Road Trip 2017: Hunting for Classic Cars / Day 1
The road trip started on Feb 1st, 2017. We decided the drive up north on the 5 Freeway to San Francisco. The whole drive up I was trying to coordinate with a seller of a rare Alfa Romeo that I have wanted for a long time. We followed a yellow Alfa Romeo Duetto ( I think) for a portion of the journey.
We finally made it to San Francisco in the evening and persuaded the seller to show me the car. He wanted to go home but thankfully he made the time. The car I am excited to see is a 1990 Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato. I used to read every car magazine growing up and the month with Il Mostro on the cover was seared into my brain forever. Now that these cars can be imported due to the 25 year rule, we now can our very own SZ. The biggest issue for me is the California emissions which it wont pass because these cars were never intended for the USA. It can only be registered in 49 states. Thank a lot,California!
The car was not track abused at all. It was a good example with less than 30,000 kilometers. The paint has imperfections which were known to be issues when they came off the production floor. There were only 1000 examples made and many have been in accidents already, tracked, or abused so finding a good one is the challenge. The interior looks pristine. The seat leather is a very soft italian leather and shows no creases or damage. The seats were very comfortable with high leg bolsters to keep you in place. I thought it was interesting that the passenger seat had a grab handle attached on the left hand side. A very cool detail!
It also had a suspension height adjustment button which first raises the back end and then finally the front end. I’m not sure why this feature was needed. It doesnt look like the car is that low to warrant a height feature like a Lamborghini. Its still a cool feature to have though. This particular car is missing the factory car cover which was unique to this car but supposedly there is an aftermarket vendor that can sell you this. Alfa Romeo did make fitted luggage which is now rare to find. I have not been able to find a picture of it yet.
This car has its belts changed already and is ready to go. The engine looks immaculate. The body panels for the fenders are riveted on to the body. The driver’s side front fender has a crack where the rivet hole is located. This will have be repaired.
I expected the trunk to open like a hatchback but instead there is a rear door that opens down like a original mini Cooper. All you will find in there is a narrow spare tire , jack , and tools. There is no room for anything else in there to fit. Quirky but I like it.
Overall, its a unique car from Zagato and nothing else has come out like since. The seller’s price is pretty steep at $85,000 US Dollars and I supposed with so few already imported into the USA, he can ask whatever he wants. The market will dictate the price. I’ve seen a pristine garage queen in New York with an asking price of $120,000 US Dollars. There was also one that sold on eBay recently for $59,000 USD , but that car had its original seats replaced with racing seats. It was used and abused in its life as a track car.