Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato
How to identify your Junior Zagato.
This information is based on what I know about the 1300 version. By means of this page I am asking owners of 1600 JZ's to verify if this also applies to their cars so that we can include that into these pages too.
There are a number of ways to establish what car you have in front of you. First there is of course the documents that come with the car. However, there are a number of cars where the "official" chassis number is missing and I must be very mistaken if those numbers and chassis-plates haven't ended up on some other cars...
The factory provides a number of well known methods to identify your car: First there is the chassis-number (VIN) which is stamped into the fire wall, in the engine-compartment. This number either starts with "AR 180" for a 1300 or "AR 3060" for a 1600. On the picture below, this is found at location 1. The second place where a number could be found is on a small chassis-number -plate, riveted to the firewall, again in the engine compartment. This plate should show the homologation number and the "type" number which for a 1300 is 105.93 and for a 1600 is 115.24. The plate is located at location 2 in the drawing below.
Than there is the engine-number which is stamped on the lh-side of the engine block close to the bell-housing. This number doesn't mean too much because, as far as I know, the factory didn't keep record of which engine numbers went into which chassis-number. In the drawing below, the number can be found at location 3.
Since Alfa and Zagato used a number of paint suppliers, they had the presence of mind to give each car a little tag showing which brand and color number the body was originally painted in. This little aluminum and self-adhesive tag is stuck on the inside of the rear hatch. If your car has been repainted, it could very well be that this tag has gone lost since it has to be removed in order to paint the inside of the hatch. The drawing shows the tag at location 4.
Next to these proven methods, there are some other, "hidden" clues to what the car is you are looking at. These are not completely fool-proof but give a good indication.
Zagato used to stamp "important" body parts with the last three digits of the chassis number. In the case of my personal car, # 1800488 that is "488".
I have tried to point out on the next drawing where these numbers can be found.
The inner edge of the engine hood, rh side at the back end
On the inside of both the door frames, approximately in the middle.
At the edge of the rear hatch, window side, hidden behind the window seal.
Behind the dashboard, on the firewall, passenger compartment side.
Trunk floor. This drawings shows the approximate location. Thanks to Paul for the picture.
What to do if one of these numbers tells you that something is wrong?
Well, basically, there is little to worry about since these cars are now all between 36 and 39 years old and in their life might have seen significant amounts of crash- and rust repairs or are simply modified. Finding the right numbers however can confirm the impression you have of a car, for example when you go to inspect it prior to purchase. In general it was, and is, so that when factory-new panels were used for repairs, these did not carry the identifications as outlined above. Hardly a restoration specialist knows of this or they simply do not take the effort to stamp the correct numbers in the panels. So, if you find for example doors without numbers, it is safe to assume that at least the door-frame has been replaced. You have to look hard for the numbers though, one or two coats of paint can completely make them disappear.
Also, an unknown number of cars has been "butchered" for parts and were consequently destroyed. Vital parts like doors, hatches etc might have been "transplanted" into other cars and finding these deviating numbers might be an indication that your car has had such a transplant. If you find such numbers, I would be very grateful for the information since it could mean that the donor car is probably destroyed. By using this "technique" we came to the conclusion that 1800575 is probably no longer among us since a door of that car carrying the number 575 can be found on 1800515 and the owner 1800515 relayed that the donor car was about to be scrapped. This is important information for the On-Line Register, in order to make it as complete as possible.
I trust that this helps you better understand your car!