a narrower front air intake, a lower roofline, a lipped bonnet at the base of the windscreen and no horizontal ribs along the sides. Mechanical changes included the adoption of disc brakes at the front. The last 30 cars were built to this level.
The Sprint Speciale, on the other hand, although conceived also as a light weight competition oriented car, was produced as a more luxiourious GT car with a fully equipped interior etc. These creature comforts, as well as a lower price, resulted in considerably more SS's (1,366) being built.
Both cars were used extensively in various competitions where they achieved many successes. Total production was 1,366 SS's and 200 SZ's, production of both models ceasing in 1963.
The SZ was replaced by the Giulia TZ, whilst the Giulietta SS was re-engined and became the Giulia SS. This used the new 112bhp 1570cc dohc engine from the Giulia range, but apart from some detail changes (mainly concerning the interior such as instruments and dashboard) remained essentially the same. Later this model also received disc brakes at the front. This continued in production until 1965, by which time 1,400 had been built.
Driveline longitudinal engine at front with rear wheel drive Engine 1290cc (74x75mm) dohc four cylinder with 100bhp @ 6,500rpm
Giulia SS : 1570cc (78x82mm) dohc four cylinder with 112bhp @ 6,500rpm
Suspension front : wishbones with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar
rear : rigid live axle with telescopic dampers and coil springs
wheelbase : 2250mm
front track :1292mm
rear track : 1270mm
Brakes front : drums (last 30 SZ's with discs)
rear : drums
handbrake operating on the rear via cable
Gearbox 5 speed manual Steering worm and roller Kerb weight Sprint Speciale : 860kg
Sprint Zagato : 770kg (last 30 : 785kg)
Giulia SS : 950kg
The Sprint Speciale was the 101.20 and the Sprint Zagato the 101.26. Both cars used the AR00120 engine..
There is also a list of all our picture galleries (including museums, motorshows and various events).
Wallpapers/Desktop Backgrounds of numerous Alfa Romeo's also available to download.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta books :buy them online here(in association with Amazon)
Alfa Romeo Road Test Book : Alfa Romeo Giulietta Gold Portfolio 1954-65
Covers the Berlina, Ti, Coupe Sprint, Spider, Veloce, Zagato, 1600, SV and SS with over 300 illustrations and numerous articles. (edited by R.M.Clarke, 1991)
For more books on Alfa Romeo, see our Online Bookstore
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