2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Coupe
- 5.9 liter, 580BHP V12 engine
- Caribbean Pearl
- All Dark Knight Leather
- 1,100 miles
Aston Martin, to real car guys the name represents the epitome of fine hand-crafted motorcars in the British tradition for proper gentlemen drivers. Understated, elegant, sporty and brutally powerful on demand, the entire range of Aston Martin automobiles commands as loyal an ownership audience as Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini dating to the first cars built by Lionel Martin and Robert Bramford in 1913.
As a company, Aston Martin Loganda (and various assigns) has survived perilous times, changes of ownership surviving throughout to create some of the most interesting, coveted and collectible designs in automotive history.
Likewise, throughout, Aston Martin owners are nearly universally captains of industry, corporate presidents, CEOs, entrepreneurs and professionals at the top of their field whom require exclusivity, high style and luxury in a bit less of an ostentatious package but no less impressive performance than their aforementioned Italian and German counterparts.
During the David Brown era (1947 through 1990), the company scored its first and only overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959 with the gorgeous British Racing Green AMR1 driven by Roy Savadori and none other than American legend Carroll Shelby. The iconic Aston Martin DB5 which appeared in the 1965 James Bond movie “Goldfinger” catapulted the company into the public consciousness perhaps unlike any car in history and the brand has been referred to as “The James Bond car” ever since.
Whist Aston Martin enjoyed success at Le Mans in 1959, the company had only dabbled in racing for the next forty years mostly as engine suppliers, surfacing in the early Group C and IMSA GTP days from 1982 to 1985 with Aston Martin V8 engined Nimrod NRA/62B chassis most famously driven by A.J. Foyt and Darrell Waltrip to a DNF in the 1984 24 Hours of Daytona.
The awkward and heavy appearing Aston Martin Nimrods also saw action in the 24 Hours of Le Mans entered by Viscount Downe in the early 80s. Most notoriously at Le Mans in 1984, tragedy struck as two of the cars were destroyed together in a massive fiery shunt on the high speed Mulsanne Straight where a track marshal was killed, British gentleman driver John Sheldonseriously injured and upcoming American driver Drake Olsen was shaken up but escaped relatively unscathed. The Le Mans incident caused the Viscount Downe team to shutter their doors before the end of the 1984 season.
Another Aston Martin V8 engined team with Emka chassis, also entered Group C in 1983. The car had an unusual shape, a higher profile than factory entered competitors from Porsche, Jaguar and Lancia but the car had massive torque and while not the best car for long distance races, it would regularly pester the leaders early, lead a few laps on pit stop exchanges and set fastest laps before retiring.
In 1989, Aston Martin re-entered Group C racing during the height of its global popularity with a semi-works V8 engined challenger likewise called AMR-1, an homage to its 1959 brother. The project taken on with legendary Scottish racing entrant Ecurie Ecosse creating a new company called Proteus Technology, Ltd. (Protech for short) with long time sports car racing legend Ray Mallock running the team.
The AMR-1s were impressive, long, dramatic in white with striking red and blue Mobil-1 livery. The thundering 5.3-liter V8 engine based on the Aston Martin Virage produced 600BHP with a massive rear wing and sounded simply spectacular. However, even with legendary sports car drivers such as Brian Redman, David Leslie and Mallock at the wheel, the keen Group C competition in the form of Porsche AG (and privateers), TWR Jaguar, Sauber Mercedes-Benz, NISMO Nissan, Tom’s Toyota and Peugeot Talbot Sport, the AMR-1s would be top five contenders but never winners and disappeared with the demise of Group C. These days, the AMR-1s appear regularly in European Group C vintage and historic events in Europe and North America.
In 2004, Aston Martin introduced the DB9, the creation of Danish designer Henrick Fisker who had also penned the BMW Z8. The introduction of the DB9 coincided with Aston Martin opening their new state of the art factory at Gaydon after 52 years at the original Newport Pagnell factory where a total of 13,300 hand-built Aston Martins had been built.
The DB9 was a completely new direction for Aston Martin and was the second Aston Martin mdel after the Vanquish to feature the revolutionary Vertical/Horizontal (VH) platform and bonded aluminum construction methods, stunning design, seriously beautiful interior options such as burl walnut or bamboo wood inserts and that silk smooth 6.0 liter V12 engine built by Cosworth in Germany.
Likewise in 2004, Aston Martin announced the formation of Aston Martin Racing and their return to sports car racing once again. This time with David Richards’ Prodrive team as entrant for the DBR-9 V12s which entered multi-car teams for the 2005 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and European Le Mans Series (ELMS) championships.
The DBR-9s were closed GT cars based on the road going DB9 and made their world racing debut in the ALMS with a stunning GT1 class victory (5thOverall) with drivers Darren Turner, David Brabham and Stephane Ortelli in the 12 Hours of Sebring over the heavily favored and far more experienced factory entered Chevrolet Corvette team.
David Richards and his Prodrive organization based at their wonderous facility in Banbury Oxfordshire, England were stalwart entrants in the World Rally Championship (WRC), the Subaru World Rally Team, which won three manufacturer’s and driver’s championships with regular team drivers such as Colin McRae and Ari Vatanen.
