Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
|Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato|
(25 produced, inc 4 Sanction II and 2 Sanction III)
|Designer||Ercole Spada at Zagato|
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Aston Martin DB4|
|Engine||straight-6 DOHC 3670 cc|
|Wheelbase||2,362 mm (93.0 in)|
|Length||4,267 mm (168.0 in)|
|Width||1,557 mm (61.3 in)|
|Height||1,270 mm (50.0 in)|
|Curb weight||1,225 kg (2,701 lb)|
|Successor||Aston Martin V8 Zagato|
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The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato was introduced in October 1960 at the London Motor Show. It was effectively a DB4 GT, lightened and improved by the Zagato factory in Italy, by Ercole Spada. Initially the factory had plans to produce 25 cars, but demand was not as strong as expected and production ceased at the 20th unit.
The popularity of the original DB4 GT Zagato has resulted in two subsequent waves of cars based on DB4s being rendered into "Zagatos" through the cooperation of Aston Martin and the Zagato works in Italy. They are known as "Sanction II" and "Sanction III" cars. Also, an unauthorised but lucrative private industry of modifying original DB4 GTs into "Zagato" replicas has arisen as well to meet market demand for high-quality Zagato recreations.
Although the specification of the engine was changed and upgraded throughout their racing history, the Zagato predominantly featured a 3.7-litre aluminium twin-spark straight 6-cylinder engine with a 9.7:1 compression ratio, higher than the DB4 GT engine.
The engine produced 314 hp (234 kW), and had a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration of just 6.1 seconds and a top speed of approximately 154 mph (246 km/h).
Ercole Spada at Zagato transformed the DB4 GT into a smaller, more aerodynamic, super-lightweight car. Many steel components were replaced with aluminium ones. All non-essential elements disappeared, such as the bumpers. With the help of Perspex and aluminium components, more than 100 pounds (45 kg) was shed from the DB4 GT.
Four of the original Zagato's chassis, №s 0191, 0193, 0182 (1 VEV) and 0183 (2 VEV), were built to a lightened DP207/209 specification especially for racing. The DP209 cars have a lower roofline, larger rear wings, a reshaped tail and a flatter, longer front end.
The most prominent DB4 GT Zagatos, affectionately known by the registration plates they share, 1 VEV and 2 VEV, which were both raced under John Ogier's Essex Racing Stable, with assistance from the Aston Martin factory. Both the Zagatos raced in the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans. However a repeat of the 1959 Le Mans victory was not to be, with both cars retiring. In July 1961 at a British Grand Prix Support race, the Zagato had its first victory with 2 VEV taking the last lap lead from a Jaguar E Type.
2 VEV crashed badly at Spa in 1962 and was rebuilt to the lightweight DP209 specification. After a road accident in 1993, the car was returned to the 1962 specification.
Chassis 0200 raced in the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans; however, a blown piston after 9 1⁄2 hours forced the car to retire.
Sanction II Zagatos
In 1988, four 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, without the stock DB4 GT's rear tail fins, and with a smoothed out rear end. To familiarise the workforce with construction techniques of the 60s, an original DB4 GT Zagato was sent there 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 from the "originals" include a larger engine capacity, increased from 3.7 to 4.2 litres, and a smaller wheel diameter, reduced from 16 inches to 15. 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, fitting for the 1960s.
