Ugo Zagato was born in June 1890 and would live until October 1968. He began his coachbuilding career in 1919 when he left Officine Aeronautiche Pomilio to set up his own business in Milan. This was for "the construction and repair of bodies for automobiles and airplanes". He did so with the intent of transferring sophisticated constructional techniques that combined lightness with strength from the aeronautics to the automotive sector.
Without doubt his years of experience in the Aeronautical industry would have a huge impact on the design of Zagato automobiles. Following the First World War Zagato started making car bodies from wood and hand beaten aluminium as opposed to sheet steel, Zagato's first car was completed in 1922 and was a Fiat. His business grew rapidly until the Second World War when his factory in Milan was bombed and destroyed. In 1949, now with the aid of his two sons Elio and Gianni, the business was re-formed in Terrazzano Di Rho. In 1962, he retired. Zagato bodied many cars with the aim of achieving lightness as an advantage for competition.
The marriage between Ferrari and Zagato was a logical one with both Italian companies sharing the same ethos of Style and Performance. The latter often taking precedence. Prior to 1990 Zagato bodied only six new Ferraris. The first of these cars was a 166 MM, which featured a curvaceous rear windows and a small rear screen built into the sloping roof. This car was termed the "Panoramica Coupe", true to Zagato's competition origins the car was light and very quick, winning its class at the second Coppa Inter Europa in 1950. The remaining 5 cars were all 250 GT LWB Zagatos. (often referred to as 250 GTZ or Tour de France Zagato's).
The design aim of the 250 Zagato was to create a lighter and more aerodynamic competition Ferrari, and in keeping with this the first four of the five cars all enjoyed considerable competition success. Of the five cars only the first three were built with the distinguishing feature of a double-bubble roof.
The chassis number of our featured car, sits between the two chassis numbers of the period built Zagato bodied 250 GTs. This car is a Ferrari 250 LWB Berlinetta that was re-bodied in the 1990s at the request of the then owner and was carried out under the personal direction of Mr Elio Zagato. Each of the Zagato bodied Ferraris differed slightly in appearance. However, this particular Zagato is very similar to the multi-concours winning 0537 GT. As per, "in period", the running gear and chassis were unchanged. This car was originally built in 1957 as a 250 GT LWB and bodied at that time by Boano and therefore has the same type chassis, and running gear as 0537 GT, in essence the car is identical except for being bodied by Zagato at a later date.
The car is, "as finished", being presented in Dark Blue with a Silver roof section; the highly detailed interior is trimmed in light blue leather. The Zagato headed Certificate of Origin contained within the file states that the work was carried out under the supervision of Zagato and to and to the exact original references and manufacturer specification of Carrozzeria Zagato. The Certificate of Origin also confirms this colour combination. Maintained by DK for the last 14 years the car is in exceptional condition and is one of just a handful of Ferrari chassis to have been bodied with Zagato designed coachwork. It has been exceptionally well maintained and of late been enjoyed greatly by its current owner on tours and rallies as well as at the world's most exclusive concours events such as Salon Prive where it won the tour and placed third in class at the 2014 event.
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