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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 the 52 cars eventually constructed, this right-hand drive, manual transmission Aston Martin Vantage Zagato was delivered new via HW Motors Ltd, the world's oldest surviving Aston Martin dealership. First registered on 19th January 1987, the car was originally owned by a Mr Grubel, in Surrey and then purchased by William Pool in December of that year when it had covered a mere 700 miles. While in both Mr Pool's and the current owner's possession the Zagato has been fastidiously cared for and serviced regularly by the supplying dealer HWM, the car is accompanied by a large file including almost all of the service invoices, MOTs and tax discs since 1987. During its life the car has had just 3 owners. To date the car has covered a total of just 12,000 miles, which is validated by the accompanying MOTs and invoices. This Car was featured in the Octane "Power Issue" alongside an F40, a copy of the magazine is within the extensive history file. Finished in Gladiator Red with black leather interior, this rare and desirable British thoroughbred supercar with an Italian touch strikes the rare balance between collectability and usability.
"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 Magazine.