Japanese Car Auction Finds: Alfa Romeo SZ (ES30)

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

This is one of those cars that really polarizes opinion: You really do either love it or hate it. Having started off as a show car in 1989, you have to admit that there was not a lot of compromise in bringing the truly dramatic shape  of the Alfa SZ to the road.

The underpinnings are largely Alpha 75, but the suspension had a lot of help from the head of the Lancia works rally team that at that time was a powerful force in the rallying world with its Delta. The “wedge” body was made of a plastic composite which allowed weight savings.

Personally, when I first saw this car in the early 90s, the first thing I thought of was the batmobile from the 1989 Michael Keaton movie. You will see what I mean if you imagine the rear spoiler to be more like a bat wing, and the car itself painted in black.

Well, not only is this car one of only 1,036 SZs ever produced, but it is also one of only about 100 that ended up in Japan. If you are looking for them in Japan’s car auctions, you should note that they are usually listed as “Zagato”, since the SZ refers to “Sprint Zagato” – itself referencing the fact that Zagato in Italy bore the main responsibility for the design.

Alfa Romeo SZ (Zagato) ES30 at a Japan car auction- front

Alfa Romeo SZ (Zagato) ES30 at a Japan car auction - rear

Alfa Romeo SZ (Zagato) ES30 at a Japan car auction - interior

 

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