Aston V12 Zagato Concept Fondly Recalls Days Before Aston Martin Became Pawn Of Shady Middle Eastern Investment Company
The story goes that an English gentleman was sitting in his London club and noticed that the man reading next to him was David Brown, star-crossed industrialist and owner of Aston Martin.
“Say, old chap,” the fellow asked Brown, “I do quite fancy that motorcar of yours. Don’t suppose you could sell a fellow one of them, do you?”
“Be delighted to,” Brown responded. “Simply have your bank draft me a cheque for forty-two hundred pounds.” The gentleman cleared his throat.
“Well, old chap, since we are both members of the same club, one doesn’t suppose it could be done at cost?”
“I would be even more delighted to,” Brown responded. “Simply have your bank draft me a cheque for fifty-two hundred pounds.”
Feel free to file that story, along with the well-known tales of a young Prince of Wales absolutely dusting his personal bodyguards whilst caning his DBS-V8 through the leafy B-roads of Merrie Olde England, in the dumpster of history where they belong. Today, Aston is simply another reanimated wanna-be luxury brand chasing the favor of an international class of nouveaus whose breeding and taste make the miniature-giraffe Russian gangster from the Direct TV ads look like Lord Mountbatten. The V-12 Zagato is simply a gilded lure dangled before their nighmarish deep-sea mouths.
This newest Zagato is a concept car made the old-fashioned way, with hammers and English wheels. Its basis is the V-12 variant of Aston’s entry-level “Vantage” coupe. As with a few recent new Astons, the company will campaign a bespoilered variant in the Nurburgring 24-Hour. Don’t bother asking about the lap times: under real racing conditions, with traffic and variable weather, the cars will be lucky to beat 8:30 on the average.
Although the V-12 Zagato has no official production plans, we can safely assume that the real purpose of showing it as a “concept” is to drum up business with the various oil lords and mafia types who have kept the Italian design houses in business building four-door Ferrari 456 station wagons and Bentley Javas. These vehicles are generally purchased for the purpose of one-upsmanship and then left to rot in underground garages.
Presumably, the Zagato would cost at least as much as the infamous “One-77”, and be more exclusive to boot.
As with all of these new-look luxury goods, be they watches, motoryachts, or automobiles, there’s a requisite “shout out” to an authentic previous product. In this case, it’s the DB4 Zagato, a gorgeous bespoke coupe from the Fifties which sold in “limited quantities” through Aston’s “exclusive allocation” policy of “charging a metric ton of cash for it and building as many as they could sell.”
Let’s take a look.
I don’t know about you, but I feel better already. Unfortunately, the million-dollar tariff likely required to put one of the modern Zagatos in your underground garage won’t bring you close to an original DB4. TTACers searching for a “real” Aston Martin can purchase a DBS straight-six in solid shape for forty or fifty grand. That sum gets you an authentic, hand-built Aston, made the old-fashioned way because it was the only way they knew how to do it. It won’t keep up with a Ferrari 458 around a racetrack, but to be fair neither will the new Zagato. It will simply be a genuine Aston Martin.
If you feel any concern about having only spent fifty K on something which could be purchased in tribute/reissue/whatever form for many times that, feel free to send the difference to Mr. Brown’s family. He died in 1993, and is beyond any concerns as petty as the ungentlemanly use of his initials.
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