It can be described as an artisanal company, and quite rightly so. With coachwork of renown for the last century, the Zagato company was created in Milan in 1919 by Ugo Zagato.Exactly one hundred years ago.
To celebrate this centenary, Autoworld has brought together fifteen or so historic models of the make, some of which are quite exceptional. Among these an Alfa Romeo 1750 (1932), a Lancia Appia, Flaminia and a Fulvia Zagato, an Alfa Romeo Junior Z and a TZ, an Aston Martin DB4, a Nissan Stelvio…
Right from the start a ground-breaking signature As was often the case in Italy, it grew out of the aeronautic industry during the First World War. Right from the start Ugo Zagatoused the same techniques in the elaboration of the lines and design of its coachwork. The aerodynamic and ground-breaking profilewould be his signature through to this day.
In highly exclusive and exceptionally limited numbers Ugo Zagato designed coachwork for models emanating from such makes as Lancia, Maserati, Aston Martin…but it was to Alfa Romeothat he devoted a true cult. In the 1930s he created coachworks that have become legendary: Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 (1929), Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 (1932) and Alfa Romeo 8C 2300.Recognition!
After the Second World War Zagato brings out a series designed by Vieri Rapi, based on a study of the Isotta Fraschini Monterosa, the “Panoramica” (1946). The two-seater Berlinettas built on the chassis of Fiat 500 Topolino, Fiat 1100, but also of the Ferrari 166 and Maserati A6 1500 models, gave prominence to large glass surfaces including the roof.
It is in the 1950s and 1960s that the “Carrozzeria Zagato” finds itself at the peak of fame thanks to the GT versions of the Maserati, Lancia, Aston Martin, Abarth and, obviously Alfa Romeo models. Their smooth flowing lines and aerodynamics, characteristics of the Zagato coachworks stand out from all the others. As also their ”doppia bolla” (double bubble) roof.
Still managed by the family, it is presently Andrea Zagato, Ugo’s grandson, who heads up the company.
The Zagato designs remain timeless.