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Rare 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Zagato in India

After decades of speculation, we were fortunate to hear first hand accounts of what is probably India’s most special post war sports car, a 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Zagato. Just about 16 cars were hand built by Zagato, and their remarkable strike rate in motorsport events spawned the higher volume SZ series.

BHPian karlosdeville recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

For years we have heard, discussed and debated a very special car in the Indian historic car scene. Mostly we just had a couple of hazy photos and stories of a special Alfa that was raced by the legendary Rossi.

One of the very few pictures posted earlier of the car in more recent times. So what is the actual story?

After decades of speculation, we were fortunate to hear first hand accounts of what is probably India’s most special post war sports car, a 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Zagato. Just about 16 cars were hand built by Zagato, and their remarkable strike rate in motorsport events spawned the higher volume SZ series.

From my understanding, below is the history of the car, thanks mainly to marque expert Gino Giugno and long term owner Rajesh Malhotra.

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce AR*1493E04249, engine no. 1315-30486 was delivered on March 19, 1957 and originally registered Roma 317412. Some months later, it was sent to the Zagato works in Milan to be fitted with a lightweight body upgrading the car to SVZ (as was the case with other cars too). The first owner is recorded as Mario Angioli; and subsequently Silvano Bernabei, Clara Barbato (Dario Sepe, a new registration plate number NA146353), Silvio Mandato and Renato Valli (also Renetto Venneli?).

The car had competed in multiple motorsport events in Europe, some wins are listed below:

  • 1958 AGNANO - CAPPELLA CANGIANI, car driven by Dario Sepe.
  • 1958 SORRENTO SANT'AGATA, car driven by Dario Sepe.
  • 1959 TARGA FLORIO, car no 38 driven by Dario Sepe - Colin Davis.
  • 1959 PALERMO - MONTE PELLEGRINO, car no 202 driven by Dario Sepe.
  • 1959 COPPA SILA, car driven by Dario Sepe.
  • 1959 CATANIA ETNA, car no 312 driven by Dario Sepe.
  • 1960 TARGA FLORIO, car no 54 driven by Silvio Mandato - G.Ruggero.
  • 1960 TARGA VESVIO, car driven by Silvio Mandato.

The most prestigious of these, was the class win and 6th overall at Targa Florio on May 24th 1959, with Dario Sepe and Colin Davis at wheel. We believe it is the only SVZ to achieve this distinction. Thankfully, this is backed up by authentic documentation from the Automobile Club d’Italia and marque expert Gino Guigno ,who has documented each car built in his books ‘Giulietta Sprint Veloce Zagato’, as well as ‘La Targa Florio della Giulietta’. This is especially important given the high number of fakes in the international market that keep popping up.

Thanks to AlfaBB and Gino for these priceless images.

Continue reading on this special Alfa Romeo for BHPian comments, insights and more information.

 
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