Block-Chic Zagato Aston Martin DBS Centennial Hits Concours Circuit at Villa d’Este

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The artful styling direction at Zagato typically ebbs and flows between two extremes: curved softness and sharp brutality. Things appear to be swinging back to the sharp side of the ruler lately, with the DBS Centennial by Zagato implementing creases and a blocky nose and rear form that is much more 1980s than we have seen from Aston or anyone else, since that decade, perhaps.

The Alfa-Romeo SZ and even many Astons from this era whole-heartedly embraced crisp graphics: just recall the Aston-Martin Lagonda saloon car for reference.

Curves and flow are not totally out of the picture for the curious DBS Centennial by Zagato: the trademark double-bubble roof canopy is in residence and even embellished slightly with a brightwork accent on the roof’s trailing edge.

The design is not quite loveable, but certainly is unique and speaks its own language loud and clear versus the rest of the Aston range. For that, the Zagato magic continues today — almost 100 years since the firm first started shaking up industrial design in 1919.



Zagato Aston Martin DBS Centennial


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Official Details below from Zagato Milano.


Aston Martin DBS Zagato Centennial: the story


The long standing collaboration between Zagato and Aston Martin gave origin, through more than 50 years, to an extraordinary collectible car series produced in a limited run.


The ancestor of this family of models, the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, was entirely designed, assembled and trimmed in Milan in the early 60s. At that time Aston Martin was searching for a lighter version of the DB4 GT. David Brown and John Wyer (CEO and Head Project Manager) of Aston Martin turned to Elio and Gianni Zagato (CEO and Technical Director) who were able, in a very limited time, to create a fast and unique version. The 19 units that were produced still exist today and are jealously treasured in the most important collections in the world.


At the beginning of the 80s the economic situation, again favorable, was the push for the creation of status symbol cars. The strong demand for coupe and spider models led to the creation of limited and numbered editions, soon known as “Instant Classics”. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage (1986, only 50) and the V8 Volante (1987, only 33 cars) commissioned by Peter Livanos and Victor Gauntlett to Elio and Gianni Zagato, were among the best sports cars of that time.

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In the new Millenium Andrea and Marella Zagato reacted to the massification of luxury market proposing modern collectible cars. Zagato designed, engineered and manufactured in Italy 99 body-in-whites of the DB7 V12 Zagato (2002) and its roadster version, the DB-AR1 (99 units, 2003), whereas assembly and trimming were made by Aston Martin in England. Both versions, which reached the sold out status in few weeks after their introduction, are today considered a contemporary collectible whose value is increasing.


In 2004 at the Geneva Auto Show, the roadster version of the top model in the Aston Martin model range, the Vanquish, has been introduced. This one off is today jealously collected in USA.

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At the 2011 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Zagato and Aston Martin introduced the V12 Zagato, which was prized with the Concept and Prototypes category award. The next month two official examples, dressed with the Italian flag colours on their body, attended the Nürburgring 24 Hours and gave a great proof of competitiveness and reliability. Soon after Aston Martin and Zagato started designing the road going version. It was introduced in February 2012 and the production (only 99 units) started in late summer.


Finally, on last July 2013, the Aston Martin DBS Coupé Zagato Centennial and the DB9 Spider Zagato Centennial were introduced during official celebration of Aston Martin 100 years as a real gift by Zagato to this extraordinary success achievement.


Photo Credit: Pietro Carrieri

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