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1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato

Posted by WindingRoad about 6 months, 1 week ago

Car Highlights

  • One of Three Cars Presented by Aston Martin at the 1986 Geneva Motor Show
  • One of 52 Coupes Built and Believed to Be the First RHD Example Delivered
  • Formerly Owned and Raced by British Film Star Rowan Atkinson
  • Converted to Racing Specifications by Aston Martin Works Service in 1999
  • Returned to Fast Road Configuration by Aston Martin Specialist in 2017
  • Exhaustively Documented with Factory Invoices, Build Sheet, Warranty Card, Correspondence, Registrations, Magazine Articles, Model Literature, and FIVA Identity Card
  • Technical Specs
  • Chassis: SCFCV81ZXGTR20013
  • Engine: V580/0013/X
  • 5,340 CC DOHC V-8 Engine
  • Weber Alpha Fuel Injection
  • 482 BHP at 7,000 RPM
  • 5-Speed Manual Gearbox
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Front Independent Suspension with Coil Springs and Shock Absorbers
  • Rear De Dion-Axle Suspension with Coil Springs and Shock Absorbers

C.H. Taylor and Company Ltd., Birmingham, UK (acquired new from the factory in 1986)

Mr. King, Ambassador Textiles Ltd., Oldham, UK (acquired in 1989)

Rowan Atkinson, Oxford, UK (acquired by 1998)

Oleg Stepanov, Gaydon, UK (acquired in 2008)

Current Owner


Introduced at the 1986 Geneva motor show, the Aston Martin Vantage Zagato was Newport Pagnell’s entry into the market for specialty supercars. Zagato clothed a batch of shortened Vantages with aluminum coachwork that included a hood bulge for the re-tuned Vantage V580 engine, capable of developing over 430 hp. A total of 52 coupes were ultimately built, though at least one of those was a renumbered show car, as demonstrated by this fabulous example.

According to an internal factory memo, VIN 20013 actually began life as 20011, and was one of the three Gladiator Red show cars displayed at Geneva in 1986. All examples were presold during the 1985 Geneva motor show before production began, as attested by a 1985 factory retail order form that states, “This order [is] for the first production U.K.-specification model made available by AML Ltd.”

Officially manufactured in early July 1986, the Zagato was finished in Gladiator Red paint over a tan interior and delivered to Brian Taylor. In 1998, the Vantage was acquired by Rowan Atkinson, the renowned British actor and comedian, Aston Martin enthusiast and racer. He immediately commissioned Aston Martin Works Service to rebuild it as a competition car. This enabled the Aston Martin to race in the Inter-Marque series, conforming to the mildly modified C2 class, ensuring it could easily be converted back to road specification.

As demonstrated by correspondence and invoices (including a summary of actions by Aston Martin Service Works), 20013 received a fully rebuilt engine, completed at Newport Pagnell. According to the consignor, it is in essence a “Nimrod” engine as fitted to the works Le Mans cars of that name, arguably the last works unit of its type, and the only one designated “580XR.” Weber fuel-injected and fitted with ceramic-coated headers, the accompanying dyno sheet shows a peak power of 482 bhp. The consignor notes that Mr. Atkinson specifically requested this engine’s flat torque curve and stated that this engine would make the Zagato an exciting yet highly usable road car.

Among the numerous competition upgrades, no stone was left unturned in lightening the Zagato, maximizing performance yet maintaining safety. The result was 1,485 kilograms compared to the standard car’s 1,800 kilograms. The total rebuild cost was around £220,000, and the work was extensively documented with photos, manuals, correspondence, and invoices.Following completion of the work in early 2000, Mr. Atkinson campaigned the Zagato at venues such as Snetterton, Donnington, and Silverstone, and won his class at Brands Hatch and Thruxton. Session timing sheets and handwritten notes are included in a deep file of documentation.

In May 2008, the Zagato was sold to Oleg Stepanov of Gaydon, UK, and in 2016 it was acquired by the consignor, who immediately submitted the car to marque expert Nicholas Mee for conversion back to fast road specifications, which included air-conditioning, a different clutch, and the fitment of the original seats, at a cost of over £23,000. Believed by the consignor to be the first right-hand-drive example delivered, this important former show car with celebrity provenance would make an exquisite addition to any sports car collection.

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