Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Zagato
Neal Bander, Chappaqua, New York (acquired new via Ray Catena Aston Martin in 2003)Current Owner (acquired via Aston Martin of New England in 2007)
The fabled Italian coachbuilder Zagato is responsible for styling some of the most iconic sports cars in history, and its 2003 collaboration between scion Andrea Zagato and Aston Martin’s chief designer Henrik Fisker produced a striking, limited-production grand touring roadster with elegant refinements and a top speed in excess of 185 mph.
Hand built in England, the DB AR1 – or American Roadster 1 – had a production run of just 99 cars that quickly pre-sold after a reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Featuring a svelte profile, stunning diamond-stitched leather interior and special Zagato-designed five-spoke alloy wheels, the AR1 looked every bit the part as a bespoke, coachbuilt Italian exotic.
Mechanically, the DB AR1 used a tuned version of Aston Martin’s six-litre V-12 engine producing 435 hp, an increase of 15 hp over the Vantage. Coupled with a revised final drive ratio, an active sport exhaust, and an AP twinplate racing clutch, the AR1 enjoyed a noticeable jump in mid-range power and torque. Acceleration was impressive, with the roadster sprinting from 0–60 mph in 4.9 seconds.
Braking was improved as well, with the addition of multi-piston Brembo disc brakes using Pagid RS front pads to provide sustained performance and reduced fade at high speeds. An uprated Vanquish brake booster assured a firm and consistent pedal feel. The 18" special alloy wheels featured a new offset which widened the car’s track. Combined with low-profile tires, the car had an aggressive stance befitting its impressive performance.
The DB AR1 offered here, numbered 25 of 99, is a particularly handsome example. Finished in Ferrari Grigio Titanio (Titanium Gray) over All Pacific Blue leather, the scheme is emblematic of the Savile Row sophistication synonymous with Aston Martin. Factory options include a satellite navigation system, embroidered floor mats, power-fold mirrors, and aluminum shift knob and switches. Properly English, the AR1’s boot is fitted with two custom umbrellas for the unexpected spritz. A factory Becker six-CD-changer stereo adds to the period creature comforts.
AR1 no. 25 comes from an important North American collection and has been kept in a climate-controlled environment where it enjoys regular maintenance and exercise. Included are books, a copy of the window sticker, maintenance receipts, factory correspondence, and registration documents. Showing less than 3,250 miles from new, this two-owner DB AR1 presents in outstanding condition and represents a rare opportunity to acquire a limited-edition coachbuilt roadster from a legendary, avant-garde Italian design house.