Pieces of history at auction: rare Alfa Romeo collection worth $7.5 million

Gloria Fiocchi Author
A trip through the history of Italian motoring: a selection of 8 rare Alfa Romeo historic collectible cars, and even an Alfa Romeo-powered racing boat, now up for auction
Collection Bugnon

This is a rare vintage Alfa Romeo collection of Swiss millionaire Gerald Bugnon, worth $7.5 million. Now, these 9 pieces of history are for sale and will be offered at the French Osenat auction.

A legendary trip: Gerald Bugnon’s rare historical Alfa Romeo collection at auction

Alfa Romeo lovers, prepare your eyes and emotions to come as you gaze upon the rare Alfa Romeo collection in question. It is a trip through the brand’s history and evolution that will leave discerning collectors breathless. An opportunity unmissable for collectors ready to compete in the auction for vintage Alfa Romeo Gerald Bugnon treasures. A selection of eight rare and historic cars from three golden decades of the Italian automotive industry and even a racing boat powered by an Alfa Romeo engine, estimated at around 6 million pounds (about $7.5 million). This is the private collection of Swiss millionaire Gerald Bugnon, who has decided to sell these treasures at auction, which will take place on Sunday, April 21, at the French auction house Osenat.
Are you ready to discover the real icons of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s? What about the Alfa Romeo competition boat?

But first… Gerald Bugnon, moved by a burning passion for the Italian brand Alfa Romeo, has dedicated years to the creation of this incredible collection, carefully selecting every single specimen historic car. The result, as we can see, is truly amazing!
Each model up for auction represents a masterpiece of design, engineering and performance. These jewels embody the very soul of Alfa Romeo: passion, history and timeless elegance.

Here, we are not talking about a collection that is only about the aesthetic beauty of Alfa Romeo. These models, in question, have written important pages of motor racing history, collecting victories and successes that have made the Alfa Romeo brand legendary. These are the stars in a circle: Alfa Romeo TZ, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, Alfa Romeo SZ Tonda, Alfa Romeo GTA, Alfa Romeo TI, Alfa Romeo SZ Coda Tronca, Alfa Romeo 750SS and in front Alfa Romeo 33.

Alfa Romeo TZ: a novel sporty successor of the Giulietta

In the early 1960s, Alfa Romeo initiated plans for a sports car to replace the legendary Giulietta. The new Giulia sports a 1570 cm³ engine, deeply updated for the occasion, with an aluminum cylinder block and cylinder head. Powered by twin Weber 40 twin-body carburetors, it delivers an impressive 170 hp in race version and 112 hp for road use. The body design is entrusted to Carrozzeria Zagato, which entrusts the task to Ercole Spada, fresh from the success of the SZ Coda Tronca. Spada creates a breathtaking aerodynamic line, resulting in one of the most extraordinary racing cars of its era. Total production amounted to 112 units, exceeding the initial forecast of 100.
The story of this car at auction begins in November 1964, when the Alfa Romeo GB LTD received chassis TZ 750071. Today, this jewel of motorsport is offered at an estimated price of 800,000 to 1,000,000 euros.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider: an American dream come to life in Italy

In the early 1950s, Hoffman Motor Cars, Alfa Romeo’s official importer in the United States, sensed the potential of a roadster version based on the future Giulietta Sprint. Thus was born an exciting collaboration between the American company and the Italian automaker to bring a dream to life: the Giulietta Spider.
Rudolf Hruska, an Alfa Romeo engineer in charge of the Sprint project, is assigned to develop the Spider. A motorized chassis with number AR 1495 0000 serves as the basis for the project, but it will never be completed. Hruska turns to two famous coachbuilders from Turin, Bertone and Pininfarina, to ask for their reinterpretation of the Giulietta Spider on two chassis. Pininfarina received chassis 002 and 003 and transformed them into two non-working prototypes. Having obtained Max Hoffman’s approval, chassis 003 is sent back to Turin to make a working prototype: the car that is at auction today. Its chassis would make no less than four transatlantic trips between New York and Turin for tuning and final homologation.

