From November 1-8 of 2019, Grand Central Station in New York City became the epicenter of the automotive world as Pagani Automobili put on an amazing display of vehicles honoring the 20th anniversary of the creation of the company’s first hypercar, the Pagani Zonda C12.
The company looked far and wide across the United States for a venue to host the North American portion of their anniversary tour while ensuring the company’s spirit of engineering and technological innovation was embodied by the venue. Grand Central Station stood out above the rest for its relevance as a transportation hub, architectural design and historical significance.
I arrived in New York on November 5th to document the exhibit and was greeted by Christopher Pagani and other members of the Pagani Automobili family with open arms. Not only did I receive special access to the exhibit, but also had the opportunity to learn more about the company first-hand from the people that call San Cesario sul Panaro home. It was an amazing experience that went beyond simply documenting the event to one that allowed me to cultivate a relationship with the company and its people. As the saying goes, this one was for the books.
The vehicles on display were nothing short of spectacular. Even though I’m a Pagani-Miami alumnus and still work closely with these machines, I was still in awe of the cars that were on display. Perhaps the most relevant, if not the most striking car, was the Zonda C12. Coming from someone that has called the Zonda HP Barchetta his favorite Pagani of all time, I must say the C12 was something to marvel at.
Another fan favorite for the Pagani aficionados was the Cinque Roadster, of which only 5 were built. Introduced in 2010 with a redesigned carbo-titanium chassis, magnesium suspension and carbon brake discs, the roadster is the open-top version of the Cinque model from 2009 and is by far one of the most beautiful automobile designs of the last 20 years.
As I mentioned before, for me, the Zonda HP Barchetta ranks as the most beautiful Pagani ever designed and is wedged in between the Lamborghini Countach, Lamborghini Diablo, Ferrari F50 and McLaren F1 on my list of “favorite cars” from the last 40 years. It not only embodies the true heritage of sports and racing cars from the 1950s and 1960s, but it fuses together style, technology and artistic expression resulting in an engineering masterpiece unlike anything on the road today.
Equally compelling was the Zonda F that was on display. This particular car had an exquisite interior wrapped in bright yellow leather and was clothed in an exposed carbon shell. The Zonda F was the brain-child of Horacio Pagani and five-time F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio – Thus the “F” designation. The car’s weight was reduced to such a point that it set a new lap record at the Nurburgring of 7 minutes and 27 seconds for a road-legal car, a remarkable feat.
Resting behind the Zonda F was the Zonda R, not to be confused with the Zonda Revolucion. The R is my second favorite of Horacio Pagani’s creations. An iron fist in a velvet glove, this track-only iteration of the Zonda gave Pagani yet another Nurburgring record in 2010 that would stand for years setting a lap time of 6 minutes and 47 seconds.
The final model rounding the six-car exhibit was the Huayra Roadster BC, the company’s current flagship model. The BC is built with the latest materials and composites such as carbo-titanium and carbo-triax to create a rigid monocoque. The body was slightly redesigned for the purposes of aerodynamics and a completely new engine was developed for the car setting it apart from the traditional Huayra and Huayra Roadster models.
The BC embodies the pinnacle of technology and design that Pagani Automobili has achieved over the last 20 years, and it truly represents the company’s philosophy of amalgamating art and science as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. Bravo signore Pagani!