Alfa Romeo’s speciality back in the sixties were sporty spiders and coupes, and the Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato was another example of this with its Zagato styled wedge shape looks and the use of aluminium body panels.
This gave this car a competition feel when Alfa never really used it for racing although sitting in the Zagato’s highly bolstered bucket seats starring at the rev counter and speedometer you would think you were on the grid. In 1972 the Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato became a 1600 instead of a 1300 increasing bhp from the original 88 bhp to 108 bhp adding further credibility to this sporting coupe. The 1600 Zagato had some nice touches to enhance the cars feel of luxury, like a wood rimmed steering wheel with three metal spokes. It was also 3.9 inches longer than the 1300 and at the back were the sloping roofline runs further than the original model.
Today the Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato models are quite rare with around 500 in the country so you won’t find many cruising around your town all though with overseas sellers looking to the UK more and more keep your eyes open.
The Junior Zagato has always been an exotic car, and this is still true
today although they are in limited numbers with only a few outstanding examples left. If you’re in a position to invest in this Italian stylish classic here are a few tips to help you along the way.
The Alfa Romeo like many cars of the sixties and seventies has a problem with corrosion so examine the car thoroughly. Start at the front of the vehicle and take a close look at the Perspex light cover is it cracked or scratched? Also if you see moisture behind the Perspex the stainless steel frame is not properly aligned to the bodywork. The front cross member below the radiator can rot badly with years of mud and dirt battering it over time. Front wings tend to rust from the inside out and doors rust from the bottom, so check these areas carefully. Check sills as they are difficult to repair make sure drainage holes aren’t blocked with rust.
Rear wings are prone to rust along the lips area so lie underneath at the back and check the boot pan as moisture gets trapped causing rust. Interiors wear badly with vinyl seats splitting and cracking. Make sure the mechanics of each seat are working correctly as parts are difficult to obtain.
Suspension is taut so make sure it’s up to the task, check bushes for deterioration as this can affect the ride quality.
There are two types of steering for the Zagato, the recirculating ball type and the worm and roller type. Both types are generally durable however if on the test drive you feel wear or play on the steering then in most cases this is due to worn ball joints or corroded chassis walls (steering box bolted to the chassis).
The Five speed gearbox is an excellent design causing little problems and is incredibly smooth through the gears. The only bug bear can be the 2nd gear synchromesh that can wear. The second gear doesn’t work well when cold but improves as the gearbox oil warms up.
Italy’s Alfa Romeo has been the country’s national car on several occasions in history and is famous across the world. Many Alfa Romeo offerings have also starred in popular movies such as “The Graduate” starring Dustin Hoffman and James Bond films, “Octopussy” and “Quantum of Solace”.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“The Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato is yet another fine Italian coupe sporting the Zagato name of excellence. This car came from a time when Italian style was very much in vogue with such names as Bertone and Pinninfarina leading the way in car design”