Few cars are as polarizing as the Alfa Romeo SZ (Sprint Zagato). Introduced in 1989 at the Geneva Motor Show, the high-performance coupe was developed as part of a partnership between Zagato, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat. Just 1,036 examples were produced between 1989 and 1991.
Given the rarity and general uniqueness of “Il Monstro", a pristine, low-mileage example could sell for as much as $85,000 at auction. Luckily enough, this one up for grabs on eBay for much cheaper; per this writing bidding sits at just $30,223. Not a bad deal for such a distinctive classic.
Having covered just 45,000 miles in its lifetime, the original 3.0-liter V6 under the hood still runs and drives like new, says the seller. From the factory, that engine would produce 210 horsepower thanks to an advanced electronic fuel injection system and a five-speed manual gearbox.
Most of the mechanics were borrowed from the Alfa Romeo 75 on which it was based — aka the successful subcompact that was sold in North America from 1985 to 1992. The suspension was taken from the Alfa 75 group A/IMSA car, and was modified by Giorgia Pianta, engineer and team manager of the Lancia and Fiat rally works team.
The final result of that race-bred engineering was a 50/50 weight distribution, and the ability to sustain over 1.1Gs in cornering wearing its standard Pirelli P Zero tires (front 205/55 ZR 16, rear 225/50 ZR 16), and up to 1.4Gs with race rubber.
Ironically enough, that eye-searing exterior wasn’t designed by Zagato. The car was penned by Robert Opron of the Fiat design studio, and was one of the first cars to use computer-aided design (or CAD) in its development. The final production was carried out by Zagato at its Terrazzano di Rho factory in Italy.
Love it or hate it, the Alfa Romeo SZ is a unique vehicle with a history to match. With just 1,036 examples ever having existed, and even fewer making their way to the U.S., some collectors could only dream of owning one — and now is their chance.