The contest among these two coachbuilders ended in victory for Pininfarina, who signed the final design of the Giulietta Spider.
This specimen car, with its chassis that has crossed the ocean four times, represents a unique piece of automotive history. A collector’s car that combines the appeal of Italian design with cutting-edge engineering and the American dream that brought it to life.
Estimate EUR 350,000-450,000.

Alfa Romeo SZ Tonda: a champion’s sporting jewel

In 1960, as the Alfa Romeo 33 dominated racing, Zagato launched its answer to Bertone’s Sprint Speciale: the Zagato Sprint. Created to exalt sportiness, the Sprint Zagato immediately established itself as a queen of the circuits, winning over drivers with its top speed of 200 km/h, featherweight of 785 kg and power of about 115 horsepower.
The specimen up for auction, the SZ Tonda, possesses a fascinating history. Delivered brand new to Jean Gonguet on February 16, 1962, by the Aix-les-Bains dealership, this Sprint Zagato trod the tracks with its semi-professional driver, who raced primarily for AC Savoie. In October 1962, Gonguet participated in the Coupes du Salon, taking an honorable seventh place overall and first in the 1000/1300 cm3 class.
Today, this Alfa Romeo SZ Tonda represents an unmissable opportunity for collectors and vintage car enthusiasts. A sporting gem that combines exceptional performance with a rich history.
Estimate EUR 400,000-600,000.

Alfa Romeo GTA: a legend of motorsport, born to victory

In 1965, Alfa Romeo introduced the GTA, the official racing version of the Giulia Sprint GT. Available in racing and road-going configurations, the GTA represents the pinnacle of Alfa Romeo engineering applied to racing.
The GTA is a concentrate of lightness and power. Aluminum panels, plexiglass windows and a lightened interior make it a full 200 kg lighter than the original Sprint GT. Its beating heart is the iconic 1,570 cc twin-shaft engine, thoroughly revised for the occasion. The angle of the valves has been reduced from 90 to 80 degrees, their size increased and, due to lack of space for a center spark plug, dual ignition has been opted for. The result? A 115-hp engine for the road version and up to 150 hp for the racing version.

GTA’s racing debut came on March 20, 1966 at Monza, where Andrea de Adamich and Teodoro Zeccoli took victory in the 4 Hours of the Jolly Club. It was only ‘beginning of a long series of successes that led the GTA to dominate motor racing in the 1960s and 1970s.
Estimated EUR 180,000-250,000

Alfa Romeo TI: a Star in the darkness of postwar times

Born in 1955, the Giulietta represented a light of hope for Alfa Romeo in the difficult postwar period. This compact but sophisticated four-door sedan was perfect for everyday use, offering excellent driving qualities and thoughtful trim at a reasonable price. In 1957, the range was enriched with the Tourisme Internationale (TI) version. Equipped with a 1300 cc aluminum engine with twin overhead camshafts, it delivered 65 hp and reached 160 km/h, winning over the public with its brilliant performance.
The TI also distinguished itself in famous competitions, such as the Tour de France Auto, the Mille Miglia and Monte Carlo, demonstrating its versatility and sporty character.

The exemplar at auction boasted a charming history. Shipped brand new from France on April 24, 1958 to the brand’s Paris dealership, this Giulietta sported an elegant Helvetia Blue livery with a ‘houndstooth’ fabric interior. Registered as 188 QF 31 in Haute Garonne in 1970, it spent its first two decades in the Toulouse region. In 1990, it was purchased by a Charente Maritime enthusiast who kept it carefully until 2001. In July 2001, the Giulietta came into the possession of Mr. Bugnon, who decided to undertake a meticulous restoration to restore it to its former glory.
Today, this specimen Alfa Romeo TI represents an unmissable opportunity for classic car lovers. A piece of automotive history that combines timeless charm, brilliant performance and a rich history.
Estimated EUR 25,000-45,000.

