AutoArt 1:18 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2
The ape awakes....in Italy.....
Review by Frank Lemire
In 1965 Alfa Romeo looked to continue the success they had in 1964 with their small displacement TZ by introducing a lighter, more powerful and more aerodynamic version which was dubbed the TZ-2. The car was built by former Ferrari hand Carlo Chiti's Autodelta shop. It featured a fiberglass body and was powered by a 170 hp twin plug version of the 1570cc Alfa Romeo engine. Like the Cobra Daytona coupe it was listed as a GT car but was really a limited edition pure racing car.
The car proved to be fast but somewhat fragile and never really had the chance to reach its full potential when the combination of rules changes and company priorities ended the program in favor of the GTA sedan and T-33 prototype programs. Dubbed by some the ‘Mini GTO’ for its similarity in looks to the Ferrari 250 GTO only seven of these car were produced and they remain among the rarest and most prized Alfas.
AUTOart has perhaps gone out on a limb to produce such a rare car in 1:18 scale but I think many will be glad they did. The car is quite simply a little gem. The fit and finish are about as good as it gets. It begins to sound like a broken record but AUTOart really knows how to paint and put together diecast cars. The badging really stands out - from the classic Alfa Romeo grillwork up front to the photo etched ‘GIULIA TZ’ on the tail – everything is clean, crisp and precise.
The glasswork is likewise a delight – I wish all my cars had window glass and headlight covers this clear and free of distortion. They also gave the car a nicely executed windshield wiper, something that far too many manufacturers scrimp on. The cars stance appears to be correct and the wheels and tires nicely done. The interior is pretty Spartan, but well done thanks to AUTOart’s knack for adding patterns and texture to plastic pieces.
Lift the hood and you’ll find a nicely done engine compartment and front suspension. Again it is mostly plastic but it is nicely done. There is even a bit to see under the car with some nice detailing of the front and rear suspension and the exhaust system.
Negatives? Well this car was modeled after the ‘Museum’ car so it carries no livery, which is a shame considering this was a purpose built race car and it would be more representative if it were in racing trim. Perhaps AUTOart plans to build more – which would make sense considering the cost of tooling – so full liveried cars might still be in our future. Livery or not this car, like the Ferrari GTO looks good from any angle and is a sure way to ‘dress up’ any collection.
AUTOart's 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2 is available through Legacy Motors. Please click here.