History of the development and production of the GT 1300 Junior Zagato - Page 4 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

  #46 (permalink)  
Old 11-19-2008, 07:35 AM
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Just received the info on # 1114 from the Centro Storico:

According to our documentation files, the chassis number AR 1801114 originally corresponds to an Alfa Romeo 1300 Junior Z (105.93), engine series AR 00530, manufactured on the 28th January 1972 and sold on the 31st August 1972 in Italy.
The body colour is red, with black tex interiors.

It shows how long it took to sell this car, 7 months... but maybe it was a dealer demo or so...

Olaf, the date that I have on your car (June 29, 1972) is that the manufacturing date or date of sale to the first owner?
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 11-19-2008, 09:37 AM
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Date of sale or date of production

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaagmans View Post
Just received the info on # 1114 from the Centro Storico:

According to our documentation files, the chassis number AR 1801114 originally corresponds to an Alfa Romeo 1300 Junior Z (105.93), engine series AR 00530, manufactured on the 28th January 1972 and sold on the 31st August 1972 in Italy.
The body colour is red, with black tex interiors.

It shows how long it took to sell this car, 7 months... but maybe it was a dealer demo or so...

Olaf, the date that I have on your car (June 29, 1972) is that the manufacturing date or date of sale to the first owner?
Hello Jack,

Good to hear that another 'post #1801108' chassisnumber has been uncovered.

The date you have on my car is the date of 'production'. I do not know, if that date is correct. It seems quite late. A date of sale was not present. I do not have the documentation at hand, it is still in boxes because I do not have enough room at the moment. I will check as soon as I have access to my documentation.

Ciao, Olaf
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:15 AM
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>>>1112: June 29, 1972
>>>1114: January 28, 1972

Hi Olaf,

Amazing the see how big the "gap" between the two is...

Jack
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2008, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPF View Post
Hi Olaf et al-

The production total for the 1300 series Junior Z has often been quoted as 1108. However, Fusi evidently reports a VIN as high as 1110, and there was speculation that the 1108 number was 1110 minus the two torsion cars, #0002 & #0005 (ref: Chris Koopmann's Junior Z Buyer's Guide), which you have pointed out were actually refurbished and sold. Moreover, the zagato-cars website lists VIN as high as 1117(!).

Any light to shed on this confusion?

-jason
WA, USA
Everybody seems to be so hung up on the illustrious "1.108" pcs made (probably thanks to Fusi who quoted this number) but I have always doubted that number because the highest one is 1.117 and that was confirmed to be the last one...

It is a more or less known fact that a couple of chassis numbers were not used but how many remains a mystery.

On page 626 of Stefano d'Amico & Maurizio Tabaucchi's "Le vetture di Produzione dal 1910" (Edition 2007) we see a mass of numbers.

When one carefully analyses those numbers, it turns out that according to this list, a mere 4 numbers are listed as "not used".

These numbers being:

# 0002
# 0030
# 0858
# 0929

This leaves a total production of 1.117 - 4 = 1.113 pcs.

That is... assuming that d'Amico & Tabucchi are right...

And that is doubtful...

Because...

I have seen # 0929 with my own eyes... in Germany... it is listed here:
Alfa Romeo Zagato Register & Information Site

I had no camera with me at that time but it is indeed an unfinished car... or... an unfinished body as the owner only managed to buy the rolling shell which was merely covered in an anti-rust coating. The Zagato numbers on the panels (i.e. 929) were correct and it was really never finished. When I last saw the car, the owner, who had found the shell in Italy, was amassing all necessary parts to complete the car.

So, at this stage, without any further scientific proof... there should have been at least 1.114 pcs...
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaagmans View Post
>>>1112: June 29, 1972
>>>1114: January 28, 1972

Hi Olaf,

Amazing the see how big the "gap" between the two is...

Jack

Hello Jack,

Yes, it is amazing. I wonder how long my car has been standing around somewhere at Zagato or Alfa Romeo before it was sold to the architect in Rome. His name wasn't listed at the Documentazione Storico because the car was sold to a dealer as a stock item, not because there was a customer order.

Ciao, Olaf
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:32 AM
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And so some cars which were made "mysterious" by d'Amico & Tabucchi turn out to be somewhat less mystical (not meant in a degrading way!).

# 0003

Claimed by d'Amico & Tabucchi to be made / sold in 1974.
Centro Storico:
Quote:
According to our documentation files, the chassis number AR 1800003 originally corresponds to an Alfa Romeo 1300 Junior Z (105.93), manufactured on the 15th February 1970 and sold in Italy.
The body colour is yellow.
So, a rather normal production date, no prototype, no pre-introduction.

