1990 Autech Zagato Stelvio AZ1 €99,000 from L’Art de L’Automobile, Paris, France

1990 Autech Zagato Stelvio AZ1 €99,000 from L’Art de L’Automobile, Paris, France

This has to be one of the most peculiar-looking cars ever to wear the Zagato badge — and that’s saying something. Autech was, in effect, Nissans bespoke department, which was known for all sorts — from preparing racing cars through to adapting vehicles for people with disabilities. The Stelvio was to be the first of a series of low-volume, luxuriously trimmed and exotically styled cars named after famous Italian passes.


Based on the Nissan Leopard (remember that?), this was to be the ultimate in opulence, costing an eye-watering ¥17.5m (around £78,000) when it was launched. Autech handled the mechanical side of things, boosting the power of the 3.0-litre V6 to around 300bhp. This was sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic gearbox, and the car was good for a top speed of 150mph — not limited like most other Japanese cars of the era.


This has to be one of the most peculiar-looking cars ever to wear the Zagato badge - and that’s saying something

Zagato was given free rein with the styling, as you can see. It’s quite handsome from some angles, but the most controversial feature is the unique pair of ‘wing’ mirrors — faired into the outer edges of the clamshell bonnet. The solid wheels with a single NACA duct in each are also a visual treat. The sharp aluminium body panels were hand-crafted by Zagato in Italy, and the interior was beautifully (and tastefully) trimmed with wood and leather. It features a selection of late-1980s high-tech Japanese goodies, as well as a top-spec Bose sound system.

Although 200 were planned, just 104 were built between 1988 and 1991, and this is number 85. Few escaped Japan, but this car was actually sold new in Italy — and it’s currently offered for sale by Paris-based dealer LArt de 1’automobile directly from its one and only Italian owner. In silver with a black interior, it’s surprisingly understated.

Any Stelvio is an incredibly rare car, but this one is presented in as-new, unrestored condition. With a mere 900km on the clock, it underwent a huge amount of recommissioning in 2020, and now runs perfectly. As a result, the dealer is asking €99,000. Unquestionably an acquired taste, but you’re unlikely to bump into another!

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