The Aston Martin V8 Zagato Sports Car

                                             Aston Martin V8 Zagato                                   Image

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     Introduced in 1986 at the Geneva Motor Show, the V8 Zagato sports car was based on the Aston Martin V8, which was produced from 1972 to 1989 in five successive Series.

     Following in the tradition of the DB4 GT Zagato of 1960 to 1963, the renowned Italian coachbuilder Zagato was approached to create a lightweight race version of the V8 model, which would be capable of competing with Ferrari on the track.

     Like its DB4 predecessor, the chassis was shortened such that the overall size of the car was reduced, the result of which meant that the rear seats were removed.

     Furthermore, in order to accommodate the Weber carburettors, it was necessary to incorporate a large "power bulge" on the bonnet, which many customers disliked.

     The result was a luxurious, all alloy grand tourer, with a curb weight reduced by about 10% to 1590 kg, and priced at $157,000, with a modern design that incorporated an eye-catching square grille.

     As part of the Zagato characteristic design, the roof section incorporated two distinct bulges above the driver and passenger compartments to allow for the wearing of crash helmets.

     When production concluded in 1990, a total of 52 coupes and 37 of the Volante convertible, introduced in 1987, had been built.

     An interesting historical fact was that, owing to limited production, many examples were acquired by speculators who held onto them for a couple of years in anticipation of the inevitable increase in valuation.

     In fact, by 1989, V8 Zagato sports cars were changing hands for as much as £0.5 million, a far cry from the original price of £70,000.              

                                                    Zagato profile


     Like the Aston Martin V8, the Zagato was powered by a 5.4 litre, DOHC, V8, X-Pack engine that developed 432 bhp at 6000 rpm, and 395 ft/lbs of torque at 5100 revs.

     Linked to a ZF five speed manual gearbox, four twin choke Weber carburettors, and a 10.5:1 compression, it produced a top speed of 186 mph, with 0-60 mph in 4.9 secs.     

Technical Data                  V8 Zagato          V8 Vantage          V8 Series 3
Production                        1986-1990         1977-1986          1973-1978
Engine, cc                             5341                    5341                    5341
Cylinders, bhp                     8, 432                  8, 390                  8, 350
Torque ft/lbs                         395                      406                      400
Top Speed mph                     186                      170                      145
0-60 mph, secs                     4.9                       5.2                        6.2
0-100 mph, secs                  10.5                     11.5                      13.1
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs         13.0                     13.3                     13.8


Typical competitors of the time for the Aston Martin V8 Zagato included the following sports cars: Porsche 959, and Ferrari F40                              

Technical Data                      V8 Zagato          Porsche 959        Ferrari F40
Production                            1986-1990          1986-1988        1987-1992
Engine, cc                                 5341                    2856                  2938
Cylinders, bhp                         8, 432                  6, 450                8, 479
Torque ft/lbs                            395                      370                     427
Top Speed mph                        186                      197                     202
0-60 mph, secs                        4.9                        3.9                     3.9
0-100 mph, secs                     10.5                       8.7                     7.9
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs           13.0                        -                       11.9


In 2014, a 1986 Aston Martin V8 Zagato sports car, in showroom condition, sold at auction for £248,000/$397,000, whilst in 2013, a 1989 V8 Zagato Vantage Volante sold at auction for £136,000/$218,000.  

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