Dr. Elio Zagato passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88.
Son of Ugo Zagato, founder of the famous Milanese Atelier, renowned in the whole world since 1919 for its custom made car bodies- Elio was a figure of great importance in the history of global automotive design and in the Gran Turismo race scene of the post-war era.
Entrepreneur, racer and gentleman driver, he competed for the first time in Piacenza in 1947, driving a Fiat which had just been re-bodied as a graduation gift from his father. From that point onwards he never stopped developing his beloved Gran Turismos, working on them during the week and then testing them during the weekends. He was amongst the founders of the Milanese Scuderia Sant Ambroeus. He embodied with perfection the style, elegance, and competitive spirit of the Italian gentleman driver of the ‘Dolce Vita’ era.
In the early 1950s he started developing the world’s most desired berlinette GTs. Amongst all of them we fondly remember the Fiat 8V Zagato, which he claimed to be his favourite, the Alfa Romeo 1900 SSZ which was often his rival in various races, the legendary Ferrari 250 GTZs, Maserati A6G, Aston Martin DB4 GTZ and many more. He took part in the golden age of competitions raced with vests and helmets with famous characters such as Ascari, Fangio, Galluzzi, Nuvolari, Stagnoli, and others. Enzo Ferrari called him “Zagatino.”
Together with his friend Ercole Spada he developed the legendary Alfa Romeo SZ, TZ and TZ2s followed by the elegant Lancia Sports based on Appia, Flavia, Flaminia, and Fulvia chassis. A constant innovator, together with his father Ugo he invented the celebrated double bubble, signature mark of the Milanese brand, the ‘Coda Tronca’, windows made out of plexiglas and countless other solutions still used on modern vehicles today.
Elio participated in 150 automotive races, winning 82 of them and becoming champion of the GT series a remarkable 5 times. He was victorious in the Targa Florio, eight Coppa Intereuropas, won three first places in the Golden Cup of the Dolomites, and came in first at the Avus circuit in Berlin in 1955.
Promoter of the Milanese concept of minimalism oriented towards functionalist design, Elio defined his Zagatos first and foremost as ‘original.’ Whoever asked him to synthesize the design spirit of his car bodies, he would reply to them “You see that car? Is it different from all the others? Then it’s a Zagato.”
Andrea and Marella Zagato, today, in the year of Zagato’s 90th anniversary, keep the spirit of the Atelier coachwork alive, a trade that Elio learned from Ugo and promoted throughout his career.
Following their highly successful ‘GT & Sports Car Cup’ race series now in its third season, Flavien and Vanessa MarÃ§ais announce a new race series to complement GTSCC, for genuine Pre-74 Italian Sports, Sports-Prototype and GT cars of a type that were raced in the World Endurance Championship and in International Competition in period.
The ‘Italian Historic Car Cup’ has been created following the demand of many international competitors and teams running the most stunning Italian historic machinery and will include four rounds of competition in 2010 at prime tracks and events across Europe: Silverstone and Monza (during the Coppa Intereuropa on 5 & 6 June) are already confirmed, as well as a further two rounds in France to be announced shortly.
The ‘Italian Historic Car Cup’ will give an opportunity for the most prestigious cars manufactured prior to 1974 by constructors such as Abarth, Alfa Ro
On March 14th, 2010, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, UK will see the return of Race Retro, the international historic motor sport show. Organisers, Live Promotions have chosen the Alfa Romeo as its celebrated marque as the Italian manufacturer celebrates its centenary year. Alfa club members are well catered for in the celebrations, as the entire Hall 4 will become dedicated to show case Alfa Romeo club cars for the duration of the show.
Other Halls will include ‘Speed Street’, and other manufacturers featured will be a tribute to Peugeot’s rallying career and for those who prefer two-wheels, a celebration of Norton motorcycles.
A host of celebrity drivers and racers from the 60s, 70s and 80s have been invited to attend from the world of Rallying, Formula One and Super bikes, and will be announced nearer the show.
Tim visits Classic Car Rentals in Hokitika to check out two simply stunning classic replicars
Alfa Romeo’s 8C 2900B has the wow factor. See one in the street, anywhere in the world, and you’ll drop your jaw wide open and be unable to communicate anything much more than a few expletives.