Alfa Romeo SZ Coda Tronca: masterpiece design and engineering

In 1961, Zagato embarked on a daring venture: to create a racing car without the aid of a wind tunnel. Testing took place on the road, with devoted designer Ercole Spada sitting on the ground as the timekeeper and the strongholds as the guide. After months of work, the SZ Coda Tronca is ready and Zagato drives it to victory at the 1961 Monza Grand Prix, beating Micheloti’s upgraded SZ. The Monza triumph prompts Zagato to start production of the second series of the SZ, which inherits the mechanical characteristics of the first but with some important new features. The car is lightened by 15 kg, reaching a weight of 840 kg, and its length is slightly increased. These upgrades result in a significant increase in performance, with a top speed comfortably exceeding 200 km/h and touching 215 km/h.

The model up for auction, SZ Coda Tronca, which left the Zagato workshops on December 7, 1962, boasts a fascinating history. Delivered on January 15, 1963, by Louwman & Parqui, a Dutch importer, this SZ Coda Tronca is one of the few chassis to be equipped with factory-installed front disc brakes. Today, this Alfa Romeo SZ Coda Tronca represents an unmissable opportunity for collectors classic car enthusiasts.
Estimate EUR 600,000-800,000

Alfa Romeo 750SS: an Italian essence at auction

Thanks to the creative genius of Franco Scaglione, Alfa Romeo and Bertone gave birth to extraordinary car projects. In 1957, the Sprint Speciale was born, heir to the “BAT” (Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica) and “Disco Volanteprototypes. Its series production began in 1959, but in 1960 some modifications were made to meet American regulations. In order to obtain racing homologation, a special series of the Sprint Speciale is made: the 750 SS. About 100 exemplary of this version are produced, characterized by a lower nose and the absence of bumpers.
This is the 48th model produced of the 750 SS, delivered brand new on August 19, 1959, from the Porto dealership in Portugal. Its first owner was Manuel Nogueira Pinto, a famous Portuguese racer of the 1960s, who as soon as he received the car he took it racing. With the number 11, it won second place at the 1959 Vila do Conde race. Today, this Alfa Romeo 750SS represents the Italian essence, combining timeless charm, cutting-edge engineering and a rich history.

Estimate EUR 300,000-350,000.

Alfa Romeo 33: the Biscione’s revival

In 1951, Alfa Romeo decided to abandon international competition, leaving a void in the world of motorsport. The legendary Disco Volante, destined to compete in the 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans, will never see the track.
The 1960s mark the redemption of Alfa Romeo thanks to legendary models such as the GTA, TZ and TZ2, developed with the help of Autodelta. These successes spurred the brand to dream of a return to international heights.
In September 1964, the 105.33 project kicks off, which will give birth to the Alfa Romeo 33. The first prototype, equipped with a TZ2 engine, is built in September 1965. Engineers opt for a two-liter V8 engine, born in great secrecy in the 1950s. With the 33, Alfa Romeo returned to compete in the Sport Prototype championship, winning the title in 1975 and 1980. The 33 represents the Biscione’s second rear mid-engine car, after the Tipo 512 of 1939.
Estimated EUR 2,000,000-2,500,000.

Within Gerald Bugnon’s rare collection at auction, we find another piece of history, though not on four wheels.

Racing boat with Alfa Romeo engine: from car racing, it comes also by boat

Angelo Molinari, a legend of the motor world, did not limit himself to cars. In the 1960s he also distinguished himself in powerboat racing, particularly in the 1300 cm3 class.
This yacht, purchased in 1971 by pilot Michel Barone, represents a piece of powerboating history. Barone, known for his feats on four wheels, decided to devote himself to the sea as well, trading his car for this racer to compete in the R2 class. Equipped with an Alfa Romeo engine re-balanced to 1,500 cm3, the racer led Barone to victory in the 1973 world championship.
Today, this boat is an unmissable opportunity for powerboat enthusiasts and collectors. Although it needs maintenance and restarting to return to competition, it retains its charm and legendary history.
Estimated EUR 20,000-30,000.

What do you think of these unique jewels?