This past weekend saw the largest-ever gathering of Aston Martin vehicles on display in London's Kensington Gardens to commemorate the automaker's 100th anniversary. Amid this literal wealth of historic and modern Astons, famed Italian coachbuilder Zagato Atelier -- whose involvement with the British marque stretches back more than 50 years -- unveiled a pair of new concept vehicles it created for the celebration on commission from two Aston enthusiasts.
The closed variant -- officially the Aston Martin DBS Coupe Zagato Centennial -- was built for an anonymous Japanese buyer. Based on the V12-powered DBS version last produced in 2012, this striking coupe retains the basic elegance and proportions of that primo GT but infuses the car's character with what Zagato design chief Norihiko Harada calls a more Mediterranean luxury feel. While that includes crowning it with the Z-team's signature "double-bubble" roof design, the biggest bodywork departures are found in the car's more angular lines and its unique fascia treatments. Up front, that brings a considerably more prominent grille with integrated headlamps and a deeper splitter. The recast tail boasts a dramatic reinterpretation of the DBS' original C-pillar/back glass/deck area along with new taillamps and a bolder diffuser. The car's custom cabin appointments were influenced by Ennio Capasa, Creative Director of Italian fashion house, Costume National.
Spun from the current DB9 Volante drop-top and crafted for prominent U.S. Aston Martin collector Peter Read, the DB9 Spyder Zagato Centennial shares a fair number of common design cues with the DBS Zagato Coupe but offers a striking open-air variation on the theme. Unlike its closed counterpart, the Spyder Zagato retains the classic Aston Martin side strakes and also carries over the Volante's basic interior elements.
The setting for the reveal of these two distinguished one-offs could not have been better. Attended by over 50,000 fans of the marque, it drew 550 examples of the breed, from the oldest surviving Aston model, an A3, to the new Vanquish Centenary Edition and forthcoming V12 Vantage S and Vanquish Volante models. Experts estimated that the total value of all of the Aston Martin vehicles on display was in excess of $1.5 billion.
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