It's as stunning as it is rare . . . and expensive.
The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is an exceedingly rare race car from the 1960s, but anyone steeped in the history of the automobile – and specifically that golden age of racing – knows that’s it’s so much more than simply a rare car. Handcrafted and lightweight with a thin skin of aluminium and a 3.7-litre straight-six, it was as beautiful as it was quick. Only 19 were built, but Aston Martin is adding an additional 19 to that count as the latest project in the automaker’s continuation series. The first of the series will wow crowds at Aston Martin’s display during this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, slated to take place June 15-16 at the famous French endurance track.
The stunning DB4 GT Zagato Continuation is faithful to the original racer on just about every front. The cars are built at Aston’s Heritage Division headquarters in Buckinghamshire, utilising a combination of modern technology and original hand craftsmanship. For example, the DB4’s body has a digital origin, but the actual aluminium body panels are shaped by hand using the same techniques perfected by engineers and artisans from decades past. Beneath the panels is a lightweight tubular frame, and since these are designed to be race cars, an FIA-approved roll cage is part of the package.
Not all things are original, however. The leather-trimmed racing seats are actually made from carbon fibre. Even bigger changes are under the bonnet, both literally and figuratively with a 4.7-litre version of the original 3.7-litre inline-six. As such, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation creates over 390 bhp, and it's all corralled to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission.
The new Zagato joins a growing family of Aston Martin Continuation vehicles, including 25 DB4 GTs that were introduced back in late 2016. The DB5 Goldfinger Continuation is currently in production with deliveries expected to begin next year, though the DB4 GT Zagato will reach customers first beginning late this year. Owning such a rare, factory-built recreation won’t be cheap, however. Each car commands a tidy £6 million price tag.
Gallery: Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Continuation
A NEW AUTOMOTIVE ICON TO DEBUT AT LE MANS – FIRST DB4 GT ZAGATO CONTINUATION SET FOR UNVEIL AT CIRCUIT DE LA SARTHE
- DB4 GT Zagato Continuation to make public debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019
- Race-goers will be first to see Aston Martin’s most expensive new car
- DB4 GT Zagato Continuation extends Zagato bloodline in centenary year
11 June 2019, Gaydon/Le Mans: The first Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Continuation– part of the Aston Martin DBZ Centenary Collection – to make its public debut at the world’s most famous endurance motorsport event later this week.
Breaking cover at Aston Martin’s VIP hospitality facility alongside the famous French circuit, the first complete DB4 GT Zagato Continuation – one of just 19 cars being made – will be on show throughout the gruelling 24-hour race.
The production model of this track-only sports car, the latest in Aston Martin’s hugely successful Continuation programme which began with the DB4 GT Continuation series in 2017, represents the culmination of around 4,500 hours of painstaking and meticulous artisan craftsmanship.
As with all the Continuation cars, the Zagato has been created at Aston Martin’s globally renowned Heritage Division headquarters in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. Now the largest, best equipped and most knowledgeable Aston Martin restoration centre in the world, the invaluable and highly specialist skills nurtured at Aston Martin Works are perfectly suited to the brand’s celebrated Continuation projects.
The car on show in France this weekend represents the pinnacle of Aston Martin’s Continuation projects to date, and proudly continues the brand’s 50-plus year association with world-renowned Italian coachbuilder and design house, Zagato.
Finished in Rosso Maja red paint, the car’s exterior colour has been matched to original masters created by Max Meyer & ICI, the paint suppliers for the original cars. Inside, the car is trimmed in Obsidian Black leather, which covers the pads in the carbon fibre race seats; door cards, headliner and rear environment. Black Wilton carpets bound in Obsidian Black leather trim cover the floor, stitched in matching Obsidian Black thread.
The new model boasts a larger capacity 4.7-litre version of the straight-six cylinder petrol engine found in the DB4 GT Continuation and, in this guise, is producing in excess of 390 bhp. This is transmitted to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential.
Continuation specification instrumentation and interior equipment such as a full FIA-approved roll cage is standard, as are the Borrani silver painted wheels and polished lips.
Originally built to race against the might of Ferrari in the 1960’s, the DB4 GT Zagato was a thoroughbred machine. Evolved for the rigours of motor racing and blessed with a rare and incontestable beauty, just 19 were made. Drawing on the unrivalled knowledge and expertise of the team at Aston Martin Works the 2019 DB4 GT Zagato Continuations are meticulously crafted, staying true to those original Zagato-bodied DB4 GTs produced by Aston Martin and Zagato in the 1960’s.
Each car is being constructed to the highest possible quality using a blend of Sir David Brown-era old world craftsmanship and the sympathetic application of modern engineering advancements and performance enhancements.
A digital body buck has, for instance, been created to allow Aston Martin engineers to examine minute details of the Continuation cars. In contrast, hand-finished body panels of the new cars are each worked from flat sheets of 1.2 mm thick aluminium and representing hundreds of hours of world-class craftsmanship, are created using techniques that were commonplace almost 60 years ago.
Originally built as an evolution of the short-chassis DB4 GT, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation follows the same recipe, with those thin-gauge aluminium body panels dressing a lightweight tubular frame in a chassis optimised for track work.
This latest continuation car follows the success of the 25 Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation models that sold to enthusiast collectors in 2017 and precedes what will perhaps be the most ambitious continuation to date: the Aston Martin Goldfinger DB5 Continuation cars that will come to market in 2020.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO, said: “The development and successful creation of this latest Continuation car is an achievement that should not be underestimated. Indeed, it could well be argued that we are making history with these new cars.
“Celebrating our brand’s deep and enduring partnership with Zagato in this, their landmark year, by launching the DBZ Centenary Collection has been a mammoth undertaking and I’m personally extremely proud of the results in the shape of this new DB4 GT Zagato.”
Paul Spires, President of Aston Martin Works, said: “Like Andy, I’m incredibly proud of what the team have achieved in making the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation a reality.
“After the unprecedented success of the DB4 GT Continuation cars, we are once again bringing to life the stuff of Aston Martin folklore.”
The DBZ Century Collection will be priced at £6m plus taxes. First deliveries to customers will commence in QTR 3 2019 for the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and in QTR 4 2020 for the DBS GT Zagato.