Elio Zagato passed away in 2009, but his legacy will live on forever in the amazing autos that bear his name. Which of his firm’s designs is the best though, is a debate that will rage for years to come. For now, here’s a quick look at four examples that certainly deserve high marks for their innovation and elegance.
While it looks like something that the Great Gatsby might have driven, in reality, the 1500 was a hard-working race car that won several grueling contests, including the 1928 Millie Miglia. Elio Zagato contributed to its many successes by using his knowledge of aerodynamics to create its ultralight body. His efforts created not only a winner at the race course but a thing of beauty worthy of any auto collection.
Unveiled in 1960 at the London Motor Show, the DB4 GT optimized by Zagato was to be lighter and more powerful. While not phenomenal sellers at the time of their introduction, today they’re coveted by collectors and regularly fetch more than $1 million at auction.
Celebrating 100 years of Alfa Romeo, Zagato rolled out one very special TZ3 Zagato at the 2010 Concorso d’Eleganza with a limited run of only nine vehicles ever to be produced. Each one, based off the Dodge Viper ACR and came loaded with a monstrous Viper V10.
This one-off vehicle was first introduced to the public at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Designed by Zagato’s Norihiko Harada, the roadster went from drawing board to finished project in a mere six weeks.
“This car is not designed only as an elegant convertible but also as a masculine and extremely dynamic sports car, which evokes a powerful driving experience,” said Harada of his creation. Unfortunately, BMW has been extremely secretive with details about this coupe-turned-convertible, which occupies an honored place in the company’s museum.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Rex Gray, Bonham’s, RM Auctions