Aston Martin is to produce a limited run of 'new’ DB4GT Zagato Continuations – but you’ll only be able to buy one as part of a pair with the new DBS GT Zagato.
The DBZ Centenary Collection, as it is known, will be released next year to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of long-term Aston Martin collaborator Zagato’s birth.
Each of the 19 pairs will cost £6 million, with the first batch of DB4GT Zagato Continuation models expected to arrive towards the end of 2019, and the DBS GT Zagato following in late 2020.
As with most other continuation models, the DB4GT Zagato will be a track-only car – possibly appropriately, given that it was through racing that the originals built their formidable reputation.
And in a further nod to the past, the Continuation model will be built at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell – the original home of the DB4; the DBS GT Zagato, meanwhile, will be produced at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “The partnership between Aston Martin and Zagato is one of the most fruitful and enduring in the automotive world.
“With Zagato celebrating its centenary next year, what better way to celebrate this landmark – and the long-standing bond between our two great companies – than creating these 19 pairs of cars.
“As an engineer I would always say my favourite Aston Martin is the next one, but I have to say I’m struggling to think of a finer two-car garage than this!”
The original DB4GT Zagatos are among the most recognisable, and most valuable, of all racing Aston Martins.
Only 19 were produced between 1960 and ’62, and they were raced in period by the likes of Jim Clark, Stirling Moss and Denny Hulme.
A combination of that rarity and that sporting history, plus the Italian coachbuilder’s sensational design, have resulted in staggering sale prices whenever one appears on the market.
In July, ‘2 VEV’ – the most famous of all DB4GT Zagatos – sold for more than £10 million at Bonhams’ Festival of Speed auction, while another one, the 14th produced, fetched a similar sum with RM Sotheby’s in 2015.
In short, that £6m price tag for the Continuation model is not unreasonable – particularly as you get a new DBS thrown in, too.
The DB4GT Zagato Continuation models are the latest in an increasingly long line of recreated classics.
Aston Martin itself announced last month that it is building 25 DB5 Continuations, and in 2016 announced plans to produce 25 Lightweight DB4GTs. Jaguar, meanwhile, has the reborn D-type, Lightweight E-type and XKSS, and Lister has been working on new-old versions of the Knobbly and Costin.
Not that this is solely a recent trend: the demand for DB4GT Zagatos was initially recognised as far back as the late 1980s, when Aston Martin upgraded four DB4 chassis to GT rating, then had them rebodied by Zagato; these 'works-approved replicas’ were eventually released as the Aston Martin Sanction II, with a couple of Sanction III models following in 2000.
“Creating 19 DB4GT Zagato Continuations as one half of the DBZ Centenary Collection is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Paul Spires, Managing Director at Aston Martin Works.
“We will bring all our hand-craftsmanship and expertise to bear in building these 19 Continuation cars, sympathetically incorporating the very latest engineering advancements and performance enhancements, but remaining true to the purity and authenticity of the original design.”
The Continuations will be produced in as authentic a fashion as possible, using both David Brown-era craftsmanship and modern engineering technology. The cars will be crafted from thin-gauge aluminium body panels over a lightweight tubular frame, while a ‘version’ of the Tadek Marek-designed straight-six will sit beneath the bonnet.
The road-legal DBS GT Zagato, meanwhile, takes the new DBS Superleggera as its starting point, with Zagato then presenting a new vision of the exterior, complete with iconic double-bubble roof, striking front grille treatment and a dramatically truncated tail.
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, added, “Aston Martin and Zagato is a uniquely dynamic union. One that unites the former’s love of proportion and clean, simple forms with the latter’s daring and maverick eye.
“Never afraid to push the boundaries, the partnership has resulted in some fabulous cars. Most recently the quartet of Vanquish Zagatos, which spanned the extremes of design expression with Coupé, Roadster, Speedster and Shooting Brake versions.
“However, Zagato’s centenary demanded something extra special, and the Zagato Collection is just that: one car that pays tribute to a timeless icon; another that writes a fearless new chapter for future generations to admire.”