After publishing the "Top 10" of Alfa Romeo's greatest commercial successes, I wondered which are the Alfas with the lowest production numbers instead.
This chart comes with a few caveats.
First, I'll count only the models introduced after 1950.
That's because before that, pretty much every Alfa Romeo was a low-production, hand-crafted masterpiece sold in few copies.
Second, I'll count only the models that have been part of the official Alfa sales catalog, including coachbuilt specials, but only those sold directly through Alfa Romeo dealers.
Third, pure racing cars never offered to the public for road use don't count.
Now, with that out of the way, let's get into it...
10) RZ - 278 copies
The RZ was introduced in 1992, but this convertible derivative of the SZ failed to generate sufficient market interest for the planned series of 350 units to be completed. Production at the Zagato facility near Milan was halted in 1993 after only 278 cars were made.
9) GTV6 3.0 - 200 copies
The GTV6 3.0 was the product of a joint effort between the South African branch of Alfa Romeo, which wanted to beat the BMW 535i in the local touring car championship, and Alfa's racing division Autodelta.
Autodelta supplied the special cylinder head castings, cylinders, and crank needed to build the 3 liters engine. Six Dell' Orto carburetors replaced the standard Bosch fuel injection, necessitating a model-specific glass fiber bonnet with a larger bulge to clear the carbs.
Although there aren't precise production records, at least 200 cars had to be made for racing homologation, and survivors are now highly sought after by Alfa collectors.
8) 1900M AR 52 - 154 copies
The off-road 1900M was developed by Alfa Romeo to win a military contract to replace the tired Willys Jeep then used by the Italian army.
In the best Alfa Romeo tradition, the 1900M was highly capable and mechanically sophisticated, but its high production costs led the defense ministry to choose a rival vehicle from Fiat.
7) Giulia TZ1 - 110 copies
Although few chose the Giulia TZ to go buying groceries with it, it was road-legal and regularly offered on the Alfa Romeo catalog, so it belongs here.
6) 2600 SZ - 105 copies
The 2600 Sprint Zagato, designed by Ercole Spada, had a long gestation period, with two years between the prototype's presentation and the production model, whose styling divided opinions at the time.
5) 1900 "lunga" Colli - 95 copies
Built by the Milanese coachbuilder Colli but available from the Alfa Romeo dealers, this limousine variant of the 1900 Super could seat seven people. It is unknown how many survive to this day.
4) Giulietta Promiscua Colli - 91 copies
The Giulietta Promiscua, offered between 1957 and 1959 and built by the Milanese coachbuilder Colli, was mostly sold to the Police for highway patrol duty. The rear suspension was reinforced to cope with the increased payload.
3) Gran Sport Quattroruote 82 copies
Weird homage to the legendary 1750 GS of the 1930s, 82 Gran Sports were built by Zagato between 1966 and '67. The car was the brainchild of Gianni Mazzocchi, the founder of the successful Quattroruote magazine, who suggested it to Alfa's president Giuseppe Luraghi. The engine and running gear was the same as the Giulia Ti, while the Giulia Spider donated its floorpan.
2) 2600 De Luxe - 52 copies
Built for Alfa Romeo by the Turinese company OSI, the 2600 De Luxe introduced in 1965 sported a much sleeker and more contemporary look than the ponderous standard version on sale since 1962. Not enough to make it a sales success, though, mainly because of its substantially higher price compared to the base model.
1) 33 Stradale - 18 copies
Thanks to its wide use in Alfa Romeo's marketing material over the last twenty years, the stunning 33 Stradale needs no introduction.
A barely tamed race car for the road, its gorgeous design is the masterpiece of Franco Scaglione, one of the greatest Italian designers nobody ever heard of. Unfortunately, its astronomical list price made it a tough sell, and Alfa Romeo's attention soon moved to other endeavors anyway.