HomeThe MarketPrototype Porsche, Zagato Astons on RM Sotheby's Paris docket

Prototype Porsche, Zagato Astons on RM Sotheby’s Paris docket


Of the 13 Porsche 901 prototypes, only this one was a cabriolet | RM Sotheby's photos by Tim Scott
Of the 13 Porsche 901 prototypes, only this one was a cabriolet | RM Sotheby’s photos by Tim Scott

RM Sotheby’s continues to fill out the docket for its Paris auction during Retromobile week, revealing Tuesday that the only Porsche 901 cabriolet prototype and a pair of Zagato-bodied Aston Martins will join the 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 raced by Scuderia Ferrari as featured vehicles for the sale.

Carrying a pre-auction estimated value of €850.000 to €1.000.000 ($850,000 to $1.06 million), the Porsche is one of 13 pre-production cars produced as Porsche readied a successor for its 356 and is the only cabriolet among that baker’s dozen. Later, the car was used by Porsche to develop its 911 Targa concept.

Car also was used in developing the Targa roof
Car also was used in developing the Targa roof

Chassis No. 13360 is the second-oldest surviving 901 chassis, RM Sotheby’s noted in its news release, and is one of only two pre-production 901s surviving.

Porsche presented its 901 model at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. However, Peugeot already had the rights to give vehicles names with three digits, one on either side of a zero, so Porsche changed the designation of its 356 successor from 901 to 911.

The Zagato-bodied Aston Martins are a 2002 DB7 Vantage Zagato, bearing serial No. 001 because it was the first Zagat0-bodied Aston Martin built since the V8 Vantage Zagato in 1986, and a 2012 V12 Zagato, known as No. Zero because it was a special commission car with special design features by Aston Martin’s “Q” department.

“Hot on the heels of stunning (auction) successes in London and Milan, and with an astonishing offering including motor cars such as these Aston Martin Zagatos, our Paris sale is set to provide a thrilling start to our 2017 auction season,” Peter Wallman, RM Sotheby’s managing director for Europe, was quoted in a news release.

'No. Zero' was special even among a very limited production run
‘No. Zero’ was special even among a very limited production run

“Together, these Astons represent one of the greatest brand partnerships in the motoring world, that between Aston Martin and Zagato, and we can’t wait to bring them to Paris in February.”

Zagato has a half-century history of doing specially bodied Aston Martins. The 2012 V12 Zagato was part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the DB4GT Zagato. Only 65 V12 Zagatos were built.

The one on offer at Paris is the 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato car known as “No. Zero,” a special commission featuring one-off Zagato-badged key, unique painted fixed rear wing and one-off Scarab badge. The one-owner car goes to the auction with a pre-sale estimated value of €625.000–€675.000 ($664,000 to $717,000).

Cocktail napkin became bill of sale for No. 7000001
Cocktail napkin became bill of sale for No. 7000001

Also being offered at Paris is the first of the 2002 DB7 Vantage Zatagos, serial No. 700001. The story of the car’s original sale is a part of automotive history. Then Aston Martin Lagonda chief executive Ulrich Bez was in a nightclub in Basel, Switzerland, where he showed sketches of the proposed bodywork to a potential customer. That customer immediately agreed to purchase the first of the cars, so he and Bez turned a cocktail napkin into a sales document.

The car was delivered in 2003 in Nero Black over Claret Red leather, RM Sotheby’s noted, with several options, including brushed aluminum trim instead of wood, an upgraded satellite/navigation and stereo system and a heated windshield.

The car now goes to auction with an estimated pre-sale value of €350.000–€400.000 ($372,000 to $425,000).

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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