Haute automobile: Open-Roof Zagato Maserati Mostro Barchetta Debuts At Villa d’Este

Italian design house and coachbuilder Zagato presented a new creation at Villa d’Este: the Mostro Barchetta, an open extremist who is not very easy to tame on paper.

Seven years ago, Zagato unveiled the Mostro – a Maserati-powered supercar that was inspired by the race cars of the 1950s. Now, it is ready to not just unveil, but deliver the first customer car from its highly-limited run of the Mostro Barchetta, or simply, a roadster version of the aforementioned coupé.

The Mostro takes its name from a car Sir Stirling Moss called a ‘monster’, that being the Maserati 450S Zagato Coupe from 1957. Speaking on the project, Zagato’s President Andrea Zagato said, “We decided the name of the project inspired by Sir Stirling Moss’s first reaction, who said: ‘Beautiful like a monster’ when he first saw the Maserati Coupé. It is the oxymoron itself which well expresses the union between the brutal powering and the philosophy of beauty”.

Throughout the car’s design, you’ll find nods to racing heritage. Two seats and a sloping, small, wraparound windscreen are reminiscent of a speedboat, while a Maserati-manufactured carbon fiber MonoCell chassis, no electronic traction control, and a frontal block-mounted gearbox all reference race cars.

You can choose from a 414 BHP 4.2-liter Maserati V8 or a three-liter 621 BHP Maserati V6 that’s found in the current Maserati flagship, the MC20. This works alongside perfect 50-50 weight distribution, rear-wheel-drive, six-piston AP Racing calipers at the front and four pistons at the rear, a six-speed sequential gearbox, double-wishbone front and rear suspensions, adjustable shock absorbers and a combined weight of just 1,200 kg.

In short, the Mostro Barchetta is likely to be a very capable car on the road and track. Only five are due to be built, and almost all are already assigned to Zagato’s collector clients list, so asking about the price is unfortunately pointless.

Take a closer look at the car above, and see it in the flesh at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Come into the beautiful world of Zagato.

1938 Lancia Aprilia Sport Reconstructed by Zagato

The Aprilia Sport, which was commissioned in 1936 by Enrico Minetti, a Lancia dealer based in Milan. Coachbuilder Zagato made three examples, all with different studies of bodywork inspired by aviation. The Lancia Aprilia Sport Zagato was built for racing. Unfortunately, during World War II, the Zagato factory was bombed and the car was destroyed. 

To celebrate the centenary of Lancia and the long standing affiliation between the marque and the Milanese coachbuilder for its Sport versions, Andrea Zagato launched the ‘Sanction Lost’ programme.

The Zagato Atelier Classic division brought back to life the Lancia Aprilia Sport Zagato, a car which Andrea’s grandfather Ugo had built in 1938, and that had gone missing after it was destroyed in an Allied bombing. The complicated process did not start from hand drawn sketches, as with today’s cars, but from two faded monochrome photographs, the only remaining source of accurate information.

There were only a few faded black and white pictures of it, but, thanks to the photometric process, to the CAD modeling and to the CNC milling, the Aprilia Sport, shaped like the cross section of a wing, in a single volume undisturbed by external fenders, was reconstructed exactly as it originally was.

The recreation was made by Zagato’s new Zagato Atelier Classic division on a 1937 Aprilia chassis to celebrate Lancia’s centenary. The sheet metal of the bodywork was then skilfully hand crafted by master panel beaters, working on a solid, machined buck.

The final result is a symphony of perfectly taut lines and seamless highlights, impeccably resolving the limitations of prewar construction techniques in putting a concept into reality.

Shaped like the cross section of a wing, in a single volume undisturbed by external fenders, this car is a milestone in the almost 90 years of history of Zagato.

Come into the beautiful world of Zagato’s Atelier Classic division.