1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Coupé Registration no. E78 BBB Chassis no. 20039 Engine no. V/580/0039/X
'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 DB4GTs 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 DB4GT 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 DB4GT. 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.
One of only 52 cars eventually constructed, this right-hand drive, manual transmission Vantage Zagato was delivered new via Aston Martin dealers Reg Vardy Ltd of Houghton-le-Spring to one Peter Clark, Esq and since 2008 has formed part of an exclusive private collection. 'E78 BBB' is finished in Valiant Blue with fawn Connolly hide upholstery, dark blue Connolly leather dashboard and steering wheel trim, and dark blue Wilton carpets. The odometer shows some 30,000 miles while the original service book has been stamped six times. This rare and desirable British thoroughbred supercar is offered with the aforementioned original service book, the original deposit receipt, and UK V5 registration document.