Grab the Zagato version of a Toyota Harrier SUV
When it comes to the traditional coachbuilders of Italy such as Bertone and Ghia, many are long gone. The current Pininfarina company is a new and rather different venture, while Zagato of Milan is just kind of hard to keep track of. For example, when Aston Martin comes up with yet another Zagato special, we know the car is designed and built by Aston Martin in England, with maybe a phone call made to Andrea Zagato. (Mind you, Aston Martin is also licencing the Superleggera brand from Touring for its stunning DBS.)
In the 1990s, on the other hand, Zagato’s projects mostly revolved around Italian machinery, with Ferrari, Lancia, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lamborghini providing the mechanicals and the funding. However, while working on the stillborn Lamborghini Canto, the coachbuilder also signed a deal with Toyota, which was ready to launch its Harrier compact SUV at dedicated Japanese Toyopet Stores. And to make some Harrier buyers feel extra special, 250 of the highest-spec V-6 versions were available with Zagato’s body kit in white, black or red.
Not quite an Autech Stelvio, but these strange JDM Toyotas did come with a 3.0-liter DOHC engine, power everything, cruise control, a banging stereo, special alloy wheels, the full crazy bodykit, plus a suspension that was an inch lower and a track 3.3 inches wider than standard.
Now offered in Hertfordshire in the U.K., this one-owner 1998 example comes with 26,000 original miles, all service history, and a price tag of $12,400. Certainly steep for an 18-years-old Toyota SUV, but perhaps the cheapest entry into the Zagato club. Not to mention that the 1998 original is a real collectors’ item compared to the 2006 Harrier Zagato, a Lexus RX following the same recipe.