1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato
- The last V8 Vantage Zagato built
- One of just 15 left-hand-drive coupes
- Desirable five-speed manual gearbox
- Only 4,173 km since new
- Presented at the Quail in 2018 and the 2019 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance
- Recent major service by RS Williams
Modern, macho, even menacing all describe the provocative design of the V8 Vantage Zagato when it was introduced at the 1986 Geneva Motor Show, featuring lightweight construction techniques and the distinctive double-bubble roofline for which the Milanese coachbuilder is known. This model was the second in a line of legendary collaborations between Aston Martin and Zagato. As such, it was no surprise when avid collector Sheikh Abdul al Thani of the Qatari royal family put in an order for one later that year—what would become chassis number 20043.
The initial build sheets show that 20043 was ordered in Middle Eastern left-hand-drive, manual five-speed specification. After completion in September 1987, that car was never exported and remained based in the United Kingdom for continental cruising. Alas, in mid-1989, the car was involved in a dramatic road accident in Spain. It returned to Aston Martin Lagonda’s service department with instructions to rebuild the vehicle as new—no expenses spared.
In negotiations with the insurance company, the decision was made to build a brand-new car reusing the existing chassis number. The original X-Pack–specification engine was fully rebuilt and fitted to the new chassis, which was then sent to Milan, where a completely new body was fabricated by Zagato. Interestingly, as Zagato were coming to the end of production of the V8 Volante Zagato, the new 20043 incorporates several of the running upgrades found on the later cars—including a more luxurious interior with ebony-finish trim, Alcantara headliner, and a locking center console, as well as the more attractive rear bumper.
In keeping with the new build, the V8 Vantage Zagato was also ordered in different colors; the 1989 sales indent reports the current combination of Litchfield Black over Parchment leather as original to this car. Delivered factory-fresh in July 1991, chassis 20043 was the last V8 Vantage Zagato to roll out the door. With the mileage starting anew, today the car shows a mere 4,200 km.
After passing out of al Thani’s ownership, the Zagato was owned by a notable Aston collector until 2017, when it was acquired by the consignor, who invested much time and effort in researching the fascinating history of this car. Upon purchase it was sent to marque experts RS Williams in the United Kingdom for a full recommissioning service, which included the fitting of four new Michelin Pilot Sports tires subsequently mounted to factory-supplied late V8 Vantage Ronal–style wheels. The V8 Vantage Zagato was then presented at the Quail in 2018 and also shown in the feature Zagato Centenary class at the 2019 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.
Both lighter and faster than the already-world-beating V8 Vantage X-Pack, the performance is staggering and was compared in the day to that of the Ferrari F40. Certainly among the lowest-mileage examples extant, this V8 Vantage Zagato is offered with historical and maintenance documentation, the original Zagato-exclusive Speedline wheels, rare handbook, jack, and tools—carefully preserved from new and recently recommissioned by experts.