Among the special awards presented at August’s 59th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was the Gran Turismo Award taken by the William H. Lyon’s 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2 Zagato Competition Berlinetta. As a result, this TZ2 will race again, and often, on virtual racetracks worldwide. It will be scanned in high digital format, modeled, and put into the classic version of the racing video game Gran Turismo, its sleek body and unique Alfa Romeo sound meticulously captured by Polyphony Digital, Inc./Sony in its virtual TZ2 racecar.
Sony Playstation creator Kazunori Yamauchi enjoys classic cars and sought out Pebble Beach as the arena hosting the world’s finest examples. Worried that classic racecars might be overlooked in today’s “age of information,” he wants to capture them digitally for history and to share with future generations. Because the award was initiated in 2008, the TZ2 becomes one of only two cars currently available—the 2008 winner was the 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 Bertoni prototype owned by J. W. Marriott—but eventually players will be able to choose from a stable of classic racecars.
At Pebble Beach, Bill Lyon verified that his car had just completed an exhaustive restoration under the direction of Ivan Zaremba at Phil Reilly & Co. in Corte Madera, California. Bill noted that his car (#750 106) was one of 11 Zagatos with the definitive TZ2 fiberglass coachwork and boasts an impressive history that includes racing with both Autodelta (Alfa’s factory team) and the Jolly Club at venues such as Le Mans, Sebring, Monza, the Nürburgring, and the Targa Florio, as well as the Rallye Costa del Sol.
Although Lyon intends to race the car at Monterey and other American venues, it is set up as a full FIA racer, so the possibility also exists that it could be seen in Europe at events like the Le Mans Classic and the Goodwood Revival. Now that the TZ2’s likeness has been scanned into digital history, its future looks to be full of both virtual and real races.