• by Marco Vinci (Autodelta Italia Club)

The Lost sister of Ferrari -Part 1

On March 5 1963, a collective enterprise named Auto-Delta was set up by partners Carlo Chiti and Lodovico Chizzola and registered at the Udine Chamber of Commerce. Chiti had gained his experience with Ferrari, while Chizzola was an car dealer from Udine. Auto-Delta became Autodelta S.p.A. in November 1964 with the self-avowed aim of helping Alfa Romeo return to racing after the company's disappearance from motorsport at the beginning of the Fifties.

Ing.Carlo Chiti and Ludovico Chizzola, Autodelta founders

Ing. Carlo Chiti, at time of Ferrari Racing Team manager, with P.Hill and D.Gurney

Autodelta was set up in Feletto Umberto (Udine) because Chizzola's dealership was located in this town in Friuli. This was the setting for the first TZ (Tubolare Zagato) cars with truncated rear ends to help them slice more smoothly through the air. The Giulia TZ, designed in 1959 to replace the Giulietta SZ, was introduced in June 1962. At least 100 cars had to be built to qualify for Gran Turismo homologation. A total of 124 were built. The engine was a 112 bhp 1.6 unit. The car's dry weight was just 660 kg. Its top speed was 215 km/h.

Line Assembly of Autodelta Giulia TZ at Felleto Umberto, Udine - Italy

TZ's Sketch of Ercole Spada for Carrozzeria Zagato

The TZ winner of Tour de France 1964

The car made its racing debut in Monza in November 1963 at the Coppa Fisa, when four Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ cars took the first four places in the prototypes category, driven by Lorenzo Bandini, Roberto Bussinello, Giancarlo Baghetti and Consalvo Sanesi. The car was homologated in the Gran Turismo category at the beginning of 1964 and scored a success in its category in the Sebring 24 hour race in Florida (the following year, it drove off with the first three places in its category) with Stoddard-Kaser, followed by more success, again in Gran Turismo up to 1600 cc, at the 48th Targa Florio with Bussinello-Todaro, third place overall in the 1000 kilometre Nurburgring race with Biscaldi-Furtmayr and at the Le Mans 24 Hour race with Bussinello-Deserti. The Giulia TZ was also successful in rallies: the French team Rolland-Augias did well overall in the Coupe des Alpes and Criterium des Cevennes and came second overall in the Tour de Corse and first in its category at the Tour de France.

Debut of TZ with Lorenzo Bandini winner of Coppa FISA, Monza 1963

Monza Box, 1963


GIULIA TZ at 24H LE MANS, 1964

GIULIA TZ at 24H LE MANS, 1964





The Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Super (Jolly Club) immediately revealed itself as a force to be reckoned with in rallies: De Adamich-Scarambone were successful in the Rally dei Fiori, with Cavallari-Munari at the first edition of the legendary S. Martino di Castrozza event.

Giulia TI Quadrifoglio Verde, 1963

At the end of the year, Autodelta was transferred from Feletto Umberto (Udine) to Settimo Milanese to enable the company to work more closely with Alfa Romeo. In the meantime, the Balocco site had been set up as a test track for all racing cars and other vehicles. Balocco was the place where the bends and straights of the most important racing circuits in the world were prepared (most importantly the bends at Lesmo, sections of the circuits at Zolder, Zandvort, le Mans, etc). The area that has remained unchanged since the time when prototypes and standard production cars were tested still retains the name of 'Alfa Romeo mixed'. You can still see the original Bella Luigina Farmstead and adjacent Autodelta workshop where racing versions of Alfa Romeos were taken for inspection.

Autodelta Factory at Settimo Milanese - Milano

"Bella Luigina Farm" at Balocco Circuit

The lap time recording booth can still be seen on the track. 1965 was another bumper year and culminated in outright wins by the Giulia TZ at the Melbourne 6 Hour race with Roberto Bussinello and at the Giro d'Italia with Andrea De Adamich and Franco Lini.

Giulia TZ at Giro d'Italia 1965, winner with Andrea de Adamich

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