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Let’s face it, the Alfa Romeo SZ will most likely trigger a fight or flight reaction. A car with such peculiar looks isn’t innately beautiful; it’s an acquired taste. But once you learn how to observe the SZ and look past its menacing demeanor, this special Alfa will uncover an unimaginable palette of flavors only a car from an Italian carrozzeria workshop can offer.

Its otherworldly appearance might have earned it the name Il Mostro, but having been created and honed by some of the most revered names in the industry over just 19 months, the Alfa Romeo SZ pressed all the right buttons for an exceptional sports car.

There are more than a few reasons why this special Alfa Romeo is finally getting some much deserved recognition from the wider public, so let’s dig into its origins to see how the most infamous Alfa Romeo ever became an unlikely hero.

History and Development of the Alfa Romeo SZ

From the people’s carmaker Fiat to the great Ferrari, collaborations between car manufacturers and coachbuilders have always been commonplace in the Italian automotive industry. Most famously, these artisans have been creating unique pieces out of existing mechanics for automotive shows or special clients, but they more often provided design, consulting and manufacturing services for low volume production cars.

One of those creative houses was Zagato, long known for its trademark double-bubble roofline, which it never abandoned once from the razor sharp 1970s all the way to the 1990s. In addition to turning radical ideas into existing forms, Zagato also researched technologically advanced materials like glass fiber composites.

Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato Badge

Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato Badge

To understand how a radical creation like the SZ came to be, we need to go back to 1986, when Alfa Romeo became a part of Fiat. Beforehand, the Milanese company was highly regarded for building exclusive sports and race cars, successfully campaigning them in numerous racing series worldwide. Still, the company faced troubles after the late 1960s, and unfavorable economic circumstances throughout the automotive world during the 1970s left an even bigger toll, forcing Fiat to adapt in order to survive.

By the time Fiat bought Alfa Romeo, the Milanese manufacturer had already tried turning to more affordable front-wheel drive models and mass production. Unfortunately, these moves didn’t always yield results—for example, there was the forgettable Alfasud and the Arna, an unholy alliance between Nissan and Alfa Romeo.

In the process, Alfa Romeo gave up on exclusivity and its image of a bona fide sports car maker, struggling to keep the flame alive through sports cars like the Alfetta GT/GTV and Tipo 33 racing machinery.

After the 1986 merger, Fiat had to assure the public and the connoisseurs that Alfa Romeo could thrive under their new ownership. So to build the SZ, Fiat’s leadership commissioned Alfa Romeo Centro Stile, Zagato, and its own in-house team, the Fiat Centro Stile to pitch the messenger of Alfa Romeo’s redemption.

In the end, it was the Fiat Centro Stile which penned the design, whereas Zagato was kept as an outside contractor for its composite material know-how and a historic bond with special Alfa Romeo cars.

The prototype broke cover at the 1987 Geneva Auto Show as the Alfa Romeo ES-30 (which stood for Experimental Sportscar 3.0-liter). It was built around the Alfa Romeo 75’s underpinnings.

Both the name and the shape suggested it would just be an engineering and design study, but in 1989, Geneva saw a production variant virtually identical to the 1987 show car, destined for a limited run of 1000 examples. The car was named simply SZ, harking back to the Sprint Zagato and Sport Zagato cars from Alfa’s glory days.

Its price tag was an equivalent of $55,335 in 1989 money—less than the contemporary Ferrari Testarossa, but more than a baseline Porsche 911, and it never sold in the US. In spite of the SZ’s hefty price tag and divisive looks, all 1036 cars sold from 1989 to 1991.

In addition to that, Zagato built a roadster variant of the same car, named the RZ. But unlike its hardtop counterpart, the topless Zagato didn’t meet its production goal, selling only 278 out of 350 planned examples.

Though the automotive public was favorable to the ES-30, it was quick to bash the SZ as a

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By: Djordje Sugaris
Title: In-Depth: The Alfa Romeo SZ
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/alfa-romeo-sz-in-depth-guide/
Published Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 16:09:35 +0000

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Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame

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custom triumph tr6 matchless frame 625x417 1

Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.

Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.

 

The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.

This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.

Custom Triumph TR6 with Matchless frame

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000

 

 

 

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The Swan Song of the V12

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The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.

Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.

Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.

The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.

The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.

The 6.5L F140 GA V12

The 6.5L F140 GA V12
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.

The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.

It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.

Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.

Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.

M279 E60 LA Twin Turbo V12

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By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000

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Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!

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In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.

Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.

I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.

Shoei NXR2 helmet reviewRead More

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000

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