Monterey | Lot 158
2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato
$841,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
24 August 2018
- Production version of 2016 Villa d’Este concept car
- Number 48 of just 99 examples built
- Finished in unique Shell Grey paint
- Showing less than 100 delivery miles
- Includes original accessories and paperwork
The relationship that Ugo Zagato built with Aston Martin’s David Brown started small but has spanned nearly seven decades, an unusual partnership between the Italian design firm and the British automaker.
Zagato was not one to sit idle. Born into a poor family in rural Italy a day’s journey from Venice, he was not content living an agrarian life. Instead, he fixed his attention on metalworking, first in Germany and then later in Turin and Milan, where he developed an understanding of aerodynamics and lightweight aluminum.
That institutional knowledge set Zagato apart from other Italian design firms fixated on swoopy shapes rather than race-winning performance, and that is what attracted Brown to the Milanese company in 1959 after a decisive 1-2 victory over Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Brown wanted to stay on top, and he turned to Ferrari’s home turf to do it.
Aston Martin commissioned Zagato to reimagine its DB4GT, the short-wheelbase, track-honed version of the DB4 touring car for the 1961 season. The car debuted at the 1960 Earl’s 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 took more than two dozen years for Aston Martin to commission Zagato again—this time for a smarter version of the V8 Vantage that debuted in angular coupe form at the 1986 Geneva Motor Show. Fewer than 100 hardtop and convertible examples were built, and once again the two brands parted ways for more than a decade.
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.
Their most recent collaboration debuted in high style in concept form at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Italy’s Lake Como. Though unmistakable as an Aston Martin, the Vanquish Zagato coupe has bodywork that could only have come from the pens at Zagato. Its carbon fiber body has few cut lines because it is mostly composed of large one-piece panels. 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 fitted an interior with a quilted pattern on its leather seats and door panels, herringbone carbon fiber trim, and Zagato badging.
Overall, the Vanquish Zagato concept otherwise had a one-off flair – except that the automaker green-lighted production of 99 coupe, convertible, speedster, and shooting brake examples after Villa d’Este. Each built in 2017 was individually numbered and just 15 were earmarked for the U.S. All 99 share an uprated, 592-hp. version of Aston Martin’s V-12 engine that delivers power to the rear wheels, an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and big CCM brakes lurking behind its 20-in. alloy wheels. 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 performance.
After all, the Aston Martin Vanquish made for an exceptional starting point on its own. It too bowed initially in concept form at Villa d’Este, albeit in 2012. A production model soon followed, and it served as the automaker’s V-12 flagship grand tourer until the DBS Superleggera bowed in mid-2018.
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. It shows mere delivery mileage and, as is to be expected from a vehicle showing fewer than 100 miles on its odometer, it is in delivery condition. Individually numbered example 48 of the 99 built still wears its factory-fitted 20-in. Pirelli P-Zero tires. Crucially, the Vanquish Zagato will also be delivered with its original bespoke accouterment: two Aston Martin crystal keys, a separate key for a very lucky valet, an umbrella, a custom license plate bracket for its front bumper, and its original books and tools. It also includes its window sticker, which reflects a new price of $775,000.
A seamless blend of British and Italian style, this unique limited-edition Vanquish Zagato is an instant collectible.