Today’s Rare Ride is one of just nine Alfa Romeo TZ3s built in 2010 by Zagato. Priced at over $1 million at the time, every example was immediately sold to a collector who put it in an alarmed garage somewhere warm and sunny, and then didn’t drive it.
However, underneath the fanciful Zagato bodywork was a platform few million-dollar class collectors covet for their garage.
The TZ3 was a modern take on the original TZ (TZ2) or Tubolare Zagato, which was officially a part of the Guilia line. The Zagato-styled sports coupe was sold from 1963 to 1967 and had a very distinctive look from all angles. The Sixties TZ made a name for itself when it competed against the likes of the Shelby Cobra and Ferrari 250 GTO, and finished in third and fourth place ahead of the Ferrari at the ’64 Targa Florio.
As modern homages go, the TZ3 avoided goofy “trying too hard” pitfalls and integrated modern styling elements well. One really can see the original TZ in the TZ3’s design. 2010 was chosen for a resurrection of TZ as it was Alfa Romeo’s 100th anniversary. Zagato designer Norihiko Harada penned the 3’s shape, a body constructed completely of carbon fiber. Underneath was a modern tubular space frame, but underneath that was something American.
The TZ3 was based on the Dodge Viper’s platform, and as such was powered by its 8.4-liter V10 engine. For those of you calling sacrilege at a bespoke Alfa powered by an American V10 (neither country nor cylinder count are Alfa-like), your author agrees. Alas, with FCA’s ownership of Dodge and Alfa, the partnership fell into place easily. Third-generation designer and racing driver Andrea Zagato said “Because of the Fiat Group Chrysler/Dodge partnership, the TZ3 can be considered history’s first ‘American’ Alfa Romeo.” Indeed.
The 8.4 was specified to ACR tune in the TZ3, which meant 640 horses and 560 lb-ft of torque. Heady figures, all slotted through the Viper’s six-speed manual. What wasn’t so heady was the interior of the million-dollar TZ3, which was very clearly full of Viper parts, and thus full of parts from the Dodge Caravan.
But collectors didn’t care, and all nine were snapped up quickly for storage. Today’s example in suitable red was sold for $489,000 in Indiana late last year, which is some pretty steep depreciation for 210 total miles. Our pictures today are sourced from a video of a yellow TZ3. Complete with a V10 exhaust clip, there’s something notable about this yellow one: It has a center console plate covering up all the Dodge-ness, where our Rare Rides subject doesn’t. The climate and radio positions are swapped too. Interesting.
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