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Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Zagato awarded ‘Best Preserved Vehicle’ at Villa d’Este

A carefully restored ‘half and half’ Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo prototype has been awarded ‘Best Preserved Vehicle’ at the Villa d’Este concours

The preservation scene has taken yet another step forward, with the second of 2016’s FIVA preservation awards presented to a carefully prepared Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Zagato prototype at the Villa d’Este concours.

Over the last few years there has been a move towards certain historically significant cars being preserved rather than simply restored. FIVA, the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (or international federation of historic vehicles) has is handing out the award at various top tier events, to celebrate World Motoring Heritage Year 2016 – a FIVA initiative to which UNESCO has granted its official patronage.

Corrado Lopresto is the owner of the Alfa Romeo – the Coda Tronca prototype jointly developed by Elio Zagato and Ercole Spada. Rather than restoring the car fully, potentially destroying originality in the process, Lopresto decided to preserve the car in a particularly unconventional manner.

Taking inspiration and techniques from the world of art restoration, utilising special glue to secure flaking paint. The paintwork was polished using wet sand paper, rather than a regular machine, which is much more time consuming but is a lot more respectful to the paint.

For dramatic effect, only half of the Alfa has been prepared, with the other half left exactly as it was found, with a thin layer of clear lacquer applied to actually protect the hard-earned patina. Lopresto claims that this idea has been taken from the world of archaeology, in an effort to preserve the original detail for future generations with better technology.

The award was presented by Dr Khalil Karam, Lebanese Ambassador to UNESCO. FIVA is celebrating its 50th anniversary during 2016, which will be celebrated in Paris at the end of year. The event, which takes place on 17 November, will see all of the winners re-united at UNESCO’s international headquarters in the French capital.

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