1967 Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote Zagato
The Alfa Romeo story began in June 1910 when A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) was founded in Milan, Italy. Their first car, the 24hp, was a great success and the Alfa name became synonymous with motor racing in the early years. In 1915 Nicola Romeo took over the company and during war time its focus was on military equipment, however, it wanted to build cars. Soon after the very first Alfa Romeo motor vehicle, the Torpedo 20-30hp, was built.
The pre-war 6C and 8C Alfa Romeos are amongst the most desirable and sought-after sports racing cars ever built. These cars embody everything one would expect of an Italian thoroughbred from that era. They were an engineering masterpiece and the heart and soul of each and every one ever built was the magnificent Vittorio Jano designed engine.
There were numerous variants of these cars built on different chassis, with many different body styles and mechanical configurations. The sports versions were incredibly fast to drive and had a very successful race history in period.
The 6C and 8C designation referred to ‘6 cylinders’ and ‘8 cylinders’ respectively. The first 6C was built in 1927 and powered by a 1500cc engine. Over the years the engine size grew from the original 1500cc to 1750cc, 1900cc, 2300c, 2500cc and ultimately 3000cc. The last of the 6C’s was built in 1954. Over the years these wonderful cars were bodied by some of the world’s best and most exclusive coachbuilders, including: James Young, Zagato, Touring, Castagna, Pininfarina and Alfa Romeo themselves.
Following the Second World War the company was in financial difficulty and it decided a change in direction was necessary to survive, and rather than hand build luxury sporting cars it decided to focus on mass production. The Alfa Romeo 1900, introduced in 1950, was the first Alfa Romeo to be built on a production line and this model went along way to securing Alfa Romeo’s future. Just over 20,000 cars were built through until 1959, however, it was the Giulietta that really made its mark. Alfa Romeo got the formula right and as testament to the success of this model the 750 and 101 series cars were in production for over a decade from 1954 through until 1965 and during this time almost 180,000 cars were built.
Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s Alfa built a number of different models including four door sedans, two door coupes and convertibles, however, regardless of model their cars always had a sporting edge. They were a ‘driver’s car’ first and foremost.
In 1964 Alfa Romeo was influenced by leading and respected Italian car magazine Quattroruote to build a car as homage to the legendary 6C1750SS by Zagato. The basis for the car was the chassis from a 101 Guilia Spider (Tipo 101.23) and the engine, gearbox and other mechanicals were from a 105 series Alfa Romeo Guilia TI (Tipo AR00112). The rolling chassis were supplied to Zagato who hand built the bodies and assembled the cars. These cars are therefore genuine Alfa Romeos and are recognised as such. They are not replicas or recreations. The cars were named – Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote Zagato. Only 102 examples were built from 1965 – 1967 of which 10 were right hand drive.
Of the 10 right hand drive cars built only 1 was sold new in Australia and Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer this very car for sale.
The documentation on file notes the car was delivered to Carrozzeria Zagato of Terrazzano, Italy on the 30th May 1966. When the car was ultimately delivered by Zagato is unclear, however, the sequence of 10 right hand drive cars all noted as being 1967 delivery in various Alfa Romeo books.
This particular car had its title transferred via Alfa Romeo London, in the UK, to Alec Mildren in Sydney, Australia who was Australia’s leading Alfa Romeo importer and dealer in the 1960’s. The car was displayed at the 1968 Sydney Motor Show alongside an Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. It was also featured in Modern Motor magazine in October 1968 which notes the price of the car as $6,500.
This fabulous Alfa Romeo has a known ownership from new. It was first sold through Alec Mildren to a well-known Sydney identity. Its next owner may well have been part of the same family. The car then passed through the hands of a number of very well-known car collectors and it was acquired from the Byron Bay area of New South Wales by its current owner in February 2010.
The current owner has used the car sparingly, however, it has participated in the Melbourne Mille in 2011 successfully travelling around 3,000 km and then it completed a round trip from Hobart, Tasmania to Mt Gambier, South Australia for Alfesta, 2016 travelling around 1,500km. At Alfesta the car was awarded People’s Choice in the show and shine.
This car remains extensively original and today it has only 59,454 km on the odometer. The paint work looks to be original and it still has a good depth of colour. There are a few stone chips, mainly on the nose, as well as the odd blemish consistent with a very well cared for car that is 50 years old . . . but you know what you would not touch it! The exterior trim, bright work and lenses are all in good condition. The wheels have recently been powder coated and are in excellent condition all round. The spare wheel and tyre fitted to the rear of the car look to be original and never used!
Inside the cabin everything is neat and tidy, its condition more consistent with a car that has travelled almost 60,000 km rather than that from a 50 year old car. The instruments and controls have aged particularly well and are in excellent condition. The current owner understands that the original seat padding was quite thin and that the seats were bolstered by a previous owner many years ago. Today they are extremely comfortable and once you are in the car the driving position feels ‘just right’. The car has a soft top with side curtains and a tonneau cover which are also in excellent condition. These all stow in behind the seats. It is a little complex to sort but once you work out what to do the soft top does go up reasonably quickly. Surprisingly the soft top is a really good fit and it would certainly offer ample protection from the elements. The current owner has fitted new carpets a few years ago.
The engine starts easily, but it does take a little while to warm up. The car’s owner says it’s best to give it 5 minutes or so to warm up before driving off. This proves to be the case and once you get the car out on the open road it is just a delight to drive. Anyone who has spent time behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Guilietta Spider or Guilia Spider knows just how light and nimble these little cars are. The Guilia Spider tips the scales at around 860kg and the Gran Sport Quattroruote Zagato comes in over 100kg less at around 750kg . . . quite astonishing really. This helps explain why this car is so damn good! Mechanically this car appears to be very well sorted. It performs impeccably on the road. The engine revs willingly and it pulls strongly, the gearbox is smooth with no fuss going in and out of second gear, which is often a weak point on fifties and sixties Alfas. Everything is so surprisingly tight. There are virtually no rattles or squeaks and the car just steers and stops when asked to do so. The engine bay is also very original, but it is very clean. Under the bonnet the car carries its original Zagato sticker which is a nice touch. The current owner completes his own servicing on the car and the brakes were rebuilt a few years ago.
We like the rare and unusual at Oldtimer Australia and this fabulous Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote Zagato certainly ticks those boxes. We love this car and are sure you will too!
The car comes with an extensive history file, some period magazines featuring this model, an original (almost complete) tool kit and jack.
- Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote
- 59438 km