Presented by RM Sotheby's - Much has been written about the iconic partnership between Zagato and Aston Martin. What began as a small one-time arrangement has spanned nearly seven decades—an unusual partnership between the Italian design firm and the British automaker.
Although Aston Martin and Zagato are now firm collaborators, the partnership was not always so solidified. In 1960, Aston Martin commissioned Zagato to reimagine its DB4GT, the short-wheelbase, track-honed version of the DB4 touring car for the following season. The car debuted at the 1960 Earls Court Motor Show in London and won accolades immediately for the way it blended Aston Martin’s signature shape with design cues that were undoubtedly Zagato. Just 19 were built, and despite its period racing success, Brown did not call for a follow up.
It was over two decades later when Aston Martin, now owned by Victor Gauntlett, called upon the design firm once again. The angular, modern version of the V8 Vantage coupe debuted at the 1986 Geneva Motor Show; despite the controversial design it was immediately sold out and a convertible version was ordered. Fewer than 100 models were commissioned all told, and the two companies yet again parted ways for another several years.
In 2002, Aston Martin reached out to Zagato for a shortened version of its DB7 that harked back to the original DB4 Zagato. This time, the relationship had staying power. Subsequent Aston Martin Zagatos over the last 15 years have cemented the two brands together.
At the 2016 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Italy’s Lake Como, Aston Martin unveiled the Vanquish Zagato, available in four body styles. Offered here, the Vanquish Zagato Coupe was produced in a limited run of just 99 pieces. Though unmistakable as an Aston Martin, the Vanquish Zagato Coupe has bodywork that could only have come from the pens at Zagato. Mostly composed of large one-piece panels, its carbon fiber body has few cut lines. Traditional Aston Martin elements such as its grille shape and side strake that runs from the wheel arch to the door remain intact.
The Vanquish Zagato’s signature detail is its wraparound glass and visor-like double-bubble roof panel that pairs the design house founder’s early aeronautics background with a traditional racing design. Hints of the Aston Martin Vulcan and One-77 shine through in the “bladed” LED taillights and the side mirrors that appear to hover in the air. Inside, the Vanquish Zagato features an interior with a quilted pattern on its leather seats and door panels, herringbone carbon fiber trim, and Zagato badging.
Under the hood, Aston Martin fitted an uprated version of their AM29 V-12 engine. Equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and big CCM brakes lurking behind its 20-inch alloy wheels, the total output is an astounding 592 brake horsepower, with a top speed over 200 mph. Though the Vanquish Zagato’s prime appeal lies in its styling, the purity of its naturally aspirated V-12 and rear-wheel-drive make it a thrilling performer.
The U.S.-market example offered here was the only Vanquish Zagato to be built in its subtly engaging Shell Grey special order paint scheme. Individually numbered example 48 of the 99 built still wears its factory-fitted 20-inch Pirelli P-Zero tires. This Vanquish Zagato will also be delivered with its original umbrella, a custom license plate bracket for its front bumper, a battery charger, and its original books and tire kit. It also includes its window sticker, which reflects a new price of over $777,000.
A seamless blend of British and Italian style, this unique limited-edition Vanquish Zagato is an instant collectible. RM Sotheby’s is thrilled to announce the expansion of its Monterey auction this year with a third auction night dedicated to the incomparablePaul Andrews Estate Collection. Offered almost entirely without reserve, the impressive collection will kick-off RM’s flagship auction weekend on Thursday, 12 August.