So, seeing this long and low silver bullet on New Zealand’s West Coast is more than little unusual. And it’s a race car for goodness sake — why did they need to make a race car so beautiful? Did it need to be this gorgeous to go fast? It was designed to race — and race it did, winning honours at many a Le Mans and Mille Miglia 24-hour race between 1931 and 1934.
The Alfa’s designer, Vittorio Jano, was a famous bloke, and with this one he designed a good one with an engine that would become arguably the 1930s’ best. Initially a 2.3-litre, it was made up from two twin-overhead cam four-cylinder engines, and first saw the race track in the Tipo B ‘P3’ Grand prix racers and the 8C 2300 sports cars. By 1935 it was up to just over 2.9 litres and in its finest hour it could chug out 190kW (255bhp), although for reliability a smaller 164kW (220bhp) version was used.
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On Saturday 18 May, Bonhams will hold its Collectors’ Motor Car Sale at the S.A.S. le Prince de Monaco Motor Museum, in Monaco. Cars previously owned by Hollywood leading man Christian Slater, classical musician Herbert Von Karajan and the Aga Khan are amongst 91 lots going under the hammer.
Famous names aside, the cars are still the real stars of the sale. Such as the 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Mille Miglia Speciale — one of only three cars remaining from an original limited run which saw just twenty-four cars produced. It is expected that this car will fetch â‚¬700,000-800,000. The world’s first Porsche 906, built in 1966, is another highlight, with a guide price of â‚¬550,000-650,000.
Meanwhile, another lucky bidder will have the chance to buy the Aston Martin V8 Volante previously owned by Hollywood star Christian Slater — famous for his roles in True Romance, Interview with a Vampire, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Broken Arrow. The car is expected to realise between â‚¬30,000-40,000. Whilst a 1988 Porsche 959 with a similarly designated pedigree having been owned by both the Aga Khan and Herbert Von Karajan is estimated at â‚¬200,000-230,000.
This substantial, 320-page book tells you everything you need to know about the elegant Montreal, named after the World’s Fair venue at which it was first shown. Total production was under 4000 in the mid ’70s. Featuring a race-derived quad-cam V8 engine of 2.6 litres, the Montreal was clothed in an elegant body and was intended as a GT, rather than a competition car — though some were and are raced. The green Hehir car in New Zealand gets quite a lengthy mention. For anyone with an interest in buying a Montreal, and particularly for owners, this would be an indispensable book to have. As well as following the development of the car and its limited production run, there are sections on colour schemes, 26 pages on specialist tools, tuning, upgrades and potential weak areas, club activities, models, books and advertising — and what is in effect a workshop manual covering mechanical, electrical and bodywork maintenance. It’s a well-illustrated and nicely produced book, though it is pretty expensive. I hope there are sufficient fans of the car to reward Veloce’s decision to publish.
Alfa Romeo Montreal: The Essential Companion by Bruce Taylor
Review book supplied by the publisher
Review by Mark Holman
The Historic Racing Club has two days of classic motorsport planned for this weekend, with a packed race programme.
Saturday’s racing will include the AES TradeZone Series, Historics, Alfa Romeo Trofeo Series, Castrol BMW E30 Group 1 & 2, Muscle Cars, Tracer Series, Castrol BMW Open, ING Classic Trial, Super Historics and Sports Cars and Arrow Wheels Sports & GT Challenge.
A similarly full programme for Sunday will include a series of special races, including an eight-lap staggered reverse grid Muscle Car race, the Jim Palmer AES TradeZone race, Geoff Manning Historics, Jim Richards Muscle Cars, Ray Williams Arrow Wheels Sports & GT Challenge, Dennis Marwood Alfa Romeo Trofeo Series, Ross Jensen BMW E30 Group 1, Ralph Watson ING Classic Trial, Ross Jensen BMW E30 Group 2, Leo Leonard Tracer Series, Ross Jensen BMW Open and Ferris de Joux Super Historics / Sports Cars.
Racing starts on Saturday at 10am and on Sunday at 9am, head out to Pukekohe and be part of the action.
If you drive an Alfa or you just love them, then get along to the annual Alfa Romeo Owners Club, Christmas BBQ this Sunday the 14th of December.
The BBQ starts at 3:30pm and is being held at Vowles Farm, 119 Henwood Road, Taupaki, West Auckland.
You will need to take something to sit on, beverages, and food to cook on the BBQ. (BBQ’s will be available.)
To find out more phone 09 521 1497or click here to visit the Alfa Romeo Owners Club website.
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