Aston Martin Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Iconic DB4GT Zagato

By Auto News Log • March 1st, 2011

Geneva – Aston Martin celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic DB4GT Zagato by displaying one of the original cars alongside the company’s world renowned line-up of sports cars at Geneva Motor Show.

The Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato has over fifty years, become one of the most iconic and indeed valuable additions to some of the world’s greatest car collections.
As the first of what has been three such partnerships to date with the famous Carrozzeria, the DB4GT Zagato represents the foundations of a unique design collaboration in the sportscar industry and the reasons for its great success.

This first foray into working together came about in 1960 when David Brown, then owner of Aston Martin sought to find a method for removing even more weight and to increase performance of the ultimate two seat sportscar of the time, the DB4GT. Just 75 ‘standard’ bodied DB4GTs were built for both the road and racetrack following on from the success of both the DB4 and indeed the fact that in 1959 Aston Martin won the World Sportscar Championship.

The DB4 along with the DB4GT and subsequent Aston Martin sportscars were bodied using a ‘Superleggera’ system specially design by and licenced from Carozzeria Touring in Milan. This innovative layout meant that a steel platform with a thin tubular frame could be clothed in lightweight aluminium body panels creating a rigid but relatively light sportscar.

In the search for creating an even lighter car Aston Martin went to Signor Anderloni of Touring who was their great ally in cooperation and he suggested that Zagato was exactly the company with the credentials for the Job. Having agreed the outline specification in May 1960 with company owner and Managing Director, Gianni Zagato, the design was entrusted to the the 23 year old Ercole Spada who became perhaps one of the most gifted designers of his period.

Both the late Gianni Zagato and Ercole Spada agreed later that the original design took no more than a week to complete. It used the basis of the Aston Martin designed DB4/DB4GT and some Zagato methodology to create something that in its first iteration was agreed to be just right. The design has gone on to be widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cars of all time.

The DB4GT Zagato was launched only a few months after inception at the Earls Court Motorshow (London) in 1960.
Just 20 DB4GT Zagatos were built between 1960 and 1963, one being dismantled in period to rebuild another. Of the 19 remaining DB4GT Zagatos, all survive today and are seen on the road, the racetrack and indeed at the world’s greatest concours events such as Villa D’Este and Pebble Beach.

The DB4GT Zagato displayed on the Aston Martin stand at Geneva Motor Show was DB4GT/0189/R. The last DB4GT Zagato completed in period and finished in Caribbean Pearl paint with Red Leather was originally sold through HWM Aston Martin in Surrey, England and was loaned to the company by a private customer. After a life in the UK, Europe and South Africa 0189 benefitted from a full restoration at Aston Martin Works Service in 1995. This world leading facility, based at Newport Pagnell, England was established to preserve and maintain Aston Martin’s automotive heritage, repairing, restoring and servicing Aston Martins ranging from post-war to the present day and for customers living in 29 countries.

DB4GT Zagato Specification:

Engine: dohc I-6, 3670 cc; 314bhp @ 6000 rpm, 278 lbs-ft @ 5400 rpm
Transmission: 4 speed David Brown Manual (Close Ratio)
Body: Handcrafted 18 gauge Aluminium / Magnesium Alloy
Suspension: Front: upper-and-lower A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar Rear: live axle, Watt linkage, trailing links, coil springs
Brakes: front/rear Girling discs
Length: 14ft (4.26m)
Height: 4ft 1inch (1.24m)
Width: 5ft 4inches (1.64m)
Weight: 2580lbs (1170kg)
Approximate: Top Speed: 153 mph
0-60 mph: 6.1 sec.

Source: Aston Martin

 

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