The company was established at the end of the World War I by Ugo Zagato, putting aircraft industry construction techniques to use in the expanding market for passenger vehicles. Zagato's cars were advanced in design and became synonymous with light weight and excellent aerodynamics.
Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia immediately realised the advantages of his rakish, streamlined designs. A collaboration followed which saw the creation of a series of legendary racing cars, such as the Alfa Romeo 1500, then the 1750 Gran Sport, and the 2300 8C.
After the World II, Zagato was very much active on this field of GT cars,a new racing category. Avant-garde styling, together with light weight and wind-cheating lines were main features of Zagato's models for the leading sports car manufacturers of that era - Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Abarth, Ferrari, and Aston Martin. In addition to the cars that were produced officially in small series, the company also built exclusive one-offs and prototypes for other illustrious marques, such as Ford, Jaguar, MG, Rover, Volvo, Bristol, and Rolls-Royce.
Currently, Zagato is headed by Andrea Zagato.