“A designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense”
The concept of true “Atelier Automobiles” is almost if not completely lost. Make no mistake: the best coach-built Fuoriseries are Italian. In the golden age of coachbuilders, manufacturers from all over the world sent their rolling chassis to be bodied by these ateliers. Like fine painters, you can recognize a Touring Superleggera from a Vignale, Ghia and Pininfarina without even looking at any badge. If the Gotha of car collecting favors Italian cars, there’s a reason and that reason is to be found in the exquisite design and know-how. Today, in 2021 there’s only one Atelier left still in its original Family ownership and it’s Zagato, it was specialized in Gran Turismo coachbuilt while its competitors were more Turismo oriented. Now at its third generation, it continues the tradition of making modern-art body makers automotive sculptures… that you can actually own and drive.
For the most intimate admirers of this Company the fact that Andrea Zagato is married to Marella Rivolta, daughter of Piero Rivolta of the famous ISO Rivolta Automotive Brand, is no mystery. Therefore, seeing the new ISO Rivolta, an American powered work of pure aesthetics is no massive surprise… but rather the most logical creation in Zagato’s most recent history.
Make no mistake: re-designing a new bodywork for a car means re-engineering it and it’s no joke. With new regulations, homologations and restrictions, creativity is put under a strain: not only the designer has to create something beautiful but also something functional and within determinate rules. Designers, like Zagato’s own Nori Harada, need to solve complex puzzles: behind a design there’s so much more than a sketch on a piece of paper.
The Iso Rivolta GTZ is Zagato’s own proposal on the C7 Corvette Z06, a car which has been turned from targa into a full on coupè. Boasting a strengthened chassis with an entire redesign of the proportions and functionality, it’s definitely the best modern reinterpretation of a modern American icon. Taking inspiration from the achingly gorgeous Iso A3C, commissioned by Bertone and designed by young Giorgetto Giugiaro, arguably one of the most interesting GT’s ever to be produced in Milan, the new GTZ is a forward-looking take on that specific car.
With an entire carbon-fibre bodywork, new aerodynamics and a more rigid structure, the GTZ is way more than a Corvette. With more luggage space (that matters in a GT, do not forget) and a bespoke interior, it’s a collector’s gem that will make enthusiasts fall in love with this idea. With a bodywork made of just two main-carbon fibre elements, the GTZ has a minimal and free-flowing design a remarkable achievement in the era of over-details: as once Bruno Munari said “only few can simplify”. Just 19 will be built, true to Zagato’s own “instant collectible” philosophy. Sure enough, seeing one on the road will be just an event!