Still a highly interesting car of course as it is, so far, the "lowest serial number JZ" known. Not the OLDEST to survive... (see below).

I also checked the other two very early Japanese cars reported by Nob_Z, # 0005 & # 0008.

# 0005
Quote:
According to our documentation files, the chassis number AR 1800005 originally corresponds to an Alfa Romeo 1300 Junior Z (105.93), manufactured on the 11th March 1970 and sold in Italy.
The body colour is metallic grey.
This car was reported by Nob_Z to be still metallic grey (Silver)

# 0008

Quote:
According to our documentation files, the chassis number AR 1800008 originally corresponds to an Alfa Romeo 1300 Junior Z (105.93), manufactured on the 4th February 1970 and sold in Italy.
The body colour is white.
Clearly visible in the picture that Nob_Z posted is that the car has indeed been white at an earlier stage which matches the Archivio records.

The production date of February 4, 1970 makes it the second oldest surviving JZ known at this moment! The oldest being # 0009 with a production date of January 30, 1970.

I do not know the current condition of this shell, maybe that Nob_Z can elaborate on it?

Although we know that the records of the Archivio are not always correct, I tend to accept the above data as being true to fact. They make sense AND they have the locations to where the cars were sold which to me is a good indication that the data is correct.
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Last edited by Zaagmans; 11-27-2008 at 02:26 AM. Reason: Correction
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2008, 05:10 PM
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What are the dates mentioned by Documentazione Storico?

Hello Jack,

Still these dates are very interesting.

According to Michele Marchiano in his book 'Le Zagato Fulvia Sport - Junior Z' published in November 1986 by Libreria dell'Automobile, the first Junior Z's were produced in 1969. On page 49 it says 'By the end of the year (1969) 208 cars had been delivered to Alfa. Sales to the public began in February 1970 at 2.235.000 Lire'.
We know that this is very likely/almost sure because the pictures of Junior Z's in Style Auto nr 23 (see earlier posts in this thread) were taken during production in the last quarter of 1969.

So what are the dates mentioned by Documentazione Storico?

Ciao, Olaf

Last edited by Zagato_Olaf; 11-29-2008 at 05:16 PM. Reason: additional information
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 12-01-2008, 02:24 PM
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Hi Olaf,

That is still very unclear...

Yes, Michele Marchiano states that in 1969 208 cars should have been built but I dare to doubt that...

So far, I have yet to find two JZ's which were built on the same day... (or better... completed on the same day).

Ages ago I ran some stats on the JZ production and assuming that 1.108 cars - 6 prototypes were built over a 37 month period, the average per month is 30 cars...

This would approximately fit the capacity of Zagato who built the Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato at the same time and which was more profitable for them, which they built in larger numbers and which consequently took up more of their production capacity.

Being introduced in November 1969 at the Turin Motor Show there were roughly 2 months (probably less) to produce those 208 cars? Not likely... On average they produced 30 cars per month... not 104...

Did they triple the production while they were still starting up the production with all the possible glitches that needed to be ironed out at that stage? Not likely...

Did they produce 208 cars in advance of ANY orders? Not likely (that's almost 20% of the TOTAL production..).

Purely statistical, the 208th car was produced somewhere around May 1970. Please note: this does not take a high demand at the start or a slowly diminishing demand later on in the cycle into account.

So... which cars do we see in the Style Auto photos?

To be honest? I don't know...

We already saw the door handles which don't match the later production types...

What we DO know.. is that a number the production photos were take at Stablimenti Maggiora in Torino but those are only the ones which show the bodies being welded together (in the jigs). None of those pictures shows more than 1 car at a time... so the photos could very well have been staged or taken during a "demo run" for Style Auto (which was in VERY high regard at that time). The fact that in NONE of the Maggiora photos we see ANY workers only adds to this suspicion... if they were already routinely producing JZ's at that stage (which they would HAVE to do in order to come to 208 cars..) we would at least see a normal production process including workers placing the jigs and so on.

The photos that we see where semi-assembled cars are being shown... are taken at the Zagato works.

One tiny detail here is that we see (partly) finished bodies... but NO completed cars... In none of the pictures of the "production" do we see finished cars... and this was in the last quarter of 1969...

Wouldn't it have been logical that IF there was something like a "parking lot with 208 finished JZ's" at that stage... to show that parking lot? After all, Alfa didn't start supplying the cars until February 1970... (which matches the Centro Storico records...). Where are the truely completed cars rolling off the "production line"? Where were those 208 cars?

