The vision for the Italia GTZ grew from a client's love of Zagato coachwork, especially Zagato's work with Aston Martin in the late 1950s. We set out to build not a replica of any specific classic car, but a truly modern sportscar with styling notes of classic Astons—the DB4 GT especially—paired with the reliability, performance and ease of maintenance of a current-day platform.
At our client's request, we used a brand-new 3rd generation Mazda Miata for its chassis and drivetrain and virtually everything bolted to the car was removed—all bodywork, the interior, the soft top. The rear fenders were cut and the rear panel removed to allow our new trunk lid to dip all the way to the trunk floor. The all-custom bodypanels were first hand-shaped out of steel by Jim, then moulded and produced for the final car in lightweight fiberglass by Sunbacker Fiberglass in Monroe, Washington.
All the windows were custom made in glass, masterfully crafted for us by Glass Armor LLC in California. The side windows are tempered glass and the quarter windows and rear windshield are laminated safety glass. Custom internal bell cranks were built into the doors to accommodate the vintage door handles while retaining the side body impact structure in the doors to guarantee no compromise on crash safety.
We envisioned an interior reminiscent of a sportscar from the late 50s, realizing it in high-grade plywood and steel covered in Wilton-style carpet and quilted leather. Period-appropriate custom seats were hand built by GTS Classic Seats in Texas. Dayton Wire Wheel custom built us a set of wire wheels specifically fitted to the Italia GTZ.
The grille was cut by hand using real Aston Martin DB4 grille material with a scratchbuilt custom grille surround. Custom headlight lenses capped off the incredible number of scratch-built components of this truly one-of-a-kind sportscar.