21 Years Ago

The Zonda is 21 years old now. It seems so strange, yet so natural that a car we remember seeing in magazines when new is now a full on “Classic” and “collectable” piece, where petrolheads and investors put their money into. The Zonda is perhaps the halo car of our times. If our generation had the McLaren F1 as a true icon, kids born in the 2000’s they sure have the Zonda. Rare, always in the dreams of many but very rarely seen. It was never the fastest car in the world but definitely it’s the one that “has-it”. It strikes your imagination with its details that scream “speed” at any time and its unique blend of elegance and sportiness. Looking at one you can tell that there was a time when these cars were meant to be driven with a suit and a tie. Admittedly, no other supercar of the last 20 years has had the same character ever since. When it came out, it was a car for the true connoisseur: Pagani, at that time a small underdog supercar factory from Modena, was only known to the very hard-core enthusiasts. The Zonda is the image of Pagani. There’s no denying that it has the same effect of the 250 GTO to everyone who hears the word Ferrari. It’s cliché but it a fast one and the one that defines a specific manufacturer: Pagani is the Zonda. This supercar is a one-man’s vision. Beauty above everything: here screws make sense, all hidden parts have a meaning and they’re all concurring in the same symphony of metal and carbon fibre. The screaming Mercedes V12 engine dominates the car, like a GAU 8 Gatling gun dominates the A 10Warthog fighter plane. The Zonda is perhaps the modern interpretation of what Enzo Ferrari’s cars were back in the late 40ies: every detail recalls to Horacio Pagani and his team. Like Enzo loved to put unsynchronized gearbox, a high-revving V12 and Connolly leather, Horacio put Mercedes engines, innovative carbo-titanium and great attention to detail. It’s a car that has seen the society change radically. It came out in a moment when others manufacturers were in the process of developing high- end and relatively more advance cars, such as the Ferrari Enzo and thePorsche Carrera GT. Yet, it shook the world with its light and remarkably gorgeous bodywork. A new kid was around the block in Modena and he had all the cards to grow, fast and steady. 21 years went by and here we are in a landscape like a dream, with a windy road and two Zondas from the private collection of Horacio Pagani. Life is better with 12 cylinders at hand.The S with its 7.3 litre engine was the Zonda that set the new standard for the performance figures of future models. The definitive evolution after the initial 400 hp C12 and 550 hp 7.0 S, it is the variant which set the bar: high torque levels, intuitive driving stye and looks that will never grow old.Technically, the 7.3 S was powered by a 7,291-cc DOHC Mercedes-Benz AMGE73 60o Alloy V-12 equipped with Bosch Motronic ME7 sequential electronic fuel injection, producing 555 bhp at 5,900 rpm. Titanium con-rods and suspensions ensured quick throttle response and immediate reaction times.With 1,280-kg dry weight, the car can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 3.7seconds and is capable of top speeds of 350 km/h. The Zonda revolutionized the whole world. Not only because it had the most powerful V12 alongside many other upgrades, but because it was the first car ever to be presented with a full carbon-fibre bodywork. As a testament to the visionary genius behind the Company, the Zonda entered the Automotive hall of fame by being the first full carbon car ever to be produced. It caused quite a shock as it offered quality, attractiveness and a remarkable driving experience.In particular, the S 7.3 that you see here is the very first car ever to bepresented in fully exposed carbon fibre at the Geneva Motor Show in 2000and it belongs to the private collection of Horacio Pagani. The car isperhaps one of the most significant Zondas ever produced as it showcasedthe world the capabilities of this small Firm in San Cesario sul Panaro.It shows around 70.000 km and it’s a joy to drive. Rather than trying to floorit every time, you can also enjoy the atmosphere that you’re sitting in,savoring the excellent design and the unique aspects of it. With the massive torque, you can easily travel in one gear and not needing to change: however would you deny yourself the pleasure of going through the gears in a 500hp + V12 supercar? On the other hand, the F perhaps represent another milestone in the Pagani production. F here is for “Fangio”, and it’s an homage to the great racing driver who helped Horacio Pagani in his early days to get him a job in the Motor Valley. As a tribute, to him, the Zonda F has 650hp and 790 Nm of torque on top and it represents another step in the evolution of this mighty supercar.New air intakes, new forged wheels and titanium suspensions make this aremarkable and rare Zonda. Only 25 have been produced and they’re in thehands of those collectors who cherish them true milestones of automotivehistory. Driving a Zonda is like driving a very well made go-kart. It’s instantaneous, immediate in its reacts and remarkably quick. The sound coming from the rear quad exhaust is worthy of the Gods of Speed: high pitched, screaming F1-like sound which is memorable. So, 21 years on the road have been memorable… now let’s make it another 20!

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