To this number 208 cars, one should also add the total production of January 1970... which was... ??? 30 cars? 50? That would mean that once the deliveries started, there would have been some 250 cars to dispose of... more than there were Alfa Romeo dealers... so some dealers got two or more cars right at the beginning of February 1970? Again not likely....

It is my firm belief that there were no 208 cars...

I believe that at the end of 1969 there were two dozen cars at the most and Zagato were still very much trying to find their way with the assembly, something that is shown in the color photos in Style Auto and there presented as "production" and that none of these cars was finished in its final guise before the end of January 1970.

Incidentally, those photos show 24 cars at the Zagato works (the production line). If I again apply the statistics that I mentioned earlier, I come to 23 produced cars in 1969... VERY close to the 24 cars in the picture...

To be continued...
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Last edited by Zaagmans; 12-01-2008 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Additional info
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-2008, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaagmans View Post
I have seen # 0929 with my own eyes... in Germany... it is listed here:
Alfa Romeo Zagato Register & Information Site

I had no camera with me at that time but it is indeed an unfinished car... or... an unfinished body as the owner only managed to buy the rolling shell which was merely covered in an anti-rust coating. The Zagato numbers on the panels (i.e. 929) were correct and it was really never finished. When I last saw the car, the owner, who had found the shell in Italy, was amassing all necessary parts to complete the car.
The Centro Storico confirmed that # 929 was never built... i.e. never finished as a complete car...

What would be the story behind this shell?

The then-owner told me that he had found the shell at a garage in Italy. He wasn't too talkative about it...

A couple of people raced JZ's when it was new so maybe one of the "racers" called Alfa and said "listen guys, I'm competing in group 4 with my JZ... I might crash it at some stage... can you get me a replacement shell for just in case?"

That is of course pure speculation but there must have been a reason for not finishing # 929.

I can hardly imagine that it was standing in a corner gathering dust and so got lost in time...
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-2008, 02:59 PM
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chassis 1800929 outside design limits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaagmans View Post
The Centro Storico confirmed that # 929 was never built... i.e. never finished as a complete car...

What would be the story behind this shell?

The then-owner told me that he had found the shell at a garage in Italy. He wasn't too talkative about it...

A couple of people raced JZ's when it was new so maybe one of the "racers" called Alfa and said "listen guys, I'm competing in group 4 with my JZ... I might crash it at some stage... can you get me a replacement shell for just in case?"

That is of course pure speculation but there must have been a reason for not finishing # 929.

I can hardly imagine that it was standing in a corner gathering dust and so got lost in time...
Hello Jack,

I heard a story that two chassis that were built, didn't meet the design limits and were therefore not completed. I would have guessed that these chassis would have been scrapped to prevent them being used. But of course, this is just a story that I heard. I have no way of verifying it.
Ciao, Olaf

Last edited by Zagato_Olaf; 12-02-2008 at 03:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagato_Olaf View Post
Hello Jack,

I heard a story that two chassis that were built, didn't meet the design limits and were therefore not completed. I would have guessed that these chassis would have been scrapped to prevent them being used. But of course, this is just a story that I heard. I have no way of verifying it.
Ciao, Olaf
That could very well be the truth...

I wonder how & when # 929 "escaped"....
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2008, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Zagato_Olaf View Post
Table 1. Overview of chassisnumbers, use, colour and present location.
Chassis Use Remarks Colour Location

#1800001 Evaluation Delivered to AR in July of 1968 Red ?
#1800002 Torsion testing Car then completed for use Yellow ?
#1800003 ? Yellow Japan
#1800004 ? White ?
#1800005 Torsion testing Car then ompleted for use Greymet.Japan
#1800006 Sales First car up for sale Red ?
#1800007 ? ? ?
#1800008 ? Red Japan
#1800009 Sales Red UK
I would like to make some comments on this list.

One has to bear in mind that Michele Marchiano did not tag chassis numbers to the "prototypes" that he mentions on page 47 of his book.

He mentions:

"The aluminum prototype", "the second & fifth car" and "Number 4".

He then continues with "1800006, the first to be placed on sale etc.".

Given the rather irradical way of producing the cars it could very well be that 1800006 was simply the first to be produced and that 1800001, 1800002, 1800003, 1800004 & 1800005 were produced (and consequently delivered) after 1800006 was completed.

Although it seems logical that "The aluminum prototype", "the second & fifth car" and "Number 4" refer to 1800001, 1800002, 1800005 & 1800004 this is not a proven fact (yet?).

The assumption that he does not refer to those chassis numbers is supported by the production dates for 1800003, 1800005 & 1800008 as quoted by the Centro Storico.

I am still not convinced that the prototypes actually carried correct chassis numbers (for reasons that I have mentioned before).

