April 24, 2014

CPP buys Zagato

Ferrari 550 GTZ

Ferrari 550 GTZ - built by CPP

In a further acquisition, specialist car builder CPP (Coventry Prototype Panels) has acquired Milanese Car Design House Zagato for an undisclosed sum.


In a move that seems to have received no coverage whatsoever, our favourite specialist car putter-together – CPP (Coventry Prototype Panels as was) – has quietly bought up Zagato.

For those of you who are ‘Vlad Watchers’ this may come as no surprise. It seems that Vladimir Antonov is on a quest to buy up everything interesting there is to buy in the specialist car world (and Portsmouth FC too – no accounting for taste!), which includes funding CPP and its recent acquisitions.

As regular readers will recall, Vladimir was behind the purchase by CPP of Spyker (so Victor Muller could go off and make his full time job fund raising for Saab), and more recently CPP acquired Bowler so it could take itself offroad at a speed no one else could match.

And as far as we know, CPP even made a play for the recently bankrupt Bristol Cars, but it seems Frazer Nash were willing to come up with an offer when we assume CPP saw only limited value in the assets.

Now CPP has bought ailing Milanese car designers Zagato in a move we still don’t know much about. In fact the only real clue we had was that the Zagato web site now has the company credit as ‘CPP Milan’ (we don’t think they’re going to rename it Milan Prototype Panels!). We have tried to get a bit more information, but at the moment none is forthcoming. But we think the deal was actually done last year.

However, this is a perfect fit for another story we’ve been running lately – the Aston Martin V12 Zagato. For it is CPP who build the ‘specialist’ cars for Aston Martin (they are currently building the One-77), and it is CPP who have built previously for Zagato too (the Bentley GTZ and Ferrari GTZ). And now they’re going to build the V12 Zagato.

What’s next for CPP and Vladimir? Aston Martin themselves?

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  1. It strikes me as a shrewd move; CPP isn’t much of a ‘brand’, but Zagato? Any petrolhead worth his salt would know of them; plus as a company in the business of producing prototypes for others having the Zagato moniker to hand puts them in a whole different league.

    And potentially opens the door to providing own-brand Zagato supercars…

    • PhilipJH says:

      Strikes me as a highly dubious plan to build and market pure Zagato cars. The cost implications would be horrific. No, much more sensible to use Zagato’s design skills and mix them with CPP’s fabrication expertise for a one-stop shop for low volume editions of existing supercars.

      Makes far more sense than trying to build a Zagato range or sticking the Zagato badge on a Spyker or Bowler and charging extra.

  2. One has to wonder if there’s any real business plan here or is this just a rich man’s game? Spyker has never turned a profit and Zagato hasn’t in years. Is Mr Antonov playing a long game with serious intent, or is he just playing?

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