New Swiss exhibition of Zagato-bodied cars provides a fascinating selection of the company’s finest creations
The biggest exhibition of Zagato-bodied cars ever assembled has begun at the Pantheon Basel, a Swiss museum and ‘Forum for Oldtimers’ which opened in 2008. The Zagato Swiss Exhibition sees 25 cars displayed on the Pantheon’s open-sided, helical walkway as though lined up on a starting grid. The oldest dates back to 1919, the year that the carrozzeria was founded, while the newest is the one-off Aston Martin Virage shooting brake built in 2014 and displayed at that year’s Chantilly Arts and Elegance event.
Familiar Zagato-bodied cars on show include Alfa Romeo TZ , both eras of SZ and a pre-war 1750; Lancia Appia, Flavia, Fulvia, Flaminia and Beta Spyder; and, of course, several Aston Martins through the years. Less familiar are Zagato-bodied Porsches including Abarth-engineered competition cars, a Maserati Biturbo Spyder and other Italian machinery, much of which features the company’s typical double-bubble roof. Bentley, BMW, Bristol, Ferrari, Fiat, Jaguar, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo are among other car makers to have employed Zagato’s creative input over the years and through the company’s history.
The exhibition will run until 17 April, with different Zagato-bodied cars coming and going during that time. Afterwards, and culminating in the 100th anniversary celebrations in 2019, Zagato plans a tour through several countries which will ‘involve all Zagato collectors and, with their help, launch and complete the car register.’
Words: John Simister