The classic car show will open in Bremen, Germany on 6 February. Starring at the event as examples of the very best Italian design are four beautiful coupé models: the Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale and the Fiat 8V.
The “Bremen Classic Motorshow”, from 6 to 8 February, will be opening the 2015 classic car show season. Visitors to pavilion 5 may admire the special “Eleganza italiana” line-up starring a selection of prized Alfa Romeo and Fiat models, four of which from the museum collections of the two brands.
In particular, the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese (Milan) will be sending three sporty coupé models to the Bremen Classic Motorshow, like the exclusive 2000 Sportiva (1954) designed by “Nuccio” Bertone, of which only two were made, and the futuristic Giulia Sprint Speciale (1963). Focus will also be on the Giulietta SZ (1960) made by Zagato, the coachbuilder famous for his remarkably light-weight bodies: the rarest body variant, the one with the short Kamm tail created to optimise aerodynamics, will be on show in Bremen.
The spotlights will also be trained on an exclusive model owned by the Centro Storico Fiat in Turin, namely the only example of the 8V with fibreglass bodywork. The concept presented at the 1954 Turin Motor Show demonstrated the experience gained by the Fiat’s “Carrozzerie Speciali” shop using this material, which was innovative for the time and had immediate benefits on the car’s weight, and ultimately on its performance.
Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva (1954)
Franco Scaglione, who would go on to become a world-famous designer, considered the Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva that he had worked on for Bertone as his best result. Nearly at the same time as he was shocking everyone with the BAT concept cars built upon Alfa Romeo 1900 chassis, Scaglione was asked to design a Gran Turismo racing model fitting the engine of the 1900.
The designer presented two body types, the two-seater coupé (later named 2000 Sportiva) and a convertible version. Weighing little more than 900 kilograms when empty and with a short wheelbase, the 2000 Sportiva was very agile and easy to handle. The main structure consisted of a tubular chassis. The original 1900 engine was tuned and fitted with hemispherical combustion chambers. It delivered a power of 138 HP and propelled the coupé at a top speed of 220 km/h.
The rear suspension featured a sophisticated, innovative De Dion tube solution with a modern five-speed gearbox.
Only two Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva Coupé models were made: this one with metallised grey paintwork owned by the Alfa Romeo Museum and another one with red paintwork, which belongs to a collector.
It is worth mentioning that Scaglione would later design the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint and the legendary Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ “coda tronca” (1960)
The 1960 “Giulietta SZ” was made by Carrozzeria Zagato, time-honoured partner of Alfa Romeo, to allow gentleman drivers to race in the “1.3 litre Gran Turismo” category. The SZ was built on the chassis of the earlier “Sprint Speciale”.
One of the peculiarities of the “SZ” is unquestionably its very light weight (740 kilograms for the second series) which together with an efficient aerodynamic profile allowed the car to reach a speed of 200 km/h, remarkable for a 1300 cc naturally aspirated engine.
The second series characterised by a Kamm tail delivers even better aerodynamic results and fits disc brakes.
Two hundred and ten models of the Giulietta SZ, counting both series, were made, of which 30 with Kamm tail.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale (1963)
The “Giulietta Sprint Speciale”, better known as the “SS”, was launched together with the “Giulietta T.I.” in 1957. With strikingly futuristic looks, the SS has a twin cam 1.3 litre engine delivering 100 HP and could reach a speed of 190 km/h, establishing a new record in the 1.3 litre category.
The Giulietta Sprint Speciale body made by Bertone and designed by Scaglione is reminiscent of the “flying saucer” style of the 1952 “Disco Volante”, and one of its most significant features is precisely its aerodynamics and their positive effect on performance. When the sporty, innovative, revolutionary Alfa Romeo “Giulia T.I.” saloon was introduced in 1962, its 1600 engine was extended to the other models in the range, and the Giulietta SS thus became known as the “Giulia Sprint Speciale”. Performance with the 1.6 litre engine was noting short of astonishing: the car reached 200 km/h.
Fiat 8V (1954)
Based on the Fiat 8V coupé, and made in limited number, Fiat presented a prototype with a special body at the 1954 Turin Motor Show. It was made of fibreglass, an innovative material for the time, and weighed only 48.5 kilograms. The concept was to mark the end of the short career of Fiat’s only street-legal sports car with an eight cylinder engine. One hundred and fourteen Fiat-8V were made in total.
The 8V coupé was the result of Fiat’s plan to conquer market shares in the luxury car segment. Of course, an awe-inspiring engine, like an eight cylinder, was needed to achieve this objective. Technical director Dante Giacosa, who would be on the Fiat 500 designer team a few years later, picked a brand-new engine with four cylinders arranged at a 70 degree angle on a shared crankcase: the V-eight was ready. The coupé was perfect for the two litre category which was a popular racing choice in Italy at the beginning of the 1950s and according to Vittorio Valletta would appeal to the North American public.
The 8V introduced in 1952 was the first Fiat with independent suspension. Special bodies, which are perfect interpretations of the “Fiat-8V” theme, were made by the famous coachbuilders Zagato, Vignale, Siata and Ghia, in addition to the models crafted at the plant and designed by interior stylist Fabio Luigi Rapi.