It has been 20 years since Pagani debuted its first car, the Zonda C12, at Geneva, which makes the 2019 Geneva Motor Show the perfect setting for the very first Zonda C12 to make a return to the stage.
Known as “chassis 001”, this particular Zonda C12 served as a development mule and was eventually used for homologation and crash testing. Fortunately Pagani says much of the car’s original parts were recovered, which enabled the restoration works to be carried out.
The restoration work on “chassis 001” also serves to highlight Pagani’s newly formed restoration and certification programme, Pagani Rinascimento, which managed to renovate existing components and fully rebuild copies of the original in order to return the car back to its exact configuration at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show.
“Today we pay homage to the Zonda, the car that allowed us to grow up, confirm our initial gambles and, above all, share our great passion with the whole world,” says Pagani founder and chief designer, Horacio Pagani.
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While Pagani is famous for building a minute number of cars along with plenty of one-off highly customised versions for their affluent clientele, the Zonda C12 with its 331kW Mercedes-Benz derived 6-litre V12 and five-speed manual, is considered to be the rarest of the Zonda lineage with only five examples being built from 1999, one of which being “chassis 001”.
By 2002, the C12 was replaced by the C12 S with a 405kW 7-litre V12, which really got the ball rolling for Pagani in the supercar fraternity, and the rest they say is history. Little wonder why “chassis 001” is worthy of such reverence.