Zagato-coachbuilt Aston Martins are often striking, sometimes a little odd, and never boring. Just take this very angular 1986 Aston Martin V8 - it’s far from beautiful in the conventional sense, but you just can’t help but look at it, can you?
It’s rare, too - only production 51 V8 Zagatos were made. And this isn’t even one of the 51 - it’s actually one of three prototypes.
The Gladiator Red coupe was originally commissioned by a chap called Wensley Hayden-Baillie, an Aston enthusiast and a friend of then-Aston Martin Lagonda boss Victor Gauntlett. He optioned it with the 432bhp version of Aston’s 5.3-litre V8 - only three other Vagato V8s were specced thusly.
That’s a hefty power output, even today. Plus, the Zagato version, with its shorter wheelbase and rear seat delete, is lighter than a standard Aston Martin V8. Consequently, this 33-year-old car is quick: it’ll do 0-60mph in under five seconds, and keep going until a top speed of almost 190mph.
The car was subjected to a “breath-taking restoration” by Auto Restorations in New Zealand at the behest of the third owner between 2009 and 2013. It’s now up for sale via Pendine Historic Cars, and predictably, it’s not cheap - you’re looking at £530,000 for this curious slice of Aston Martin and Zagato history.
“According to the current owner, who has raced and driven more V8 Zagatos than most, it drives unlike the other cars and is visceral by comparison,” says James Mitchell, Pendine’s founder.
Sounds like an entertaining car, doesn’t it?