Pre-war Bugattis, a slightly weathered Lamborghini Miura, a half-finished Mustang Shelby GT350H project car. Significant barn finds just keep being discovered. But have you ever heard of a basement find?
According to Italy's Facebook group, before it got lifted over a fence and freed, this 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato sat in a basement in Turin for a whopping 35 years. The story goes that its mechanic owner never got around to fixing the broken lift that trapped the car in its subterranean home. Nor did he write a will. And so, following his passing, the car was rediscovered last November, right there in the basement.
The first Giulietta Sprint Zagato was born after a crashed factory Alfa race car was re-bodied in aluminum by Team Z in 1956. This Sprint Veloce Zagato version was not only significantly lighter, but also more aerodynamic than the standard Veloce Coupé; the Milanese coachbuilder hand-hammered just 16 examples, each slightly different.
With those cars out there on the racetracks, by 1959, Alfa Romeo realized that the Giulietta SVZ had to be put into regular production. The Scaglione-designed SZ version debuted at the 1960 Geneva Motor Show, but production continued at Zagato, all the way until the 217th example left the workshop.
This recently-discovered example has to be an early 1962 car, as it has the round tail known as "Coda Tonda." Laters '62s came with a Kamm-back design, which they call the "Coda Tronca." Piero Drogo's even more Kamm-tailed Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan debuted the same year.
The Facebook group says that this basement-find Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ has already been sold for €567,000 at a government auction, which translates to $647,000 at today's exchange rates. All thanks to a broken lift, and a mechanic who never told anyone about it.
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