In 1919, after an apprenticeship with a coachbuilder in Germany and a decade-long employment back in his native Italy with Carrozzeria Varsina, where he learned about aerodynamics and aluminum, Ugo Zagato and his partner Aldo Finzi opened their own workshop on Via Ferrer in Milan.
Although it wasn’t until 1920 that the first Zagato bodies would be produced, for a Fiat 501 chassis, 2019 marks the official Zagato centennial, and it will be celebrated in various ways this year, including the unveiling of the Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato and the sale of a group of Zagato-designed vehicles at RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba collector car auction.
Only 19 examples of the DBS GT Zagato will be produced, each paired with DB4 GT Zagato continuation cars as the DBZ Centenary Collection. The first detailed renderings of the DBS GT Zagato have been released by Aston Martin.
“Taking Aston Martin’s most potent series production car — the acclaimed DBS Superleggera — as its starting point, the DBS GT Zagato embodies the next evolution in Aston Martin Zagato design language,” Aston Martin said in releasing the drawings.
“Inspired by the voluptuous shapes that previously dressed the original DB4 GT Zagato, Aston Martin and Zagatos designers have worked hard to conjure a similarly evocative design language.
“A key design feature remains the iconic double-bubble roof. Stretching the full length of the canopy, this fresh interpretation delivers a clean and sculptural form that flows from the top of the front windscreen to the car’s rearmost tip, discarding the traditional rear windscreen in favor of a purer roofline. The double-bubble theme continues frontwards across the car’s bonnet, reminiscent of the shape and form seen on original Aston Martin Zagato designs. These flowing curves are complemented by the model’s wide wrap-around windscreen, removing any hard lines above the car’s shoulder line.”
“Both design teams at Aston Martin and Zagato have together risen to the task magnificently; taking the already fabulous DBS Superleggera and shaping something which retains its identity as an Aston Martin, but expresses itself as only a Zagato can,” added Aston Martin Lagonda’s chief creative officer Marek Reichman.
Each of the DBZ Centenary Collection pairings is priced at £6 million ($7.83 million). Delivery begins in the fourth quarter of this year for the DB4 continuation car and a year later for the DBX GT Zagato, Aston Martin said.
However, it’s likely to cost considerably less to purchase one of the four Zagato-designed cars on the docket for the auction taking place May 25 in conjunction with the annual Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy.
Those cars include a 1955 Fiat 8V Coupe, a 1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 GT, a 1966 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport 3C 2.8 and a 2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato shooting brake.
“The opportunity to share in the centennial celebration of Zagato is indeed a special occasion and given the amazing bespoke designs from the Italian coachbuilder, we are truly excited to include a curated selection of motor cars in our prestigious Villa Erba auction,” said Augustin Sabatié-Garat, RM Sotheby’s European auction manager, who said he expects other Zagato-designed vehicles to be added to the auction docket.
RM Sotheby’s said the 1955 Fiat 8V is one of only 26 such vehicles, is powered by its original Tipo engine, has recently undergone a full if sympathetic restoration and is expected to bring €1.6 million to €1.8 million ($1.79 million to $2.02 million) at auction.
Considered the Fiat 8V’s “younger brother” is the Fiat-Abarth 750 GT, a “lovely little sports GT car is based on the chassis of the humble Fiat 600, however it is a joy to drive and allows access to racing events all over the world,” according to the auction house. The car is fitted with a Mille Miglia engine with lightweight crankshaft and has a pre-auction estimated value of €100,000 to €200,000 ($112,295 to $224,590).
The Lancia has been restored (to concours standards) and has a pre-sale estimate of €230,000 to €280,000 ($258,278 to $314,426).
The 2019 shooting brake is the 12th of 99 produced, has a 580 horsepower 6.0-liter V12 and carbon fiber body in Lava Red. The car is offered at no reserve and valued at €650,000 to €850,000 ($729,917 to $954,507).