The partnership between Prodrive and Aston Martin was a natural evolution. Dave Richards’ Care Racing/Prodrive Ferrari 550 GT Maranello team scored important victories in ALMS, FIA GT and at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans in particular where the team won the GT1 category. Long time Prodrive drivers Tomas Enge, Peter Kox and Jamie Davies finally breaking through to class victory after some crushing let downs while leading dominantly the previous two years.
The Prodrive entered Aston Martin DBR-9s followed up on their Sebring success with impressive results at Le Mans, scoring GT-1 class victories in 2005 with drivers David Brabham, Stephane Sarrazin and Darren Turner and again in 2007 with Brabham, Turner and Rickard Rydell in the hugely competitive category.
Behind the scenes, in 2007 Dave Richards led a consortium of investors including Investment Dar and Adeem Investment, raising $925,000,000 to purchase Aston Martin outright from parent company Ford with Richards becoming chairman of the company, a role which he held until 2013.
Over the six years of Richards’ direction, Aston Martin’s line up expanded to include the V8 Vantage and DB9 incarnations such as the DBS and continued with the flagship Vanquish. The company’s racing forays continued as well appearing regularly not only in long distance sports car races in the GTE Pro and Am categories, Blancpain and Pirelli World Challenge sports car championships around the world.
Aston Martin Lagonda, which to this point had been happy to be part time players in racing and producing hand-built cars in extremely limited numbers were rapidly becoming less reluctant racing entrants and filling grids at the world’s most important sports car races. And, while production numbers still remained in the ultra-exclusive range, the company had to build more cars to compete in the market segment, Aston Martin’s fortunes were on the rise.
With all this racing DNA going on, Aston Martin continued building their “big car”, the Vanquish, which began production in 2001 to replace the Virage range to become the company’s new flagship model.
The first generation Vanquish V12 engined coupe, designed by Ian Callum, was revealed at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show and was in production until 2005. In keeping with Aston Martin tradition , the Vanquish was used in the 2002 James Bond film, “Die Another Day” with Pierce Brosnan and ranks among the top cars in film history.
The muscular Vanquish and later version Vanquish S was built to compete against market segment rivals such as Ferrari’s front engine V12 550 and 575 Maranello models. However, with only 1,492 of the original models and 1,086 S versions produced, less than half of their Italian competitors, Aston Martin once again prevailed in the exclusivity race and built the last of the original Vanquish model in 2007.
In 2012, Aston Martin resurrected the Vanquish model as Project AM310 Concept which was revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa D’Este on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. The concept was based on the fourth generation of the VH platform and included subtle tweaks of Aston Martin’s familiar grille, revised headlight design and more of a pronounced bulge in the engine bonnet with One-77 inspired design cues, new 5.9 liter V12 engine with 542BHP. Aston Martin later announced that the concept would be reintroduced as the new Vanquish.
In 2017, Aston Martin announced a limited series production of the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato, the latest creation from its long-standing partnership with the prestigious Italian design house. The Vanquish Zagato Concept was unveiled to great acclaim at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May of 2016.
The Vanquish Zagato was made in four variant (coupe, convertible, speedster, and shooting brake) body styles. The Vanquish Zagato features the same AM29 V12 from the Vanquish S, which has a power output of 595BHP and 630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) of torque, allowing the Vanquish Zagato to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62MPH) in 3.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 201MPH.
Though unmistakable as an Aston Martin, the Vanquish Zagato coupe has bodywork that could only have come from Zagato. The carbon fiber body has few cut lines because it is mostly composed of large one-piece panels. Traditional Aston Martin elements such as the grille shape and side strake that runs from the wheel arch to the door remain intact.
The Vanquish Zagato’s signature detail is its wraparound glass and visor-like double-bubble roof panel that is present an all Zagato coupes and a nod to the company’s early aeronautical background. Hints of the Aston Martin Vulcan and One-77 are evident in the “bladed” LED taillights and the side mirrors that appear to hover in the air. Inside, the Vanquish Zagato fitted an interior with a quilted pattern on its leather seats and door panels, herringbone carbon fiber trim, and Zagato badging.
Overall, the Vanquish Zagato concept otherwise had a one-off flair – except that the automaker green-lighted production of 99 coupe, convertible, speedster, and shooting brake examples after Villa d’Este.
Each built in 2017 was individually numbered with just 15 destined for the U.S. All 99 share an uprated, 592BHP version of Aston Martin’s V12 engine that delivers power to the rear wheels, an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and big carbon ceramic brakes behind its twenty-inch alloy wheels. Though the Vanquish Zagato’s prime appeal lies in its styling, the sound of that naturally aspirated V-12 engine and rear-wheel-drive deliver thrilling performance.
This 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato (#33889) is resplendent in Caribbean Pearl Blue with All Dark Knight leather interior and is a one owner example with 1,100 original miles. Notable Zagato style enhancements include the traditional bubble roof and incredibly detailed turned alloy oversize grille which, a $45,000 option. Additionally, the Aston Martin’s customization division, Q (notated “Q” below), included nine options to Vanquish Zagato making this brilliant car a rolling work of art.
The car comes with original window sticker, two glass keys, manuals and service records. It is also covered completely in ceramic protection with no discernible flaws, paintwork or accidents.