Alfa Romeo JZ (Junior Zagato) - Reader Ride

By: Peter Axford with Guy Allen

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This rare little two-seater loves a good thrash on the track


Peter Axford's 1970 Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato

It was owned by my brother-in-law and with the help of a local workshop they finished it, not long before he was sadly taken with cancer.

In the year or so before he passed away he said he was going to leave me the car and his helmet – he always wanted to use the car on the track and never had the opportunity. So he insisted I use both on the track.

Consequently it’s been to Phillip Island five times Mallala a couple of times.

Video: Alfa Romeo SZ Review

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It’s just fantastic on the track. It’s so nimble. Like most 1300s it has a short fifth gear, so it feels like it’s accelerating for most of the straight at Phillip Island.

You feel like you’re doing a million miles an hour because you’re so close to the ground – it’s just delightful.

Because it’s based on an Alfa Spyder and and had the extra strengthening in the sills, most of the weight is down low and the centre of gravity is brilliant. It weighs 900 kilos and has the pistons and liners from a 1600 and bigger inlet valves, along with higher lift and duration cams. At the back wheels it was showing 103hp on the dyno.

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It’s still easy to drive, with lots of torque. It’s running a five-speed box and four-wheel discs.

I think a couple have come into the country in the last year, so there are probably eight or nine in Australia but only two or three on the road.

(Peter runs Eurosport Automotive in Adelaide.)

Valuation guide: Values are rising through $100k.


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