The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato was introduced in October 1960 at the London Motor Show. It was effectively a DB4 GT, lightened and improved by the Zagato factory in Italy, by Ercole Spada. Initially the factory had plans to produce 25 cars, but demand was not as strong as expected and production ceased at the 20th unit.
The popularity of the original DB4 GT Zagato has resulted in two subsequent waves of cars based on DB4s being rendered into "Zagatos" through the cooperation of Aston Martin and the Zagato works in Italy. They are known as "Sanction II" and "Sanction III" cars. Four of the original Zagato's chassis, №s 0191, 0193, 0182 (1 VEV) and 0183 (2 VEV), were built to a lightened DP207/209 specification especially for racing. The DP209 cars have a lower roofline, larger rear wings, a reshaped tail and a flatter, longer front end. The most prominent DB4 GT Zagatos, affectionately known by the registration plates they share, 1 VEV and 2 VEV, which were both raced under John Ogier's Essex Racing Stable, with assistance from the Aston Martin factory. Both the Zagatos raced in the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans. However a repeat of the 1959 Le Mans victory was not to be, with both cars retiring. In July 1961 at a British Grand Prix Support race the Zagato had its first victory with 2 VEV taking the last lap lead from a Jaguar E Type.
0185/R was sold via J. Blake to Mrs N. Morton of Sale, Cheshire on 13th June 1962. The original colour recorded was Deep Carriage Green. During Mrs Morton's ownership the original seats were replaced with Sunbeam Tiger seats in black. Mrs Morton then sold the car to Jimmy Gardiner, who kept it until 1976 when he sold it to Neil Corner. Corner quickly decided to move 0185/R on and sold it via Crosthwaite & Gardiner to Reg Parker of Nuneaton. Parker and his son Geoff used the Zagato sparingly, although it was often seen in the members car park at the AMOC's St. John Horsfall meeting at Silverstone.
In 2008 we bought the 0185/R with a mere 10,000 miles on the clock before selling it to collector Terry Brammall. 0185/R is perhaps unique amongst the Zagato-bodied GT's in having undergone virtually no major work other than its colour changes.