With every year that went by the Zonda gained more power, more aero, more stripes and - crucially - more and more money, to the point where Pagani realised it could sell them for seven-figure sums and they'd still have a queue round the block. Even launching a turbocharged, active-aero successor with more power and more tech hasn't taken the lustre off the Zonda. The Huayra is a hell of a car. But if you've got the money (set aside a couple of million) they are out there. Finding a Zonda? Seemingly not so straightforward.
Which is a shame because it's a hell of a car. And a remarkably simple concept. Proper monster engine. Kerbweight not much more than a Lotus Elise. And artistry that elevates everything from switchgear to suspension arms to items of engineering jewellery. And to think they were selling these things for the price of a Ferrari or Lamborghini at the start!
I was lucky enough to drive a C12 S, the (eventually) 550bhp, 7.3-litre evolution of the original C12 and the point where the Zonda started its journey into something rather more serious. But before it started getting all fussy and bedecked in aero, scoops, snorkels, stripes and all the rest. In that respect, it rather mirrors the evolution of the Lamborghini Countach from its clean, minimalist LP400 starting point to the somewhat over-wrought 25th Anniversary climax. And who takes the design credit (or blame, depending on your outlook) for the latter? Oh, some bloke called Horacio Pagani! Seems he can't help himself.