Motor

"Monster" Roadster │ Rare Alfa Romeo R.Z.

"Il Mostro". In English, "The Monster" = monster. Due to its impressive appearance and high performance, the Alfa Romeo show car "ES-30" [Experimental Sport 3.0 liter], which debuted in Geneva in 1989, was immediately given such a unique nickname by the media. It's an extraordinary nickname given to the Alfa Romeo, and the styling of this car was so unique.

In order to know Alfa Romeo S.Z. [Sprint Zagato] and its open version R.Z. [Roadster Zagato], we must first talk about the background of Alfa Romeo, which was in a difficult situation at the time.

Although it was a member of the state-owned enterprises after the war, in fact, it was in 1986 that Alfa Romeo, which has inherited the temperament of state-owned enterprises before the war, became a member of the Fiat Group, which continues to this day. The car lovers of the world watched the new Alfa Romeo by Fiat carefully. There is always a long-awaited need for superstars to get out of the negative image. This was also the case, and Fiat made a sports car plan that would be a resurrection.

In order to promote the common use of the body with Fiat, a plan to build a limited-production sports car that uses the transaxle FR for 75 that will not be used in the future has begun. Therefore, we asked the design proposals to Zagato, Alfa Romeo in-house design, and Fiat in-house design for the competition. As many Alpha fans know, it was the work of the Fiat in-house design team that was selected for the competition. Mario Maiori and Robert Oplon's eccentric styling, in many ways [and politically], was chosen by Alpha's new Fiat leader. By the way, Robert Opron was a French designer who was in charge of the Citroën SM, Alpine A310 and Renault Fego, and you can understand the source of S.Z.'s uniqueness.

After that, the interior and exterior design of S.Z. will be quickly summarized by Antonio Castellana using CAD, but Zagato was involved only in the modification of the front and rear designs. So why not only the car name, but also the Zagato emblem?

Of course, there is also the fact that the name S.Z. already represented Alfa Romeo's historic sports car. In addition, the assembly of S.Z. was done at the factory of Zagato in the town of Rho outside Milan. The design was not Zagato, but it meant that it was a real Zagato Alfa Romeo.

The S.Z. was announced as a limited number of 1000 units, and it is said that, from 1989 to 1991, 1036 units including the prototype left the factory of Zagato. On the other hand, Zagato was to be greatly involved in the S.Z. roadster conversion. However, Zagato initially proposed an elegant roadster that emphasized a gentle curve, unlike S.Z. As a result, the roadster version named RZ seems to be just removing the characteristic black roof from SZ, but in fact it seems that 500 parts are different, and there is Zagato's It can be said that he saw his intention as a carrozzeria.

The production volume of the R.Z. will be only 278 units from 1992 to 1993, compared to the limited number of 350 units. In that sense, the R.Z.'s rarity is four times that of the S.Z. The body color of S.Z. was only red, but R.Z. is available in red, yellow, and black, and it is said that there are a very small number of silver and metallic white.

And now, in good condition in the country, the yellow R.Z. is looking for the next owner. It's an Italian car with a completely different curve from a German car, which twists itself around and turns! I still remember what I thought. The handling that feels like laughing at the word body rigidity must be more enjoyable because it is now.

Although I have seen many S.Z. and R.Z. so far, there are many individuals whose fiber body has deteriorated over time. The panel is wavy or the paint is thin. There are many individuals in conditions that can not be seen. Recently, it has become a little cleaner due to the boom of classic cars, but until a while ago, the market price was low and many individuals were left alone.

In this respect, the yellow condition is so remarkable that it reminded me of a new car. The odometer will run 7500km. The emblems, plastic lenses and wheels are perfect. Under the condition-keeping owner, the rubber around the window is in good condition, and the interior looks like a new car. Only the shift knob has a feeling of use.

I was interested in a small touch paint repair on the front cowl edge, paint cracks on the tonneau cover of the same color, and cracks on the right winker lens. There is bond bleeding on the edge of the front window, but this is unavoidable. Conversely, there is no other place to complain.

The serial number is 206. As far as I moved it for shooting, the engine's light blow was impressive and the vehicle height adjustment worked perfectly. There is also a genuine instruction manual [which will be required for a while to open the roof], a special vehicle verification case, and a bag to store when changing tires.

Valuable R.Z. low-speed vehicle. As expected, finding an individual at this distance should be quite difficult from a global perspective. It is one that I would recommend to add to the collection.

Vehicle information provided by CARZY [text: Jun Nishikawa, photo: Kiyoshi Kamimura]
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