RE: Showpiece of the Week: Zagato Shooting Brake

RE: Showpiece of the Week: Zagato Shooting Brake

Monday 13th May

Showpiece of the Week: Zagato Shooting Brake

One of only 99 Shooting Brakes, but this Aston Martin Vanquish is even more special than most...



It’s been 58 years since Aston Martin partnered with Zagato to produce the DB4 GT. Although the relationship between the British manufacturer and Italian design house opened with a gorgeous racing car driven by legends like Jim Clark, in the decades that have followed motorsport has inspired only three of their co-made models. More often it’s simply been a case of dramatic design enhancement, often through the introduction of a double-bubble roof and circular taillights, and better on-road performance via aerodynamic improvement and weight saving.

Of the cars produced by the pairing, Aston Martin Vantages have arguably hogged the spotlight thanks to cars like the 1986 V8 Zagato. The partnership also created the one-off works racing version of that car in the same year, which Rowan Atkinson eventually bought in 1998 and raced on a national level for three seasons, drawing a link to that original DB4 model’s lifestyle. Then there was a Zagato competition version of the V12 Vantage produced in 2011, two examples of which raced at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and finished in fifth and sixth positions overall.


But the Vanquishes to receive attention from Zagato have never been focussed on racing. The first one to be altered by the Italians came out as a one-off concept in 2004; a roadster that received only light changes, including the adoption of Zagato’s famous circular rear light design and accompanying raised rear deck. From the front the Vanquish look largely remained untouched – and it was more about the design details than anything else to set it apart from the regular Aston Martin model.

Under the bonnet, the powertrain remained a naturally aspirated V12 of 5.9 litres that produced 466hp as it did in the regular Vanquish, meaning the car was a far cry from the lightweighted and aerodynamically-retuned cars to come from other projects of the two brands. But its rareness – and subtle beauty – meant it commanded no less respect from collectors the world over. It resurfaced for sale only four years ago and was valued at £650,000 by Bonhams.


That set an agenda for the later Vanquish Zagato models, the first of which came in concept form back in 2016 at the Villa d’Este concours d’elegance in Italy. The evolved design for Aston’s grand tourer – then its halo model – was developed at its headquarters in Gaydon, but design boss Marek Reichman had significant input from Zagato CEO Andrea Zagato and his Milan-based team. They inspired the introduction of the new circular taillights that for the first time incorporated a 3D structure and LED tech, with a pinched line of bodywork bursting from their sides.

Familiar alterations included the double-bubble lid, the thicker rear hips and, of course, the Z badges on the front wings. It wasn’t until later that year that Aston confirmed production of 99 cars for sale, which retained the concept’s Vulcan, One-77 and CC-100-inspired design elements and made extensive use of carbon fibre body panels, with fewer split lines to reduce drag and also to clean up breaks in the car’s shape. This was, after all, a design-focussed model.


But there were mechanical enhancements as well. It used a 600hp version of the Vanquish’s naturally aspirated V12 that could sprint the Zagato Coupe from 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, making it 30hp more potent and three tenths of a second quicker than the regular car. Add those improvements to the model’s rarity and – most significantly – the fact it joined such an illustrious line-up of co-developed cars and that around half a million pounds was required to bag one is of little surprise. The following Volante version was made in as many examples and cost even more.

Then the Shooting Brake came. In 2017, Aston Martin pulled the covers off it alongside a Speedster version of the Volante, but with only 28 examples of the latter made, the 99 Shooting Brakes represented the better opportunity for collectors after one of these dramatic Anglo-Italians. Plus, it was a 600hp Zagato estate, which is as about as cool as cars can possibly get.


While the V12 powertrain remained the same – disappointing absolutely nobody – the body received extensive modification to incorporate the Zagato’s visor-like glasshouse with a roofline that stretches much closer to the car’s rearmost point. Zagato’s designers placed the rear window at a steeper rake so it could feed smoothly into the bodywork and help retain the pinched section between the taillights. It was a dramatic look – but one that also created a single-piece tailgate to provide wide access to the boot. Open it, and you’re greeted by a large expanse of space with a slatted floor for the weekly shop – or, more likely, a set of skis.

