Ugo Zagato (born 25 June 1890) had worked first for Varesina, then in Germany and then in the aircraft industry before establishing his own coachbuilding company at Milan in 1919. His speciality was lightweight metal construction, learnt during his time working with aircraft, for sporting models.
His company was soon contracted by Alfa Romeo and a special relationship with Vittorio Jano enabled Zagato to body the legendary Alfa Romeo 6C1500 and then 6C1750 racers. This collaboration continued, and until the mid 1930's most of Zagato's work was with Alfa Romeo. They then spread their wings and began also working more with Fiat, Lancia and others. During the war the facilities were destroyed and following the cessation of hostilities a new factory was built north of Milan. The expansion continued with the victory of the 1951 Grand Prix World Championship by the Zagato bodied Alfa Romeo 159.
The 1950s saw Ugo's two sons, Gianni and Elio, entering into the business, leading to their takeover of the management on their fathers death in 1968. A new factory was built and the company continued to expand in two directions with Zagato Car srl (the production of cars) and Zagato Design srl (which diversified into various areas of industrial and product design). Various forays were made into the world of both armoured and electric vehicles.
Production of both concept cars and limited volume production runs continued into the 1980s, most famously the Alfa Romeo SZ and the RZ cars as well as the Lancia Hyena, the last production Zagato. The economic problems of the early 1990s hit Zagato hard. Already renamed SZ Design, in 1994 they changed to Zagato Centrostile and changed their workload away from production to design plus model building. A few concept cars have since emerged, see below.
Cars (both concept and production, based on Italian cars) by Zagato include (this list is not comprehensive) :
1921 Alfa Romeo G1 1922 Fiat 501 1924 Alfa Romeo RLSS models 1925 Alfa Romeo RM Sport, Lancia Lambda, Itala 61 Coupe 1926 Alfa Romeo 6C1500 models & RLSS Torpedo 1927 Alfa Romeo RLSS Gran Premio, Fiat 520 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C1500 SS 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C1750 GS 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C1750 GS Testa Fissa 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C1750 spider, 8C2300 Le Mans & 8C2300 Spider corto 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C2300 Torpedo lungo 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C2300 spider Monza & Coupe Zagato 6C1750 1934 Alfa Romeo 2300GT Metallica 1936 Alfa Romeo 6C2300 Pescara 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C2900B Spider Carenato 1938 Fiat 1500 Spider MM & 500 Siata, Lancia Aprilia Villoresi & Spider 'La Panciona' 1947 Fiat 500B Panoramica, 500 Sport, 750 Scansina, 750 Panoramica, 750 Siluro & 1100 Panoramica, Isotta Fraschini 8C Monterosa 1948 Fiat 500 Aerlux, 750 Testadoro & 140 Panoramica, Ferrari 166 Sport, Alfa Romeo 2500B Panoramica 1949 Lancia Ardea Panoramica, Maserati 1500Z Panoramica, Ferrari Sport 2000 Panoramica, Alfa Romeo 2500SS Panoramica 1950 Fiat 500C Panoramica, 1100EZ 1951 Fiat 750GT Mille Miglia, 750 derivata MM & 8V elaborata, Alfa Romeo 159 1952 Fiat 500CZ, 8VZ 1953 Fiat 1100/103Z & 8VZ Spider, Osca 4500 Biondetti, Alfa Romeo 1900 SSZ Coupe 1954 Moretti 750Z bialbero, Maserati A6G Spider Z 1955 Fiat 600TS & 600MM, Lancia Aurelia B20 GTZ, Maserati A6GZ 2000 Coupe 1956 Fiat Abarth 500Z & 750Z, Siata 1250GTZ, Lancia Appia GT 'Cammello' 1957 Fiat Abarth 750 Sestriere, 750 Spider & 850, Lancia Appia GTE, Ferrari 250GT II, Maserati 450S 'Il Mostro' & Spider 1958 Fiat 1500, Lancia Flaminia Sport 2.5, Ferrari 250 GT III, Alfa Romeo Giulietta SVZ 1959 Fiat Abarth 750Z Bialbero & Prototipo Record 1960 Fiat Abarth 1000Z Bialbero, Fiat 1500 II, Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, Osca 1600 GTZ 1961 Lancia Appia Sport III, Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca 1962 Lancia Flaminia Tubolare, Sport 3C & Flavia Sport 1.5, Alfa Romeo 2600Z 1963 Lancia Flavia Sport 1.8, Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ1 1964 Fiat 850Z, Lancia Flaminia 2800 Super Sport 1965 Lancia Fulvia Sport 1.2 Alluminio, Osca MV1700 GTZ Coupe & Spider, Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2 & 1750 GS4R 1966 Lamborghini 3500GTZ, Lancia Flavia Sport 1.8i 1967 Fiat 125 GTZ, Lancia Fulvia Sport 1.3 & Flavia Super Sport 1968 Lancia Fulvia Sport 1.3S, 1.3 VIP, Sport Corsa, Sport 1401cc & Spider, Alfa Romeo Junior Z 1300 1969 Lancia Fulvia Sport Daytona & Flavia Super Sport, Fiat 500 Zanzara 1971 Ferrari 3Z Spider 1972 Fiat 132 Aster, Alfa Romeo Junior Z 1600 1974 Ferrari 3000 Convertible, Lancia Beta Competitzione & Beta Spider, Alfa Romeo Junior Z motor posteriore 1975 Lancia Beta Spider II 1976 Lancia Beta Spider hard-top 1978 Lancia Beta Spider facelift, Autobianchi A112Z 1979 Lancia Beta Martini 1980 Lancia Beta Spider revised 1981 Lancia Beta Coupe HFZ 1982 Alfa Romeo Sprint 6C 1983 Alfa Romeo Zeta 6 1984 Alfa Romeo Alfetta Break & Tempo Libero 33, Maserati Biturbo Spider 1985 Lancia Thema Plus 1989 Alfa Romeo ES30 1990 Alfa Romeo SZ 1991 Alfa Romeo SZ Spider 1991 Ferrari 348 Elaborazione 1992 Lancia Hyena, Alfa Romeo Roadster Zagato, Fiat 500 Z-Eco 1993 Ferrari FZ93, Alfa Romeo 155TI.Z 1994 Fiat Punto Monomille, Ferrari ES1 1995 Alfa Romeo 155 GTAZ 1996 Fiat Bravobis
some of the above cars can be seen on this site, either on the concept cars page for the manufacturer on which it was based or the model page for the production cars.
The official Zagato website.
An excellent Zagato website.
Zagato Books : buy them online here (directly from Giorgio Nada Editore)
Zagato 1919 to 2000 (Two volumes in case) 2000 These books are sent from Italy
Please read the small print for details of postage etc.
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