Comparison of Sanction I to Sanction II
|1961 DB4GT Zagato||1988 DB4GT Zagato Sanction II|
|Chassis||Platform based on DB4GT||Platform based on DB4GT/0181/L|
|Wheelbase||7 ft 9 in (2,360 mm)||7 ft 9 in (2,360 mm)|
|Overall Length||14 ft 0 in (4,270 mm)||13 ft 10.5 in (4,229 mm)|
|Width||5 ft 5.25 in (1,657.3 mm)||5 ft 6 in (1,680 mm)|
|Height||4 ft 2 in (1,270 mm)||4 ft 2 in (1,270 mm)|
|Weight||24.6 long cwt (2,760 lb; 1,250 kg)||24.75 long cwt (2,772 lb; 1,257 kg)|
|Steering||Rack and pinion||Rack and pinion|
|Front Suspension||IFS. wishbones, coil springs and telescopic dampers
|As in 1961 car, but adjustable and thicker anti-roll bar|
|Rear Suspension||Live axle on coil springs, located by trailing arms and Watt linkage||As in 1961 car, but improved positioning and adjustable|
|Brakes||Girling discs all round; no servo; separate master cylinders||Discs all round; no servo; smaller rear calipers; altered brake balance; dual circuit|
|Wheels||Borrani wire spoked with light alloy rims, 16 inch diameter, 5 inches wide||Borrani wire spoked with light alloy rims, 15 inch diameter, 6 inches wide|
|Tyres||6.00 x 16 Avon Turbospeed Mark II||205/70 15 Goodyear Eagle NCT|
|Gearbox||David Brown 4-speed manual, all-syncromesh||David Brown 4-speed manual, all-syncromesh|
|Final Drive||Hypoid bevel 3.31:1 Powr-lok limited-slip differential (LSD)||Hypoid bevel 3.07:1 limited-slip differential (LSD)|
|Engine||All-alloy straight six
Dual overhead camshaft (DOHC), two plugs per cylinder
|All alloy straight six
Dual overhead camshaft (DOHC), two plugs per cylinder
|Capacity||3,670 cc||4,212 cc|
|Compression||9.7 to 1||9.82 to 1|
|Carburetors||Three Weber 45 DCOE4||Three Weber 50 DC01/SP|
|Max. power||314 bhp (234 kW; 318 PS) at 6,000 rpm||352 bhp (262 kW; 357 PS) at 6,000 rpm|
|Max. Torque||278 lb⋅ft (377 N⋅m) at 5,400 rpm||330 lb⋅ft (447 N⋅m) at 4,600 rpm|
|0-60 mph (97 km/h)||6.1 seconds||5.5 seconds|
|0-100 mph (160 km/h)||14.1 seconds||12.2 seconds|
|Max. Speed||153.5 mph (247.0 km/h)||153.0 mph (246.2 km/h)|
|Chassis Numbers||0176-0191, 0193, 0199, 0200||0192, 0196, 0197, 0198|
|Price when new||£5,470 (enough to buy a sizeable house at the time)||In excess of $1,000,000|
Rolls-Royce Phantom in 1961 costed £7,000, in 1988 - $300,000.
Sanction III Zagatos
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 DB4s (chassis №s DB4/0334/R and DB4/0424/R) were completed to form a pair of Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato "Sanction IIIs" in the year 2000.
Due to the huge popularity, very high price tag, great look and rarity of the DB4 GT Zagatos, many replica cars have been constructed based on DB4 and DB4 GT chassis. These replica (or recreation) cars bear a close resemblance to the original Zagatos, but were not made by the Italian Zagato company.
- "Supercars.net Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato". Supercars.net.
- Aston Martin Heritage – Aston Martin website (Specification and photo)
- Fast-Autos – Specification and photos
- Supercars.net- Specification and photos
- jalopnik.com – Jalopnik Fantasy Garage
|Owner||David Brown||William Wilson||Minden & Sprague||Victor Gauntlett et al.||Ford||Independent consortium|
|2.6 ltr||3 ltr||Rapide||Lagonda||Taraf|
|Grand Tourer||DB4||DB5 & Volante||DBS & Vantage||DB7||Vantage|
|DB1||DB2||DB2/4 & MKIII||DB6||DBS V8 & AM V8||V8 Virage||V8||DB9 & V12 Virage||DB11|
|V8 Vantage||V8 Vantage||Vanquish||DBS V12||Vanquish|
|DB4 Zagato||V8 Zagato||DB7 Zagato||DB AR1||V12 Zagato||Valkyrie|