Today’s Showpiece is a 20-mile-old example of just this. And if being one of only 99 Shooting Brakes weren’t special enough, it’s also only the third to receive an optional bronze front grille – although apparently, it’s not yet finished so hasn’t been fitted to the car. As that suggests, this is a brand-new car with miles that have presumably been accumulated only by the dealership it currently lives at. It’s said to be one of the best-specced Zagato’s of this sort, with the optional Villa D’Este Pack meaning it mimics the original reveal car as closely as possible. Which might help to explain why it’s up for £825,000; in our book, it’s worth every penny.

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Author
Discussion

mrclav

Original Poster:

791 posts

164 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Ooof. That's lovely!

easytiger123

1,699 posts

150 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
For when a GTC4 Lusso just isn't quite special enough for those trips to B and Q. Looks lovely...not sure it's £825,000 lovely but I'm sure it will find a home.

howardhughes

304 posts

145 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
'£825,000; in our book, it’s worth every penny'

Absolute joke.

marksx

3,463 posts

131 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
What's the opposite of a BOBFOC?

AmosMoses

3,219 posts

106 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Stunning, if I had the cash I’d be there in a shot.
Advertisement

Ashtray83

336 posts

109 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Looks like a civic with the boot open, gopping

Nerdherder

608 posts

38 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Ashtray83 said:
Looks like a civic with the boot open, gopping
Agreed. Italian do it with grotesque style in this case. Pass.

spookly

2,163 posts

36 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
As hideous as it is pointless.

hucumber

314 posts

38 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
I can't believe people genuinely think this looks good. The rear is absolutely gorgeous, the front is lovely, but the two joined together look completely ridiculous

bobbo89

2,573 posts

86 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
What is it with Aston and the feckin horrible steering wheels? They all look like they've been lifted from a 15 year old Mondeo!

samoht

905 posts

87 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all

While I know this is a limited-run special, I wish more sports coupes were made like this. Front engine, two seats, then a good brace for rigidity, then a decent-size boot space aft that can take a couple of suitcases or bikes. It's better aerodynamically than the usual lift-generating fastback rear, and it makes a proper driver's car that can also meet all the practical needs of a couple.

tosh.brice

155 posts

152 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Ashtray83 said:
Looks like a civic ...
Agreed, the interior is pure Civic R - though doubtless infinitely better materials and feel - that look is enough to put me off buying a secondhand Type R for the temporary vehicle I need ...

Hairymonster

426 posts

46 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
That's just gorgeous. Love it.

Hairymonster

426 posts

46 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
marksx said:
What's the opposite of a BOBFOC?
What's BOBFOC?

marksx

3,463 posts

131 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Hairymonster said:
What's BOBFOC?
https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/BOBFOC

This thing is gorgeous from the front, but jeez the rest of it is gopping.

TaylotS2K

1,964 posts

148 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
I like it but the interior looks really cheap. Have the seats got Halfords seat covers on?

E65Ross

22,445 posts

153 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
I think that's hideous, especially the rear. And how pointless is it with such a stupidly small opening hatch? Still, if there are people there to buy it for the asking price, you can't blame them!


marksx said:
Hairymonster said:
What's BOBFOC?
https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/BOBFOC

This thing is gorgeous from the front, but jeez the rest of it is gopping.
rofl

CharlieAlphaMike

327 posts

46 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Visually quite 'striking' but I wouldn't call it 'beautiful'. I wonder if people are seduced by virtue of the fact that it's an Aston Martin?

cookie1600

1,129 posts

102 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
I'm not sure there's any real carrying capacity in the back of this, I'd be surprised if you could get one bike (dismantled) or a single suitcase through that hatch opening. Still it's a Marmite car, which I actually like.

However, if you want a real Aston load-lugger then other choices could be available:




Snubs

793 posts

80 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
I like the rear but who looked at that front grill and thought "the one thing missing here is cold sores, let's add a couple!"