WORDS: ELLIOTT HUGHES | PHOTOS: ZAGATO
Italian coachbuilder Zagato has celebrated its 105th anniversary with the delivery of its first Porsche 356B Carrera GT/L Zagato Sanction Lost, during a special event at the Venice Venice Hotel on January 25, 2024.
The car is the latest landmark in Zagato’s ambitious ongoing project to build a series of recreations based on long-lost 356s, which began more than a decade ago with a series of nine cars based on Claude Storez’s 356A Carrera Zagato Speedster. A series of 356A Coupés followed, and the delivery of the most recent GT/L model completes Zagato’s trilogy of Sanction Lost recreations. Magneto covered Zagato’s Sanction Lost programme back in issue 17.
Zagato’s Sanction Lost take on the 356B Carrera GT/L Zagato is based upon the 356 Abarth Carrera GT/L, which was supposedly built by the carrozzeria in 1959-60, before being expropriated by Carlo Abarth. The original car shared a similar design language to the Fiat Abarth 1000 Zagato, which won the Compasso D’Oro design award in 1960.
Zagato’s Sanction Lost take on the 356B Carrera GT/L Zagato is based upon the 356 Abarth Carrera GT/L
Claude Storez played a central role in the creation of these mythical Italo-German sports cars. A successful gentleman driver, Storez yearned for more performance from his 356, so he commissioned Zagato to clothe the car in slippery, lightweight aluminium bodywork for the 1959 season. Tragically, Storez was killed in an accident not long after the Porsche’s debut.
A special selection of guests were invited to witness the delivery of the 356B Carrera GT/L Zagato Sanction Lost at The Venice Venice Hotel. Among the attendees were Marella Rivolta-Zagato, the carrozzeria’s art director, and Zagato president Andrea Michele Zagato. The contemporary artist and founder of The Venice Venice Hotel, Alessandro Gallo, was also present.
“The Sanction Lost trilogy dedicated to the Porsche world – a project started 12 years ago with the first Speedster model – is indeed completed with the 356B Carrera GT/L, which won for three consecutive years, from 1961 to 1963, at Nürburgring, Le Mans and the Targa Florio,” said Andrea Michele Zagato.
Those in attendance were shown a film that retraced the build, documenting the photometric process used to create a faithful 3D model, in addition to the construction of various mechanical components in Italy and Denmark. The car’s picturesque delivery along Venice’s Grand Canal banks marked the end of the film. After the screening, the guests were among the first to admire the car in the metal.
“In this project, we complemented each other,” explained Alessandro Gallo. “The Zagato team focused on the functionality of the car project, around which they tailored the pure form. While I, starting from an emotional perspective, reinterpreted the aesthetics, trying to make this icon of automotive history contemporary once again.”
The Venice Venice Hotel has since announced that it will open a new hotel suite in celebration of Zagato. This will feature a 1:1 scale mural drawing of the 356B Carrera GT/L Zagato Sanction Lost, hand-crafted by the company’s chief designer Norihiko Harada. Zagato’s spirit will also be represented in the suite’s finishes, furniture and upholstery, which will be constructed from materials such as carbonfibre, aluminium and Alcantara. The finishing touch will be a selection of Zagato-related automobilia, including car models, posters, books and magazines.
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