I am awaiting data on 1800006 now which could probably tell us more.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 12-04-2008, 11:49 AM
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And it is official...

We can scrap most of our theories (including a couple of mine...), our books and assumptions...

# 1800006 is NOT the first JZ to have been completed... not even by FAR... and most certainly NOT the first to have been sold...

# 1800006 was completed on February 3, 1970 so provided it would still be "alive" today... it would be the oldest known JZ to survive... unfortunately, its whereabouts are unknown to me.

One remarkable thing is that it is listed at the Centro Storico as being sold on March 16, 1972... More than TWO years later... Why? That is still unknown... and the CS has little information on it... Maybe that we can still find out the how & why later in time.

Thanks to the CS it is now a fact that NO cars were completed in 1969... not a single one...

The very first "production" JZ was finished on January 13, 1970.

Due to administrative procedures, the CS is not allowed to tell me which chassis number it is... I do know which "range" it is in but unfortunately I only know of two cars within that range and they are both NOT the illustrious "# 1"...

The chassis number(range) of "# 1" is "remarkably high", most probably already caused by the irradical production method on which we touched earlier in this topic and the fact that Zagato had to modify the door handles.

I have already amended the website as a good number of cars were listed as "1969", either based on information from (former)owners or SWAG estimates from my side.

We can draw a number of conclusions from these facts (and a little bit more info).

1) The Style Auto article does not show real production. It merely shows the production process. The painted cars we see at the Zagato works are still being finished and most probably the modification to the door handle arrangement caused delays in finishing the cars.

2) It is confirmed that all production JZ's have the regular door handle arrangement.

3) The prototypes that we know of, do NOT carry a chassis number and do not count towards the total number of cars produced.

4) None of the prototypes is known to survive.

5) From "# 1" onwards, all cars were finished according to spec and should not deviate from other production cars. Cars that show a different set-up in interior, bumpers, grill, locations of badges, indicator lights etc are thereby victim of later modification or errors in restoration.

6) The Michele Marchiano book from 1987 is wrong in its assumption that # 1800006 was the first to be sold. No blame to him... we are 21 years down the road now and much additional information has surfaced or is easier accessible.

7) The range in which "# 1" is located justifies an assumption that there were indeed a number of cars waiting to be finished by the end of 1969 which is also shown in the Style Auto photos.

8) The car that is shown in so many of the press photos and which is also featured in Style Auto as a finished car (usually wearing license plate EE 18089) is a prototype and considered to have gone lost as well.

9) The theory that 18 cars were completed pre-introduction (November 1969) can be scrapped.

Pfew...

There is probably still more to come but for the time being, the hunt for "# 1" is still on...
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Last edited by Zaagmans; 12-04-2008 at 04:57 PM.
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2008, 04:01 AM
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Interesting stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaagmans View Post
And it is official...

6) The Michele Marchiano book from 1987 is wrong in its assumption that # 1800006 was the first to be sold. No blame to him... we are 21 years down the road now and much additional information has surfaced or is easier accessible.
Hello Jack,

Great stuff! Keep on going! One thing though.
Michele Marchiano never said that #1800006 was the first car sold.

He said and I quote 'and the 1800006, the first to be placed on sale, Lesonal red.'
If this is true, is yet to be seen.

Ciao, Olaf

Last edited by Zagato_Olaf; 12-05-2008 at 04:11 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2008, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Zagato_Olaf View Post
Michele Marchiano never said that #1800006 was the first car sold.
He said and I quote 'and the 1800006, the first to be placed on sale, Lesonal red.'
If this is true, is yet to be seen.
That's a matter of semantics...

When is a car "placed" on sale?

When it is loaded onto the truck to go to a dealer?
When a dealer puts a "for sale" sign on it?
Does the order in which cars are loaded onto the same truck determine which was the first to be "placed on sale"?
Or the order in which they were unloaded?
Did somebody time that with a stopwatch?
If somebody timed it to the second precise, would Marchiano been aware of those results especially considering that he was wrong about a couple of other vital pieces of information and that even Alfa themselves didn't administer the "when" of cars being shipped out?

Nah...

It is pretty safe to assume that Marchiano meant "sold" with his remark.

Especially given the fact that # 0006 was completed 21 days after the production started, it will certainly not have been the first one to have been "placed for sale".

IF it was the first one... it definitely went to the worst dealer that Alfa had EVER contracted because it took them 25.5 months to sell it...

Feel free to start the hunt for "the man with the stopwatch" but if you don't mind, I won't participate in it...
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Last edited by Zaagmans; 12-05-2008 at 08:04 AM.
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