The original Giulia TZ came along during Alfa Romeo’s golden era. It has all the attributes of the Italian brand’s greatest cars: low weight, a punchy twin-cam inline-four engine, gorgeous looks, and competition success.
When Alfa’s centenary came along in 2010, however, the company was in the middle of a conspicuously less rosy period of its history. Coachbuilder Zagato, then, understandably looked way back to the glory days of the TZ to celebrate the occasion.
Its first order of business was to create the TZ3 Corsa. Based on the 8C Competizione, it was a one-off track car built for German car collector Martin Kapp. Thanks to the extensive use of carbon fibre and aluminium in its construction, the 4.2-litre V8-powered sports car weighed just 850kg.
The car you see here is something else. It’s the TZ3 Stradale of which Zagato more generously built nine. Its innards are rather less Italian than the Corsa’s, the Stradale being based on a Dodge Viper ACR-X of all things - hence the enormously long bonnet.
Along with a tubular frame, the Viper also lent its 8.4-litre, naturally-aspirated V10 to the Stradale. Approaching 1500kg, the TZ3 is significantly heavier than the Corsa, but with the slightly detuned ACR-X engine good for 600bhp, it’ll still be sufficiently quick.
Although the shape of the Viper-donated interior is still clearly visible, Zagato smartened it up considerably with copious amounts of leather. And, of course, an Alfa Romeo badge for the steering wheel.
At the time of the car’s release, Andrea Zagato said, “‘Essential beauty’ was what we wanted this Alfa Romeo’s carbon fibre body to say…Because of the Fiat Group-Chrysler/Dodge partnership, the TZ3 can be considered history’s first ‘American’ Alfa Romeo”.
If you agree with that sentiment, you might be interested in this one, which is set to go under the hammer at RM Sotheby’s Elkhart sale in May (note - this has now been postponed until October due to the Covid-19 crisis). It’s number six of the nine Zagato made, and it’s covered just 210 miles.
To give you an idea of how much it might go for, a dealer in California is selling another TZ3 for $699,000.