The DB4 GT Zagato is one of the most legendary and desirable Aston Martins ever made. The GT version with a 'Superleggera' body was already a very rare car with only 75 DB4 GTs produced, but the Zagato version was even rarer with only 19 being produced between 1960 and 1963.
At the track the regular DB4 GTs were beaten by the Ferraris 250 GT SWB and Aston Martin decided to consult Zagato to make the DB4 GT more competitive. Zagato was well known for their lightweight body construction and the DB4 GT was transformed into a smaller, more lightweight car. All non-essential elements disappeared and with the help of Perspex and aluminum components, more than 100 lbs were shed off the DB4 GT. The body had been styled by Zagato's new designer Ercole Spada. The car was introduced at the London Motor Show, Earls Court, in 1960.
The DB4 Zagato raced at many important races alongside cars such as the Ferrari 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO, the Shelby Daytona and lightweight Jaguar E-types. Unfortunately, suffering from oversteer, the Aston was pretty hard to drive and it was still beaten by the Ferraris.
All Zagato Astons were different in many details. Read more about the various examples at www.astonmartins.com.
In 1988, 4 unutilised chassis numbers were put to use. With the approval of Aston Martin, four DB4 chassis were appropriately uprated to GT specifications. These chassis were then sent to Zagato's Milan workshop to be bodied like the originals, with a smaller oval grille, sans the stock DB4 GT's rear tail fins, and with a smoothed out rear end. To familiarise the workforce with construction techniques of the 60's, an original DB4 GT Zagato was sent along to be dismantled. These 'Works Approved Replicas' were known as the Sanction II cars. They were outwardly identical, but several changes were effected in the interest of better handling. Each of these cars sold for over $1,000,000. Differences to the 'originals' include a larger engine capacity, increasing from 3.7 litres to 4.2 litres and a smaller wheel diameter from 16 inches to 15 inches. The first of the four GT specification rolling chassis was delivered to Zagato in January 1989 and the fourth in April of the same year. With all four being completed in July 1991. All four cars were then given their own chassis numbers appropriate to the 1960s.
The Zagato factory still had two spare body shells left over after producing the Sanction II Zagatos. In 1992 Richard Williams approached the executive chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda LTD, Walter Hayes and sought approval for the spare body shells to be used to create two further 'Sanction' cars. Walter Hayes gave his approval and the body shells along with two neglected Aston Martin DB4's (chassis' DB4/0334/R and DB4/0424/R) were completed into a pair of Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Sanction IIIs in 2000.
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