Andrea Zagato Face To Face
Auto Italia|December 2017

In an exclusive interview with Andrea Zagato, we find out why Italians don’t believe in perfection, why electric cars are great for designers and how Zagato’s future includes Alfa Romeo.

Chris Rees
Andrea Zagato Face To Face

Tucked away in the Milanese suburb of Terrazzano di Rho lies the home of one of the great names of Italian motoring: Zagato, a coachbuilder that’s approaching its centenary year (1919). We’re here to meet Andrea Zagato, the natural-born Milanese son of Elio Zagato and the grandson of Ugo Zagato, the founder of the company.

Andrea took over as CEO in 1992, since when Zagato has enjoyed acclaim and commercial success with limited production models such as the Lancia Hyena, Aston Martin DB7 Zagato, Ferrari 575 GTZ, Bentley GTZ, Alfa Romeo TZ3, Maserati Mostro and Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato. Along the way, there have been influential concept cars like the Lamborghini Raptor. Andrea is married to Marella Rivolta, the granddaughter of Renzo Rivolta, who founded the Iso marque; Marella is Zagato’s art director.

As a Zagato owner myself – my Alfa Romeo SZ came off the line in 1991 – I was super-keen to meet Andrea and hear his stories. As it turns out, the very desk around which I get to interview Andrea is the exact spot where the old production line ended. It’s not just the SZ that was built here, but dozens of greats like the Zagato-bodied Lancia Flavia and the Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato. You can almost smell the richness of the legacy.

Zagato has survived for almost 100 years and is thriving today as an independent company, long after most of its contemporaries have died or been bought out. What is Zagato’s secret?

There are two main reasons for our success. The first is that, while other companies did lots of OEM work for manufacturers, Zagato never did. Giugiaro was very successful at designing cars for manufacturers in the 1970s and 1980s, and Pininfarina followed. But Zagato was always a ‘fuoriserie’ company – we never did an official series car. In the 1980s, that was viewed as a weakness.

This story is from the December 2017 edition of Auto Italia.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 8,000+ magazines and newspapers.

This story is from the December 2017 edition of Auto Italia.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 8,000+ magazines and newspapers.

MORE STORIES FROM AUTO ITALIAView All
Lusso Or Sport?
Auto Italia

Lusso Or Sport?

Maserati’s executive saloon is relaunched for 2018 with a subtle facelift, more equipment, a power boost and new GranSport/GranLusso versions. Is it better to drive, though?

time-read
4 mins  |
February 2018
1980s Remix
Auto Italia

1980s Remix

How two 1980s Alfa saloons have been transformed, using period parts, into much more appealing machines – including a Giulietta 116 converted to V6 power.

time-read
7 mins  |
December 2017
Micro Mudpluggers
Auto Italia

Micro Mudpluggers

Three generations of four-wheel drive Pandas prove that you don’t need a ‘Chelsea Tractor’ to be able to go anywhere. Indeed they might just be the most versatile cars ever built.

time-read
7 mins  |
December 2017
Andrea Zagato Face To Face
Auto Italia

Andrea Zagato Face To Face

In an exclusive interview with Andrea Zagato, we find out why Italians don’t believe in perfection, why electric cars are great for designers and how Zagato’s future includes Alfa Romeo.

time-read
6 mins  |
December 2017
Usefully Sporty
Auto Italia

Usefully Sporty

Alfa’s new Sports Utility Vehicle has finally landed in the UK. We head to Northern Ireland to put the Stelvio through its paces in right-hook form.

time-read
7 mins  |
December 2017
Tail Sliders
Auto Italia

Tail Sliders

Recent Lamborghinis have majored on four-wheel drive. But there’s a hardcore enthusiast market for rear-wheel drive cars – a great excuse for us to compare three generations of mid-engined rear-drive Lambos: Huracán, Gallardo Balboni and Urraco.

time-read
9 mins  |
December 2017
The Joy of Giulia
Auto Italia

The Joy of Giulia

After what seems like forever, the all-new Giulia has landed in the UK. No question, this is Alfa’s most significant car in a generation – but how well does it perform on British roads? 

time-read
8 mins  |
May 2017
Heart of the Scorpion
Auto Italia

Heart of the Scorpion

Abarth is tapping into its rich heritage by opening a new ‘Classiche’ department. We take a tour around Abarth’s Turin HQ to delve deep into the heart and soul of the scorpion brand Story & images by Chris Rees

time-read
5 mins  |
May 2017
Il Mago di Modena
Auto Italia

Il Mago di Modena

We tell the story of the ‘wizard’ of Modena, Stanguellini, through two of his exceptional and pioneering race cars

time-read
7 mins  |
April 2017
Alfa Romeo TZ2
Auto Italia

Alfa Romeo TZ2

We attempt to shed light on the mysteries of the ultra-rare and delectable TZ2 – and get behind the wheel of one

time-read
4 mins  |
April 2017