This prototype Porsche bodied by Zagato has history beyond its years
What do the Alfa 6C 1500, Fiat Abarth 1000, and Aston Martin Vanquish have in common? All could be purchased with Zagato coachwork, the bodywork handcrafted by artisans in a shop just outside of Milan, Italy. Zagato has been in the business of fabricating automotive coachwork since it was founded in 1919. So when approached with the opportunity to purchase the prototype recreation of a Zagato-bodied Porsche 356, wouldn’t the answer always be yes? Petrolicious created a video about the man posed with just that question.
For Afshin Behnia, yes was the only rational response, especially after seeing the drawings and design of the speedster. Over the years Zagato has penned 440 designs, many of which never made it to production or were destroyed in accidents. In the interest of preserving history, Zagato moved forward with re-creating a few selections from the company’s past—including a speedster Porsche 356.
The low-nose aluminum-bodied 356 was originally created for racing, where the lightweight shell is common. According to Behnia, the driver can feel the absence of weight, giving the 356 a lithe and playful character. The sound of the 1500cc engine is racy, but so much as to overwhelm the gorgeous overall presence of the car.
The finished product is a 356 brimming with history and subtle style. The sight of it running through the Italian hills is a veritable time capsule. A Porsche 356 speedster is a very driver-oriented car, but the extra special nature of this example makes it just that slight bit more blissful to watch zip along the smooth roads.