Ultra-rare, right-hand-drive Zagato still pretty special after 20 years…
By Cam Tait / Monday, 3 October 2022 / Loading comments
Is there a more hit-and-miss design studio out there than Zagato? Its highs are exceptional. Think Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale and, to my eyes at least, the Ferrari 575 GTZ. But then there are the likes of the Bentley Continental GTZ and Lamborghini 5-95, cars so, er, questionable that you start to wonder whether Zagato is just trying to wind us up. Remind you of a certain German carmaker of late?
A marmite design house, then, but as a Zagato fanboy I feel it’s my duty to show the naysayers that for every dodgy redesign there’s a truly gorgeous piece of automotive styling. And that (peculiar, I’ll admit) admiration for the house of Z all started with the car we have here: the Aston Martin DB7 Zagato. Quite possibly the epitome of a polarising design, but one I’d argue is ageing rather gracefully.
Let’s face it, the DB7 was arguably in need of jazzing up a bit prior to the arrival of the Zagato version. While the initial Ian Callum design was very pretty, the DB7 was essentially a parts bin special. It was based on the ageing Jaguar XJS, the taillights were plucked from a Mazda 323 F and bits of the interior came straight out of a Ford Scorpio. Sure, it looked like an Aston Martin, but the DB7, particularly early examples, was a far cry from the DB9 and V8 Vantage that would follow a few years later.
To help inject a little glamour back into the marque, Aston called upon its old chum Zagato to release a limited-run coupe based on the DB7. After the incredibly square V8 Zagato from the mid-1980s, the DB7 variant would take on a curvier look inspired by the stunning DB4 GT Z of the 1960s. The ultra-wide grille made a return, dominating the front of the car, along with a trio of vents at the base of the bumper serving as a nod to the original DB4 GT. The rear end was completely redesigned with new, circular taillights and a small boot spoiler. Whether you’re a fan of the changes or not, I’m sure we can all agree that everything looks better with a double bubble roof.
Given that it launched in 2002, the DB7 had already undergone some significant changes, notably the introduction of a 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V12. It was lightly upgraded for the DB7 Zagato, with power rising from 420hp to 435hp, and it earned breathed-on suspension and brakes. The length and wheelbase were also considerably shorter than a regular DB7, resulting in a chunky saving of 59kg. Though it was still a GT at heart, you could at least spec it with a six-speed manual gearbox. Thankfully, the car we have here has just that.
Only 99 examples of the coupe were produced, of which only 59 came in right-hand drive, making this particular car a rare find. The Tungsten Silver finish certainly tones down the wild styling a tad, but things are extra jazzy on the inside with Royal Blue leather-on-walnut veneers. Magnificent. Of course, the Z badge certain commands a premium at £265,000, but to this Zagato fan thinks it’s worth every penny. So, what do we think then? An Aston Martin classic, or a Zagato misfire?
SPECIFICATION | ASTON MARTIN DB7 ZAGATO
Engine: 5,935cc V12
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],000rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],000rpm
Year registered: 2004
Recorded mileage: 5,675
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £265,000
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