The relationship is already well into its half-century, and has been bountiful in terms of the stop-and-gawp nature of its offspring, if not the quantity. Its first, the achingly beautiful Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, is today considered one of the most desirable classics ever made. In the mid-80s, the Aston Martin V8 Zagato once again put focus on the partnership (this time with a more varied reception), and the early 2000s saw the romance rekindled with the arrival of the DB7 Zagato and its drophead princess, the AR1. Most recently, the fourth lovechild – the V12 Zagato – bowed in at the 2011 Villa d’Este concours.
Holding hands along the Seine
During a recent trip to Paris, we come across one of the 101 examples built, and cannot resist taking it for a brief waltz along the promenade. Unlike its predecessors, it came from the Aston Martin studios rather than those in Milan – but you wouldn’t know from looking at it. Traditional design flourishes such as the double-bubble roof are immediately recognisable, as are more recent ones such as the multiple ‘Z’ emblems in the front grille. Otherwise, it’s still identifiable as a V12V from the front, but the wide hips, rear spoiler and special-issue taillights become noticeable as you move round the car.
Tentacles and 2,000 hours of work
Climbing inside, your attention will be captured by the quirky pattern, stretching like tentacles across the seats. It’s one of the explanations for the 2,000 man-hours that go into each V12 Zagato and, as you might expect, the price is correspondingly high. This brand-new, unregistered car will set you back around £330,000 plus local taxes, but considering its rarity and pedigree, there are a lot pricier ways of experiencing this long-lasting love affair.