In 1969, Alfa Romeo presented a fast hatchback sports coupé far ahead of its time with the Junior Zagato 1300 at the Turin Motor Show. The JZ, as the chic car is still affectionately called today, was produced by the Italian car body manufacturer Zagato, where the final assembly took place. The coupé was designed by Ercole Spada, head of development at the car body manufacturer, and Alfa Romeo from Giulia took over the solid technology.
Like almost all Zagato models, the Junior Zagato was the subject of controversial discussions at the time of its introduction. Many people saw the edges in connection with the wedge-shaped body and the large, glazed tailgate as provocation. The shape simply did not correspond to the taste of the 1970s. From the Junior Zagato 1300, therefore, only 1108 vehicles left the assembly line during the construction period from 1970 to 1972. The JZ 1600 replaced the 1300 from 1972 onwards. The 1600 sold even worse than its predecessor, from which it was produced until the end of production in 1975 only 402 copies, which makes it today a particularly coveted collector’s item.
The Junior Zagato 1300 was equipped with a 1.3-litre engine with 89 hp, reaching a top speed of 175 kph. In the JZ 1600, Alfa Romeo installed a 1.6-litre engine with 109 hp and a top speed of 185 km/h. The two models differ not only in terms of engine performance, but also in other details. For example, the JZ 1600 was fitted with a front bumper pulled around the side, a slightly longer body and new rear lights. The tank was now on the driver’s side, the type designation was no longer Junior Z, but 1600 Z.