Stunning Zagato pairing launched by Rialto

22 July 2019
Zagato-mini-2-68216.jpg Rialto Zagato Hillman
Stunning Zagato pairing launched by Rialto
Stunning Zagato pairing launched by Rialto Images

The Zagato Mini was built on a Morris Mini Traveller chassis, hoping that it would result in a series production of 30 off but nothing came of that because British Motor Corporation was not interested in the project. One car was built by Zagato in white with an aluminum lightweight body, designed by Ercole Spada. It was however displayed at the London Motor Show. The car was hidden for years until it was found in a barn in Italy in 2008, but was in poor condition and needed a complete restoration.

The Zagato Imp ( known as “Zimp”) had a slightly better chance as Rootes expressed some interest in the project. Also designed by Ercole Spada and very similar to the Mini design, Zagato used the same buck for both cars, but with a different front and rear treatment. Zagato purchased three Imps in 1963 which were sent to Milano for a new body and it then produced three cars with the same body in aluminum, but different in minor details. The cars were displayed at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1964.  Talks were held with Rootes for the car to be produced in the UK but the cost was higher than foreseen. When Chrysler purchased more shares and finally a majority stake in the Rootes Group plans for the small Zagato Imp were abandoned. All three Imp Zagatos do still exist and are in drivable condition.

As Rialto Models is a specialist in Zagato designed cars, the choice to produce these models in 1/43 scale was obvious. Furthermore these cars are very significant in Anglo-Italian small car design and are worthy of being modelled and remembered.

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The models come in high quality resin, with many separate parts, highly chromed metal bumpers, photo-etched mouldings on clear sheet all around for the windows, screen-wipers, clear headlights, detailed rear lights, turned aluminum wheels, rubber tyres, Zagato logos etc. All packed in a showcase with outer cardboard box. Each edition is limited to 100 pieces for both the Hillman (No RM048) and the Mini (RM047), individually numbered.

Rialto have set the price for these models at €119 each, however, for direct sales Rialto have set an introductory price at £99.00 or €110, valid for orders placed before the 1st November, 2019.

To find out more, go to the brand new Rialto Models website at