Super Luxury Cars

This handsome green bean-colored Aston Martin V12 Zagato hides a secret

This Aston Martin hides a secret beneath its paint job that you'd only know about if you really know the company's history.

Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic
Bell Sport and Classic has been at it again. Last time AutomotiveMap told you about a Lamborghini LM002 they restored. Now it's an Aston Martin V12 Zagato, but that's not the full story.

The V12 Zagato is a one-of-a-kind. Under its green bean-colored paint job is a fully aluminum-bodied model. The cars traditionally were made from a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber.

But wait, there's more.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato

Aston Martin V12 Zagato prototype

Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic

It's also one of just two pre-production versions that were built to tour the world sitting at exclusive events, being drooled over by guests sipping champagne and planning to write checks for their own version.

The car was owned by Aston Martin until 2016 when it was slated to go to Zagato to be part of the design houses's display collection. However, an Aston Martin client stepped up and made the company any offer they couldn't refuse.

Before the owner took delivery, the car was give a full recommissioning.

The right-hand drive model was originally painted Titanium Grey. It was refinished in Aston Martin Racing Green and had its interior re-trimmed by hand. The upholstery features the quilted Zagato motif, which continues onto the door cars and a matching leather bag set.

Engineers gave the 5.9-liter V12 engine a thorough tune up, which may (wink, wink) have included them adjusting the engine to allow for more than its standard allotted 510 bhp.

Lift up the hood and you'll find a plaque that denotes the car's pre-production status.

None of the classic design elements were modified. It continues to wear its double-bubble roof and feature short body overhands.

Bell Sport and Classic is now selling the model. The price remains unlisted.

"We are very pleased to offer for sale this truly unique Aston Martin V12 Zagato," said Tim Kearns, Managing Director, Bell Sport and Classic. "All of the cars in the limited run of 64 are, of course, very special indeed but this outstanding example is one of only two pre-production cars and the only fully aluminium-bodied model ever made. It has been treated to a meticulous recommissioning by Aston Martin itself and would be a wonderful addition to any collection."

The model is sold with a good detailing its recommissioning.

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This 2020 Ford GT drew over $1 million at the auction.

Mecum

The world may be going through some tough times right now, but you'd never know it looking at auto auction results. One of the largest, Mecum, just reported sales from the auctions it held in Arizona last week, and the results are astonishing. Mecum says it took in $66.3 million in sales, which is a big increase over the previous year's auctions. Attendance was also up, and the event was packed with high-dollar, desirable vehicles.

Mecum Arizona AuctionHow about a 1967 Ferrari for a little over $3 million?Mecum

Mecum says that private collection sales generated $20 million of the $66.3 million, as some brought dozens of vehicles to participate in the auction. The Hooked on Vettes Collection, for example, brought 13 cars and sold every one of them. It even sold a load of neon signs for well over a million dollars.

The top ten vehicles sold at auction drew big dollars. A few include:

  • 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4: $3,025,000
  • 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Coupe: $2,365,000
  • 2005 Porsche Carrera GT: $2,200,000
  • 2020 Ford GT: $1,100,000
  • 2017 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster: $698,500

Mecum Arizona AuctionThere was even a Duesenberg, which sold for almost $2.4 million.Mecum

If you've got money to burn and you're sad to have missed out on the Arizona auction, your next shot will be at the end of this month when Mecum hits Houston with 1,100 vehicles. The flagship Mecum auction in Indianapolis takes place in mid-May, and will feature 3,000 cars.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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