Alfa Romeo was returning to motor sports when it built the 1962 Giulietta Sprint Zagato. Zagato was a prominent designer and past collaboration with Alfa Romeo had proven fruitful in the Le Mans and Formula 1 circuits. In 1957, Alfa had formed a relationship with Bertone, another famous shop, to develop the Giulietta Sprint Speciale which was a high performance version. That car would become the basis for the new venture with Zagato.
The companies decided to concern themselves with form over function while developing the new GT racer. The plan was to offer the car to customers for their own GT teams and thus it needed to be a strong and reliable performer on the track. Zagato was a master and developing aerodynamically efficient and lightweight machines and the Giulietta Sprint Speciale chassis provided the perfect jumping off point.
Perhaps the reason these cars remain so special today is their overall beauty. The design was focused around performance, but in turn the body became very well recognized and an instant classic for Alfa. Combining the low roofline with the elongated and round body made the car desirable to collectors. The rarity of the “Coda Tronca” version lends to the high selling price at the recent auction that saw chassis 0184 sell for $420,800.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1962 Alfa Romeo Coda Tronca
Design and Performance
The name Coda Tronca was used because of its meaning, cut-off tail. This version of the car was not offered until 1961 and only 30 examples were hand built. The earlier versions of the car as designed by Zagato featured a stunning alloy body that was some 100kg (220lbs) lighter than the standard version of the Giulietta. The Coda Tronca version sported a cut off Kamm tail section and wraparound glass rear windows. This version was smaller, lighter and featured more performance enhancements than any other in the lineup.
The lightweight aluminum alloy body was characterized by the narrow bodywork, low roofline, and longer tail, but the real artistry lies in its creation. It took nearly 300 hours to build each one of these cars, every bit of it by hand. The other enhancements to the Coda Tronca included the first use of disc brakes on the front wheels for Alfa. These new brakes were needed to handle the powerful nature of this beautiful car. It used a 1290cc twin-ohc engine with a five-speed gearbox tuned for competition. That may not seem like much under the hood, but the car was lightweight tipping the scales at 854kg (1883 lbs).
Chassis number 0184, which recently sold at the 2011 RM Auctions Villa d’Este auction, came with one of the most complete histories of any Alfa Romeo. It was delivered new to Lugano, Switzerland in 1962. Documentation continued in Europe until the car was fully restored in Italy during the 1990s. Conrero fitted a higher compression engine with 135hp to increase the performance of the aging Coda Tronca. It also completed work on the gearbox, suspension, and brakes. It was exported to the United States in 2007 and had been here until recently. Once again the car received some restoration in 2009 through Conrad Stevenson in California. 0184 was then sent back to Europe and became UK road registered. Overall, this Alfa Romeo is a great example from its era and remains in perfect condition today. The new owner will certainly be pleased with his purchase.
Rare Alfa Romeo
Hand Crafted Body
Best Giulietta Performance
Little Racing History