03 April 2008

Photo fit

Zagato builds replica 30s roadster from a couple of grainy old photos

Zagato Roadster

What do you need to create a perfect replica of a 1930s roadster? A full set of blueprints? A rusted version of the original? A Haynes manual? In the case of Italian coachbuilder Zagato, just a couple of faded, dog-eared photographs.

See, when Andrea Zagato decided to recreate the 1938 Lancia Aprilia roadster built by his grandfather Ugo, he faced a bit of a problem. Only three of the original cars were ever build, and none survive today.

But armed with a pair of grainy black-and-white photos, Zagato created this, the Lancia Aprilia Sport. The bodywork was beaten into shape by hand - just like grandpappy used to do it - while the detailing, including the massive grille and neat individual windshields, are perfect replicas of the original.

Performance should be authentically wheezy, with power coming from a tiny Aprilia motorcycle engine producing 48bhp. That'll see the roadster to a giddy 78mph - with no roll-hoops, we're not sure we'd fancy going any quicker.

Zagato plans to build just nine roadsters, with prices starting at £150,000 Euros. Faded photos not included.

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