Lot 342

Dare to Dream Collection

2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 Zagato


$224,000 USD | Sold

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



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Canadian Registration
  • One of the most attractive modern examples of Zagato coachwork
  • The 53rd of just 99 examples built exclusively for the US market, and the only example finished in Roman Bronze over Saddle Tan and Fawn quilted leather livery
  • Showing 3,287 miles at cataloguing and accompanied by a pair of umbrellas, custom car cover and original factory-numbered cover, rain cover, two seat covers, tools, and 2013–2018 service invoices
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will assist buyers with importation and for residents of the USA, in obtaining a US title.

Following a decades-long hiatus, Aston Martin rekindled its partnership with Italian coachbuilder Zagato in the early 2000s as then-owner Ford Motor Company sought to reinvigorate interest in the British marque. Using the already stunning DB7 as a starting point, Zagato had quite the challenge in creating an even more alluring limited-production grand tourer. The Italian design house did not disappoint: Combing time-honored Zagato design cues with exceptional performance and a true manual gearbox, the DB AR1 has quickly become one of the most desirable Aston Martins of modern times.

While the corresponding DB7 Zagato Coupes were only available in Asian and European markets, the DB AR1 Zagato was produced specifically for the American market—hence the “AR1” designation, signifying “American Roadster 1.” First shown at the 2003 Los Angeles Auto Show, the DB AR1 remained true to the design of its coupe sibling, albeit in an exciting fully open format, with twin cowls behind the front seats echoing the “double bubble” roof of the coupe. The roadster body was constructed primarily from steel with select panels crafted in aluminum for weight savings. Conceived with sunny climates in mind, the AR1 had no provision for a roof of any sort and was only equipped with a simple rain cover to protect the interior when parked; a pair of factory-supplied umbrellas was provided in the trunk should the weather turn while on an outing.

The AR1 is powered by the more powerful “GT” version of the 6.0-liter Vanquish V12 with 435 horsepower on tap, capable of launching the AR1 from 0–60 mph in just 4.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 186 mph (figures only slightly bettered by the legendary Vanquish). The active sports exhaust system with rear muffler bypass valves provides the DB AR1 with a distinctive and thoroughly exciting exhaust note befitting such an automobile. The DB AR1 is also fitted with the DB7 GT quick-shift gear lever and special multi-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels with low-profile tires for excellent road-holding performance.

Offered here is surely among the most exceptional of these already rare open-top Zagatos. This example, number 53 of just 99 constructed, is the only example finished in the sumptuous shade of Roman Bronze over an equally impressive blend of Saddle Tan and Fawn quilted leather trim. Delivered new to Southern Florida, this AR1 undoubtedly lived a pampered life of gentle use, accumulating fewer than 2,600 miles at the time of its acquisition by the Dare to Dream Collection in April of 2013. This limited use continued, and as of cataloguing, the car displayed just 3,287 miles. Upon purchase, Dare to Dream commissioned a tailor-made canvas cover for the car. Identical to the original design, this new cover is constructed from a blend of tan and saddle canvas to better match the car’s unique livery. The car is now offered with both this custom cover and its factory-numbered original cover, both of its factory-supplied umbrellas, the rain cover and two seat covers, tools, and service invoices dating from 2013–2018.

A breathtaking blend of British pedigree and Italian design, the DB AR1 Zagato is perhaps most admired as a salute to the American ideal of the open road: Unencumbered, windswept motoring with 12 glorious cylinders creating a symphony for the senses.