1986 Aston Martin V8 Zagato
Year of manufacture1986
Number of seats2
1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Coupé
Registration no. VZ 268
Chassis no. SCFCV81Z9GTR20018
'The Vantage Zagato relies on its Italian styling to heighten the emotions of car collectors and Aston followers alike, harking back as it does the halcyon days of David Brown patronage at Newport Pagnell when 19 DB4 GTs wore gorgeously curvaceous lightweight Zagato bodywork.' Motor.
With the introduction of the Vantage Zagato, Aston Martin renewed its association with one of Italy's most illustrious carrozzeria, Zagato having been responsible for that most celebrated and desirable of all post-war Astons, the DB4 GT Zagato. Neighbouring stands at the 1984 Geneva Salon facilitated the initial contact between Aston Martin chairman, Victor Gauntlett and Elio and Gianni Zagato, and by the following year the project had progressed sufficiently for Aston to accept deposits on the 50 cars planned. Part of Zagato's brief was to shed some of the standard Vantage's not inconsiderable weight, which was achieved by shortening the wheelbase and deleting the rear seats, thus creating Aston's first production two-seater since the DB4 GT. In doing so, Zagato was able to shed all of 168kg (370lbs) from the four-seater V8 saloon's not inconsiderable weight.
The proven 5.3-litre four-cam V8 was to Vantage specification, producing 432bhp at 6,200rpm and 395ft/lbs of torque at 5,100 revs. Production involved shipping the rolling chassis - complete with engine and drive train - to Zagato in Milan for bodying, trimming and painting, following which they were returned to Newport Pagnell for final inspection.
The first three completed cars were displayed at Geneva in March 1986 and in June the Zagato successfully met its design target by achieving a maximum speed of 300km/h (186mph) while on test with the French magazine Sport Auto. A 0-60mph time of five seconds had been another target and that too was achieved, the French journalists clocking a best of 4.8.The fact that the projected price had risen from £70,000 to £87,000 between the car's announcement in March 1985 and its arrival did nothing to deter the 50 customers, all of whom had paid deposits of £15,000 by August 1985.
Eventually 52 cars would be constructed, including the pre-production '20010' and prototype '20011'. Of the 50 'production' cars, only 27 were right-hand drive manual transmission models like that offered here, though one of these - '20042' - was re-created as the prototype of the Zagato Volante. If subsequent engine enlargements are taken into account, it is estimated that only 20 right-hand drive manual transmission Vantage Zagatos remain in their original specification like the one we offer. Arguably the pinnacle of the V8 era, these exciting driver's cars now form the centrepiece of many important Aston Martin collections.
'20018' is presented in its original colour scheme of Lightning Silver with Burgundy interior trim. The car was delivered new in the UK in 1986 before being resold via Aston Martin Sales in 1987 and exported to Hong Kong. Maintained by Aston Martin Hong Kong, the Zagato was re-imported to the UK in 2006 and has been in single ownership since.
In 2017 (at 4,223 miles) over £10,000 was spent on preparation and upgrades with renowned marque specialists, Nicholas Mee Limited. These included a service to schedule; a Harvey Bailey handling kit (front anti-roll bar, front dampers, new springs front and rear); set up to Nicholas Mee specification; and other remedial works. In addition, an appropriate registration number, 'VZ 268' has been obtained, bringing '20018' into line with many of its fellow Zagatos that have had carried 'VZ' numbers from new. All of Nicholas Mee's invoices are in the file together with some from the car's time in Hong Kong.
Since the current vendor purchased the car in 2017 it has benefited from a full service, carried out in August 2018 at Aston Martin Works, with all minor niggles corrected at the same time (see bill for £11,223 on file). In excellent condition and with very low mileage recorded, this rare and attractively specified Vantage Zagato is supplied fully prepared and serviced, ready to enjoy the celebrations of Carrozzeria Zagato's centenary in 2019.