As a design and engineering firm, Zagato is probably best known for its work with Italian automakers. Since 1922, the company has penned countless Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat
and Maserati designs, but it’s also worked with automakers as diverse as Cadillac, Shelby and Aston Martin
The first Aston Martin penned by Zagato was the 1960 DB4 GT Zagato, which was designed, assembled and finished by the company in Milan, Italy. Meant as a lightweight, custom-bodied coupe, the GT Zagato had a 174 mile per hour top speed. Only 19 examples were built, and Zagato claims a current value of $6 million.
The 1980s saw the introduction of the V8 Vantage Zagato coupe and the V8 Volante Zagato spider, both produced in extremely limited quantities. As expected, the 50 coupes and 33 spiders built sold out immediately and became instantly collectible.
The year 2002 saw the introduction of the DB7 V12 Zagato, followed by the launch of the DB-AR1 in 2003. Designed to recall the days when a high-end automobile wasn’t a mass-market product, the 99 examples were priced to ensure exclusivity. For the first time, Aston Martin finished the vehicles in England.
In 2011, Aston Martin released the V12 Zagato
, which was inspired by the V8 Vantage Zagato. As with earlier models, production quantity was limited, this time to 150 cars. Unlike previous Zagato models, which were assembled in Milan, the new V12 Zagato was modeled in Milan, but engineered, assembled and finished by Aston Martin.
Given the five decades of collaboration between the two firms, it’s likely that we’ll see future Zagato models from Aston Martin as well. One thing is all but guaranteed: the cars will be expensive, but they’ll maintain Zagato’s tradition of building instantly collectible automobiles.