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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Autodelta brought the TZ to the next level

We all know that the Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ racing car program, which was run by Autodelta under the leadership of Carlo Chiti ranging from 1963 to 1967, was able to run relatively smoothly because it benefited from the experience of engineers as well as a strong relationship with Alfa Romeo including with its president Giuseppi Luraghi. What's more, after the TZ1 was successful, Alfa Romeo approved the next series called the Alfa Romeo TZ2 which was also built by Autodelta and unveiled for the first time at the 1964 Turin Auto Show.
Alfa Romeo TZ2 was a continuation model of Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ or TZ1 built based on the tubular frame chassis and bodywork made of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) by Autodelta. (Picture from: Conceptcarz)
And finally Alfa Romeo acquired Carlo Chiti's company to manage its racing division. Then the newly reformed Autodelta took over all the work and responsibilities of the Alfa Romeo's racing development programs including the management of its racing team. At that time one of their first jobs was to upgrade the TZ1 to a lightweight spaceframe race car powered by a lighter, lower and more powerful engine for use by the factory racing teams.
Despite the fact that most of the Alfa Romeo TZ2 are still made from the same mold taken from the prototype, many units have different appearance details, especially with regard to the front fascia and vents. (Picture from: FCAHeritage)
So the entire Autodelta team including Carlo Chiti, Oarzio Satta and Guisseppe Busso actually took over the TZ1 development program to turn it into what many have called the 'mini Ferrari GTO'. Since Autodelta does not need to supply their TZ racing cars to private teams or meet homogation production requirements, they are freer to try new ideas and spend more money on behalf of the racing car performance development.
Alfa Romeo TZ2 powered by an Alfa Romeo's Inline-4 four DOHC engine and gave it larger valves, magnesium casings, upgraded camshafts, two side-draught Weber carburetors, dry-sump lubrication, and a twin-plug head. (Picture from: FCAHeritage)
In its development, it turns out that the TZ2 uses a new body material, namely glass reinforced plastic (GRP) and therein lies the main difference between the TZ1 and TZ2. It is known that the use of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) for the body was also applied by Porsche to the 904 Carrera GTS. The application of these new body materials to replace aluminum significantly helps reduce the weight of nearly 100kg than the original TZ. In addition, despite the fact that most of the cars are still made from the same mold taken from the TZ2 prototype, many units have different appearance details, especially with regard to the front fascia and vents.
Alfa Romeo TZ2's engine is capable of generating power up to 170bhp at 7,500rpm which can spur the TZ2 to a top speed of 160 mph. (Picture from: FCAHeritage)
Compared to the TZ1, it turns out that the new TZ2 body designed by Ercole Spada of the Zagato design house in Milan is lower and more purposeful. The Spada-designed TZ2 body is only 41 inches tall which is partly due to a new suspension which is fully adjustable and mounted lower on the chassis. By putting aside the vehicle height, made the body of the TZ2 at a glance is similar to the Ferrari GTO, moreover both of them had also the Kamm-tail, closed headlights, with a rounded-fender.

Meanwhile the engine was prepared by Autotecnica Conrero, a company owned by Virgilio Conrero based in Torino. For the TZ2 they used an Alfa Romeo's Inline-4 four DOHC engine and gave it larger valves, magnesium casings, upgraded camshafts, two side-draught Weber carburetors, dry-sump lubrication, and a twin-plug head. The engine is capable of generating power up to 170bhp at 7,500rpm which can spur the TZ2 to a top speed of 160 mph.
Alfa Romeo TZ2 at a glance is similar to the Ferrari GTO, moreover both of them had also the Kamm-tail, closed headlights, with a rounded-fender. (Picture from: FCAHeritage)
The body and engine are placed on an Ambrosini-made special chassis made which is then installed with 4 new 13 inch-sized Campagnolo's forged magnesium wheels wrapped with wider, lower profile tyres. Inside the cabin, the installation of a sharp windshield limits the space so that the back seat is installed and the steering column is lowered and the entire dashboard. Because the transmission tunnel in the TZ2 is much higher, the gearshift length is substantially lowered.

Due to the high development costs, it is estimated that only 12 to 14 original TZ2s were ever produced plus a few more were developed by upgrading old TZ1 car units which further complicates matters of knowing how many the Alfa Romeo TZ2s were ever built. Besides that, there were 2 special chassis sent to Bertone and Pininfarina to be further developed into the road going version of the Alfa Romeo TZ.
Thus Bertone's Alfa Romeo Canguro was born in the 1964 which was an extraordinary automotive work of the day, but expensive to produce. Shortly thereafter, the Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 Sport from Pininfarina was born in the 1965 which was no less beautiful and of course also expensive to produce and both remained just prototypes to date.

Alfa Romeo TZ2's career in racing world is short, but it can be said a quite successful. Although for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it seems that the TZ2 has not succeeded after Autodelta tried it in 1965 with 3 racing cars, but none of them managed to finish it well. In 1966, the TZ2 raced in five international racing events, each taking first class. And after 18 months of dominating the 1,600cc GT class, Alfa Romeo moved on and Autodelta focused on developing a rear-engined racing car prototype. In fact, this one is powered by the TZ2 engine and marked the appearance of another beautiful and phenomenal car, the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CONCEPTCARZ | FCAHERITAGE ]
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