Aston Martins have always been truly amazing cars. all the way to the engineering of them to the gorgeous looks, everything about them is impeccable. One of those cars which fits the bill is the original Vanquish. Now, of course, everyone knows the original Vanquish from the James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’ however, not everyone remembers the Vanquish I’m about to re-introduce you to. I am of course talking about the 2004 Vanquish Zagato Roadster concept.
When the original Vanquish was released in 2002, it was met with a very warm welcome, it was a completely new platform with a then-brand-new 6.0 V12 powering it, on top of that it was absolutely gorgeous and in some ways, it started the mold for Astons during the early noughties. When Aston Martin brings out a new model, they tend to bring out a Coupé first and then a convertible model known as the Volante and they have been doing this for years. With the Vanquish, however, for some reason unbeknown to the general public, you could only get it in Coupé body style. Now while this never really bothered a majority of Vanquish owners, a good few Aston aficionados were desperately waiting for a Volante-esque model to appear. While Aston themselves never released an official Volante variant of the car, a very well known design studio decided to collaborate with the brand to create a now one-off roadster variant of the Vanquish, I am of course talking about Zagato.
Now the relationship between Zagato & Aston Martin goes way back to the early ’60s with the DB4 GT Zagato and has since continued with the V8 Zagato of the ’80s, the DB7 of the early ’00s and more recently the second-gen Vanquish Zagato. In fact, I’d personally say that the relationship they have together is synonymous, they just go hand in hand. With the relationship that the two companies have it was only fair that Zagato were the ones to create such a beautiful masterpiece that is the Vanquish Roadster.
So what exactly makes up the ingredients of the Zagato Roadster? Well, it started off in life as a pre-production Coupé that was sent over to Zagato’s headquarters in Milan, Italy. From there, an extensive amount of work was carried out to transform it into what we have here. Away goes the metal fixed roof in favor of a double-bubble affair made entirely of glass behind the front seats. The roof is a cloth style fixture with an apparent metal hardtop being included as well for those cold winter months. The old automatic gearbox has been ditched for a proper 6-speed manual affair and it’s so much better for it. The front end of it is pretty much standard barring the Zagato badge on the front wings but the rear is on a completely different level.
The first thing you notice when looking at the rear end of it is the DB7 AR1 style tail lamps, the second thing you spot is the integrated boot spoiler that incorporates the third brake lamp, below that is the Aston Martin crest to show off its origins. Just under that sits the rear license plate which then leads on to the simple but effective rear bumper & the exhaust tips that sit each side of the bumper. It is simply gorgeous and yet so distinctively Aston Martin. Note that there is no Vanquish or Zagato badges on the rear of the car whatsoever. If it didn’t have the Aston Martin badge you honestly wouldn’t know it was one until you saw the front of it.
The interior is typical Vanquish barring a few things, one of those being the manual gearknob sticking out the center console and the other being the red interior. The color, in fact, takes up a majority of what you see. The only real parts which break up the interior are the small but effective silver trim which adorns the door cards, the center console around the gearknob & the grey air vents. Adding to this is the two-tone steering wheel consisting of both a red & grey color combination. Now normally a Red interior like this does come across as off-putting, especially as the exterior color of the car is a really lovely blue but in the case of this car, it really works well together. a very small detail but a change none-the-less is the panel where the clock and engine button sits, now normally in a normal Vanquish, it’d seat the gearbox buttons but as this is a manual they’re simply removed as they’re not needed. to finish off the interior look, it has some rather lovely set of white dials finished with chrome rings around the outside to make it that extra bit classy.
Want to hear the best part of all this though? Of course, you do. See, unlike many other concepts & one-offs, the Vanquish here is a working car that has even been wind tunnel tested to make sure it’s as quiet as can be at relatively high speeds. Over the 15 years since it’s launch, it has been able to rack up just under 17 thousand miles which may not sound like a lot but compared to other one-offs & concepts, it shows that it is actually a useable car. This isn’t just some showpiece which doesn’t move, in fact in its early days it went to all different shows including the Concours D’Elegance back in 2004. In fact, it was actually bought a little bit after the show was over by somebody who simply fell in love with it and wanted it to add to his collection. It stayed in America for the majority of its life until it got bought & imported back to the UK in 2017 where it has been ever since.
I remember reading about the Zagato Roadster in a James Bond magazine when I was young but I never really took much notice until I recently started reading about Vanquishes in general. Out of all the special & rare Aston’s made over the years, the Zagato Roadster has to be one that has simply been forgotten about which is a real shame as it is truly stunning.
It is very difficult to make an already gorgeous car even better looking but looking at it states that with a little bit of help by a company like Zagato anything can be achieved. In my opinion, it should’ve been made as a production style model but as Aston at the time were busy releasing car after car, it was difficult for them financially to commit to such a thing which makes this the only Zagato roadster in the world, such a shame really.
Hope You Enjoy!