FEW LOVE affairs run as deep as that between a little boy and his cars. It is thus no surprise that behind one of the most legendary of super cars – the Pagani Zonda – lies a story of a car-obsessed little boy from Argentina.
To some extent, the art of marketing stops well before it ever gets to door of super cars – the most elite and ultra-luxurious of all automobiles. Artfully and sparingly manufactured and priced usually at a cool minimum of 1,000,000 GBP, super cars are truly the stuff from which dreams are made. These cars are only accessible to the über-rich automotive aficionado, including actual Formula 1 (F1) racing professionals, such as F1 racing star Lewis Hamilton, who ordered a custom Pagani Zonda 760RS in a manual – of course, requesting the last two letters, 760RS, be changed to LH.
Few brands have the status and incomparable speed of a Pagani. Even to a super car neophyte, the lure of a Pagani is indescribable. This is in part because Paganis are among the fastest cars ever made and in part because their styling brings up images of super heroes and flying vehicles.
The name behind the brand, founder Horacio Pagani, was born in Argentina in 1955. He dreamed of making a super car from an early age, as early models he designed out of balsam wood as a child attest. After moving to Italy in 1983, he eventually became chief engineer at Lamborghini. Pagani founded his own firm, Modena Design in 1991, which still continues to make carbon fiber composites for Formula 1 cars as well as Daimler and Ferrari. He opened Pagani Automobili Modena in San Cesario sul Panaro, a small town near Modena, Italy, in 1992. After seven years of research and development, the company launched its first super car, Pagani Zonda C12, in 1999 and has since expanded both its consumer base and the range of custom cars it makes.
Part of the intense power of a Pagani comes from its engine, thanks to the brand’s close relationship with Daimler and Mercedes AMG. The Pagani Zonda utilises varieties of the Mercedes M120 V12 engine for its various lines from the initial C12 to the Revolucion, launched in 2013. The Pagani Huayra, the brand’s other line, uses a bespoke M158 engine designed exclusively by Mercedes.
For those who love luxury but know little of cars, there is still an indescribable romance to a super car like a Pagani. Somewhere in the mix of inherent exclusivity, futuristic design, and, obviously, incredible speed comes a product that looks and feels like it comes straight from a little boy’s comic book story. For Horacio Pagani, his super cars indeed are the culmination of a lifelong dream, realized through years of training and expert technical craft and design. Achieving the impossible is perhaps the key to the romance of the super car. As Horacio Pagani noted on the occasion of the launch of the Zonda R Revolucion in 2013: “Limits are made to be overcome.”
by Jessica Quillin