The Vantage Zagato was unveiled to the public at the Geneva Salon in March 1986. There were 3 cars on show - one on the AML Stand (Chassis No. 20012), one on the Zagato Stand ('20013'), and one on the Beau Rivage Hotel's single-storey restaurant roof overlooking the Lake; the latter car was the Prototype '20010'. A few months later AML took the Prototype to France for Speed Trials. Victor Gauntlett had placed a requirement on the Newport Pagnell and Milan design teams that the car should be capable of reaching 0-60 mph in 4.8 secs and a top speed of 187 mph (300 kph). For these trials AML modified the original bonnet hump (as seen on the 3 show cars) and introduced NACA ducts to the bonnet.
At that time there were a number of French scale-model manufacturers producing 1:43 scale resin-bodied models. Their production process was low cost but the moulds did not last long and the production runs were short. One advantage was that these manufacturers could produce models of Concept, Prototype and Show cars that the mainstream die-cast model manufacturers would not produce. Some of the best known of these French model manufacturers were Provence Moulage, Alezan and Record, all of whom produced 1:43 scale kits or built models of the Vantage Zagato.
Another French model manufacturer, Heco, had prepared a model master ready to produce a mould and to go into production, However, they never did produce the model. I am delighted to own the Heco model master which captured how the Prototype '20010' looked when it undertook the Speed Trials. The photos show the re-styled bonnet hump, the NACA ducts, and the Zagato trademark 'double bubble' roof. The model master also had a recess in the boot into which the 3-part 'bolt-on' prototype rear spoiler was to be fixed.
It is a shame that the Heco model never went into production since I feel it was the best proportioned and most accurate of all of the Vantage Zagato models at that time. It would be another 30 years before a manufacturer produced a scale model of the Vantage Zagato. A 'new generation' model manufacturer, Spark Models, produced excellent 1:43 scale models of the Vantage Zagato, Volante Zagato, and Volante Zagato to Vantage spec .... if you search hard enough you may still be able to buy one. This unique model master is, however, not for sale !!