Another Pagani Zonda F is reborn into a spectacular one-off creation

They say that fine art speaks incredible stories while sitting still as people look at them. In a lot of ways, the Pagani Zonda is the farthest thing from fine art, particularly that it doesn’t do well in an idle state. Then again, the Zonda is also, in other ways, the epitome of fine art. It’s limited nature and exotic qualities make it precious in a lot of eyes. And as far as the stories it tells, well, let’s just say they make for good conversations. Take this particular Zonda for example. It’s now called the Zonda Riviera, but it didn’t always carry the name. Once upon a time, it was a Zonda F, and in the decade that’s been alive, it’s been through quite a lot for a car of its stature.

It does seem a little odd that we’re seeing another Zonda get reimagined as a new model only a week after seeing another of its kind, the Zonda Fantasma Evo, go through the same treatment. These events do speak of the age of the model and the fact that it’s been 12 years since Pagani rolled out the Zonda F means that we’re likely to see more of them in the near future. For now, though, the Zonda Riviera takes center stage, as the Zonda Fantasma Evo did last week. it doesn’t quite have an eventful story as Fantasma Evo - that one literally came back from a crash - but it does have a tale or two in its pocket, as most Pagani Zonda Fs that have aged rather nicely will tell us.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Pagani Zonda Riviera

What makes the Pagani Zonda Riviera so special?

2017 Pagani Zonda Riviera Exterior
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2017 Pagani Zonda Riviera Exterior
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2017 Pagani Zonda Riviera Exterior
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Like all Pagani Zonda F models that were launched in 2005, the Zonda Riviera started off as such, originally leaving the factory in Modena, Italy wearing a bright yellow shade, at least according to reports detailing the car’s history. It still has the same owner though, unlike the Zonda Fantasma Evo, and the owner, for the most part, has enjoyed every last ounce of the Zonda F in the decade-plus that he’s owned it.

No reason has been made clear on why the same owner decided to send his supercar back to Pagani, but it is assumed that it needed some repairs and tune-ups given its age. What’s clear now is that the Zonda F received more than just repairs. It’s come out looking like an entirely different car, complete with a new paint job - a white body with blue accents - that pays homage to the French Riviera from which it gets its new name. More to than just the cosmetic upgrades, the car appears to have also received a good infusion of aerodynamic carbon fiber bits, including a new roof scoop and a much larger rear wing. Carbon fiber can also be seen around the headlights while the front canards are more prominent than ever. It’s still a Zonda F if we want to be really technical about it, but based on the changes made by Pagani, the rechristened Zonda Riviera bears a more striking similarity to the Zonda Cinque.

2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque Exterior
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2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque Exterior
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I suppose it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, considering that one Zonda is as awesome as another. But in the automotive world built by Pagani, one-off creations, or recreations, in this case, are treated differently, in large part because their outright exclusivity already makes for fascinating narratives themselves.

It wouldn’t even be surprising if the owner of the Zonda Riviera asked Pagani to make some tweaks to the car’s identifiable, AMG-sourced 7.3-liter V-12 engine. In the event that he didn’t, the Zonda Riviera still packs over 600 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque on account of it once being a Zonda F. If it did get an engine upgrade, it would be reasonable to see the power of the Zonda Riviera get bumped up to 760 horsepower, just like the Zonda Fantasma Evo before it. That would represent power gains of around 160 horsepower compared to its previous incarnation, more than enough to fully validate its billing as a reborn Pagani Zonda F, built from the foundation that once earned it the status of being one of the most desirable supercars in the world.

2017 Pagani Zonda Riviera Exterior
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2017 Pagani Zonda Riviera Drivetrain
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2017 Pagani Zonda Riviera Interior
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2017 Pagani Zonda Riviera Interior
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There is some measure of validation in seeing a Pagani Zonda transform the way the Zonda Riviera has. At the very least, it goes to show that even a car that’s 12 years old to this day can have a new and even better life under the care of the automaker that built it. More importantly, though, the Zonda Riviera (and the Zonda Fantasma Evo for that matter) shows us that the legacy of the Zonda remains alive and well to this day. The Pagani Huayra may have already replaced it six years ago, but let it be said that the Zonda name is still a force to be reckoned with in the supercar world.

The Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo and the Zonda Riviera have shown us as much, and knowing Pagani’s capabilities and outright willingness to do the work to bring this car back up from where they’ve been in the past, I’m pretty sure and confident in saying that these two reborn one-off creations won’t be the last of their kind that we’ll see in the near and far future.

2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo High Resolution Exterior
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One-off Pagani Zondas are nothing new

As exciting as it is to see Zonda F models get reborn as one-off models, the practice of building this super-exclusive model is nothing new for Pagani. In fact, Pagani has made quite a habit of building one-off models for specific customers, so much so that jokes about the Zonda’s lifespan still persist to this day, five years after Pagani “technically” discontinued the model to make way for its successor, the Huayra. All jokes aside, check out some of the finer Pagani Zonda one-off models below.

Pagani Zonda 760 X

Unveiled in 2014, the Pagani Zonda 760 X represented one of the many exotic creations to come from Pagani’s factory in Modena, Italy. It featured plenty of prominent details, not the least of which included a Baby Blue body wrap and a few bits dressed in naked carbon fiber. In addition, the Zonda 760 X also received a long air scoop, a large rear wing, and taillights surrounds dressed in red, white, and green colors, the same three colors that make up the Italian flag. Move to the cabin and there are plenty more shades of blue covering the dashboard and the leather-wrapped seats. Carbon fiber is also a prominent addition to the interior of the one-off Zonda, as is the 7.3-liter V-12 engine that packs a stout 760 horsepower. All told, the Zonda 760 X is as good of a one-off creation as Pagani has made of the Zonda.

2015 Pagani Zonda 760 X Exterior
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Pagani Zonda 760 RS

It says a lot about a car’s staying power when special one-creations for the said model remain relevant to this day. Such is the case with the Zonda 760 RS, which actually sprung to life as a custom-built Zonda 750 model for an Arab family. Ultimately, the customers ended up canceling the order for the car entirely, prompting Pagani itself to instead turn the model into the Zonda 760 RS. Among its most prominent features is the exposed carbon fiber body, which is complemented by an aerodynamic body package made up of a roof intake and rear air ducts. The one-off Zonda also featured a 7.3-liter V-12 engine that produces 760 horsepower, more than enough to still be relevant today, five years after the Zonda 760 RS was launched.

2012 Pagani Zonda 760 RS Exterior
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Pagani Zonda 760 RSJX

Arguably one of the most unique one-off Pagani Hondas to come out of Modena was the 760 RSJX. Unveiled in the late parts of 2014, the Zonda 760 RSJX lives up to its billing, thanks in large part to a pastel green body paint that stand outs in every angle you look at the supercar. The color is timeless, but in true Pagani fashion, designers decided to complement it with a black, carbon-fiber accents on the nose, the front wheel arches and the horizontal trim that splits the car’s profile in half. And as is custom with these one-off Paganis, a reference to the Italian flag was also featured in the Zonda 760 RSJX, taking the form of a decal running down the center of the car. For an added touch, the Italian automaker also dressed the car’s interior in the same pastel green shade. The steering wheel, dashboard, and transmission tunnel, for example, are all swathed in leather wearing the specific shade while the rest of the surfaces are covered in high-grade materials painted in the same hue. And like most one-off Zondas, the 760 RSJX was powered by a 7.3-liter V-12 engine that produces 760 horsepower, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds on its way to posting a top speed of 217 mph.

2014 Pagani Zonda 760 RSJX Exterior
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2014 Pagani Zonda 760 RSJX Exterior
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Pagani Zonda Absolute

The list of one-off Pagani Hondas is pretty long, but I’m going to end this exercise with a personal favorite: the Zonda Absolute. Details about the car were not disclosed when it was revealed that it would be going to a Hong Kong owner, but almost seven years after it was revealed, it still holds up as one of the finest one-off creations Pagani has ever created of the Zonda supercar. The Zonda Absolute is similar to the Zonda RS in that it was designed with a naked carbon fiber body, but the Absolute one-off made a mark because it was one of the first Pagani Hondas to feature that kind of design treatment. Combine that with the unique use of the tricolor, Italian-flag inspired decal running down its length, and it because almost impossible to forget what the Zonda Absolute looks like after laying eyes on it for the first time.

2011 Pagani Zonda Absolute High Resolution Exterior
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Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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