Pagani Week: One-Off Zondas Only Get Better With Age


Because money can fix anything.

Within only a few years of its launch, the Pagani Zonda caught the attention of supercar fanatics everywhere. It had been quite some time since an Italian supercar builder not only created something that could realistically rival the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, but didn't go bankrupt while doing so, such as Cizeta-Moroder, Bizzarrini, and De Tomaso. All three once had promising starts but that initial success couldn't be retained for a number of reasons.

So it was a fair thing to wonder whether or not Pagani would follow suit. Obviously that didn't happen and judging by Pagani's status today, likely never will. There are a number of reasons why, such as Horacio Pagani himself having a keen business sense and the ability to understand one's limitations; don't over expand, keep things simple and under one roof. Only now, in 2015, is a new production facility under construction. Another reason for Pagani's massive success, fairly early on, was that it built one-off cars for customers willing to fork over even larger sums. Sometimes a standard Zonda, if there is such a thing, is not enough. Pagani understood that perfectly, hence its willingness to build one-off Zondas.

Car people often dream about building the perfect car for themselves, and for many the Zonda was damn near perfect from the get-go. All it required were some personal touches to make it truly their own. For example, the Zonda Uno was made especially for Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani. Yeah, he's a member of the Qatar royal family. He's the guy who has a thing for turquoise cars. His Zonda was originally a Zonda F Roadster that was already owned by another guy in Qatar. However, it got into a crash and was shipped back to the Pagani factory to be completely rebuilt. That's when it was converted into its present form. Called the Zonda Uno, it's actually very similar to the Cinque Roadster thanks to its new carbon-titanium chassis.

And like the Tricolore, there are LEDs on the front. Some unique bits include darkened rear lights and rear exhaust, black wheels with turquoise wheel-striping, and a dual-tone diffuser. Sound great? Of course, and the royal family soon wanted another Zonda. That would be the Zonda 750, but it's known today as the Zonda 760 Nonno. Why's that? Because the initial order was canceled due to some disagreement between Pagani and the hopeful owner. Very similar to the Cinque once again, it ended up being painted orange and wound up being used in "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit."

Apparently the Zonda Cinque was a popular "base" for one-off customers because a buyer from Hong Kong commissioned the Zonda Absolute.

Powered by the same 678-hp 7.3-liter V12 found in the Cinque, the Zonda Absolute was painted matte black and is, perhaps most interestingly, a right-hand drive model. There was even one Zonda buyer who didn't like that square-shaped design for the rear exhaust pipes. Yeah, we're kind of surprised by that, too. So what was the guy's request to Pagani? The Zonda PS, painted white with yellow striping along the sides, had all four exhaust pipes in a single row. Today, however, the Zonda PS has been repainted in bright blue and its exhaust pipes are in that original layout – more on that later. It now also features the same LED headlights found on the Tricolore.

If you happen to not only have the money but are also a good friend of Mr. Pagani himself, then you're in an excellent position to place a custom owner. A Chilean businessman and personal friend of Pagani ordered his Zonda, called the 760RS, with a carbon exterior and black interior along with a unique rear fin that runs down the car's center. Now, most of these customers have, so far, been anonymous. They're not famous, but are very rich. Surely some celebrity wanted a Zonda. That would be three-time Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton. His Zonda 760LH is reportedly very similar to the 760RS.

However, it was done in purple inside and out and features a manual gearbox as opposed to the former's sequential unit. There was also the Zonda 764 Passione. It's similar to both of the previous cars, but was ordered with a larger rear spoiler and a more distinctive central rear fin. Like the Tricolore, it too has an Italian flag proudly painted on its nose. The exterior was done in grey carbon fiber with natural carbon fiber accents and light grey striping. The interior? Purple-pink. Go figure. Lastly, there's the 760 Fantasma, which was originally a Zonda F that crashed in Hong Kong and later extensively redone. Sound familiar? It should because it was originally the Zonda PS.

In case you didn't already know, the 760-series Zondas are the most powerful street legal Zondas in existence. Street legal, but what about the track-going versions? The Zonda R and Zonda Revolucion will grace your attention tomorrow with all of their dirty secrets.

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