Our Spotlight/Pic-of-the-day comes courtesy of this gorgeous 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ (Tubolare Zagato) Racecar that was developed and built jointly by Zagato and Auto Delta (Alfa Romeo’s Competition Department). The TZ was a purpose-built racecar that utilised a tubular spaceframe chassis clothed in lightweight, all-aluminium body panels that assisted in keeping the overall weight down to a scant 660 kg – That’s nearly half the weight of a Mazda MX-5…
With such feathery weight to propel the TZ, ample power delivery was relied upon a throaty, twin-spark 1.6L inline-4 cyl. engine that chucked out a healthy 160 bhp and enabled the TZ to reach 135 mph. Independent suspension and disc brakes also aided in stability during the varying styles of races it entered throughout its competition-based life.
This exact TZ (pictured) was the 2nd of the non-prototypes to be built. Completed on April 2 1964, just 24 days later it was entered into the Targa Floria where it finished an impressive 3rd overall. Two months later it saw action in the Le Mans 24 Hours where it finished 15th overall – not too shabby for a 4-cyl Alfa Romeo.
From there it was raced throughout the late-’60s until 1967 when its owner, Giancarlo Sala, decided that even more weight could be shed from its shell in the quest for greater performance. How he went about doing this though, remains a questionable (yet characteristic) note on the ‘add lightness’ scale.
After watching bare aluminium Porsches compete (and win) at the Nurburgring, Sala decided to completely strip this very TZ of its paint, both inside and out, exposing it right down to the bare aluminium. He even sanded down the aluminium itself to reduce the thickness in his quest for lessened weight. He probably shaved off a few kilos by doing this. Amazingly, the TZ pictured here remained in its bare-aluminium shell until July 2010 when it was completely restored back to its original Le Mans livery/colours.
In July 2010, the car won 1st-Place honours at the Le Mans Heritage Club Concours. On May 21st of this year it was auctioned off by RM Auctions at Villa d’Este for an astronomical 627,400.000 Euros ($830,110.000)
Nice, sweet-sounding onboard footage captured here just after its complete restoration…
Everyone requires a mandatory video-break throughout the work-a-day so here we present you with a varying hodgepodge of selections that run from the odd to the old to the personal portrait to the importance of friendship and comaraderie within motoring circles.
Metal Heart – Captured at a Monster Truck Event, this strange little video manages to reflect a miniaturised, toy-like, clay-mation world back to the viewer. My favourite bit is the supposed Smash-up Derby
The Bond – Some of you may have already seen this video when it emerged a few months back but for those that haven’t, it’s worth your time. An intimate and beautifully filmed portait detailing why the most important vehicle purchases in life come from the heart.
Rattling the Hills in a Spyker – This video remains a personal fave of mine, as I’ve been fortunate enough to have driven these exquisite roads throughout the Scottish Highlands in various TVRs from years past. Shown here is a Spyker C8 blatting across the landscape and I can assure you, the Spyker sounds every bit as roaringly delicious as the soundtrack delivers it to be… I implore you all..! Go to Scotland and drive the western coastline..!
A Pinch of Salt – One from the Bonneville Salt Flats Annual Speedweek. An honest look at the camaraderie and life-long friendships that permeate throughout this event where the record books are an afterthought and helping your fellow mate achieve his/her own goals reigns supreme. Again, beautifully shot.
Targa Florio 1970 – Excellent period commentary from Vic Elford from one of the last times the Targa Florio event was run before it ended. Amazing footage. Of noteworthy sights are various scenes where Alfa Romeos, Ferraris and Porsches are being driven at full speed throughout the tiny villages while small children stand in awe, chickens stroll about and elderly gentlemen engage in card games on the immediate roadside with cars blasting past them, unguarded, at truly ferocious speeds. An essential glimpse from a time we’ll never see the likes of ever again.