Gran Turismo Trophy Awarded at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
For the second year in a row, Gran Turismo producer Kazunori Yamauchi acted as Honorary Judge at the “Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance” and picked the one car that exhibited the best balance of both artistic beauty and performance at the highest level to receive the “Gran Turismo Trophy.” Held on August 16 in Pebble Beach, California, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a celebration of the automobile. Yamauchi selected a 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2 as the winner of this special trophy. The prize was originally named the “Polyphony Digital Trophy” but was renamed this year as the “Gran Turismo Trophy.”
The Alfa Romeo TZ2 is the last street-legal race car built by Alfa Romeo. It possesses elegant and Spartan characteristics from an era of automobile culture when the line between sports cars and racing cars was less clear cut, and holds a very important place in automobile history. This heritage, and the car’s overall aura, fit very well with the spirit of Gran Turismo, another reason it was chosen for this award.
An update to the TZ, or Tubolare Zagato, only 12 TZ2 race cars were ever built, making them extremely rare. It was designed in a partnership between Alfa Romeo and Autodelta, a company led by a former Ferrari engineer. The “coda tronca,” or “short tail” bullet-shaped body design, was based on the latest aerodynamic theories of the day, and had a strong effect on racing car designs thereafter.
This particular TZ2 has been active in races at the Monza, Sebring, and Nurburgring. Miraculously, the car has never been crashed and is all original with no restoration work. These traits and more are what made the car so appealing to Yamauchi, helping it earn the prestigious Gran Turismo Trophy.