5. 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
Here’s one for you. What do you get if you cross the Martini-swilling class of British Aston Martin with Italian flair and style? The DB4 GT Zagato.
You really couldn’t get much sexier than that. This car is disparagingly good looking – it wouldn’t just look better than any car it could possibly be parked next to, it would actively make it shrivel up in comparison.
Even without being linked to the world’s number one superspy, Aston Martins are to all other cars what champagne is to a cheap corner shop wine. But ever since Sean Connery’s iconic DB5 in the 1964 classic, Goldfinger, Aston Martins have been placed on an untouchable pedestal.
Unfortunately, the Zagato never got the full 007 treatment, as it was released two years before the first James Bond film, Dr No. Even if Bond managed to get his hands on one of these beauties, he would have to stay well clear of firefights and barrel rolls. Only 20 Zagatos were ever produced, so there’s no sending it back for Q to be replaced if it had to be ditched in a speedy getaway from Spectre.
Due to their immense rarity, not to mention their dashing good looks, Zagatos easily sell for over £1 million at auction, putting them well out of the price range of James Bond and his public sector workers’ salary. He might have to settle for an unauthorised replica, as an entire black market was created to meet the demand for Zagato recreations.
The Zagato was released at the dawn of the decade at the 1960 London Motor Show. You can see in its design how the high-class of ’50s luxury cars was evolving into the sexy curves and slim stylings of the ’60s, just as long dresses and turn ups turned into mini-skirts and drainpipes.
On the inside, Zagato itself is an evolved DB4 GT but lighter, stronger and faster. The name ‘Zagato’ comes from the famous Italian coachbuilder of the same name, who specialise in making already great cars legendary. The dramatic curves and arches that, like a bull’s muscular haunches, were largely down to Zagato’s influence.
Underneath the bonnet, the Zagato packs a punch with its 3.7-litre twin-spark, straight-six engine. That means 314bhp (which was a lot of horses in those days), and a 0 to 60mph of 6.1 seconds. Pedal to the metal, the Zagato hit 152mph – outstripping most of its contemporaries.