- La Nonna, Pagani's test car

La Nonna: The 1 Million Kilometer Pagani Zonda

The Grandmother of all Zondas.

When you here the words high mileage, what comes to mind? An old Honda Civic or Toyota Camry with close to 250,000 miles on it? Perhaps an old BMW or Mercedes? I doubt that a Supercar would come to mind especially a supercar from Italy. This Zonda however is a car that has been driven more than almost any other car on the road and served as Pagani's test mule for new Zondas until it was retired and restored back in 2015 as a gift for Horacio Pagani's 60th birthday after accumulating exactly 1 million kilometers (621,371 miles). This to me is one of the coolest cars out their because of the fact this car was actually driven unlike most of it's production siblings, and I will give you a brief history of the car and the changes it went through.

The Beginning

La Nonna started life back in 1998 as the second Zonda C12 prototype (aka prototype 2) and was used extensively to develop the first ever production Zonda. It featured the first version of the now well known Mercedes M120 6.0L V12 that cranked out a now modest 394 horsepower paired with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Original Zonda Prototype - P​hoto credit: gtspirit.com

Original Zonda Prototype - P​hoto credit: gtspirit.com

After the good reception and success of the C12 in 1999, Pagani started looking at how to test and make their new cars and instead of making a whole new prototype for the new model(s), Pagani used Prototype 2 every single time a new Zonda was released. Beginning with the C12 S/C12 S 7.3. These revisions included the 7.0L tune of the M120 (with the 7.3L V12 added in later) and the newly developed 6-speed Manual transmission.

Zonda F

La Nonna in Zonda F Guise

La Nonna in Zonda F Guise

The first major changes that La Nonna went through was during the development of the Zonda F. She received a more enhanced intake manifold, new exhaust and enhanced ECU tune to increase power to 594 hp.

Zonda Cinque

La Nonna in her Cinque NFS edition guise

La Nonna in her Cinque NFS edition guise

The second major change that La Nonna went through was the transition from the Zonda F to the Zonda Cinque prototype. Power was now bumped up from 594hp to 669hp. Gone was the 6-speed manual transmission and in went a new, quick-shifting 6-speed sequential gearbox. The 0-62mph now only took 3.4 seconds. La Nonna also received the all new body work from the new carbo-titanium body for increased strength and rigidity and also all the new aero bits that . Oh La Nonna also received a new bright orange wrap as well to promote Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2010 via a live action trailer as you can see in the 2 videos below.

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Final Form and Restoration

La Nonna

La Nonna

La Nonna would go through one major final transformation before being restored and retired. The car's final evolution would be upgraded to the baseline of the Zonda 760 series which was very similar to the Cinque. After this Pagani's Staff decided to restore La Nonna by restoring the car to it's semi-original form. It's interior was worn and redone, the paint was restored to it's original silver color, but it kept all of it's Cinque/760 upgrades and kept its tricolor stripe. La Nonna now sits in Pagani's factory showroom.

I hope you enjoyed this brief history of an incredible car. Don't forget to give this article a bump, and follow me so you can stay up to date with when I post. Also Don't forget to join my tribe, Lost In Transmission, for more articles like this.

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Comments (6)

  • Great article about great car. Just goes to show you, if things are simple they last.

      1 month ago
    • I don’t know if I’d call the Zonda a simple car but if you take care of it it will last.

        1 month ago
  • If only a customer would put a few thousand miles on them...

      20 days ago
    • I only partially agree. I say that because I do believe that cars should be driven, but if I spent millions of dollars on a car, I’m sure as heck not going to drive it on public roads when I don’t trust anybody but myself on the road. Just because I...

      Read more
        20 days ago
    • I'd rather buy a "lesser" car and enjoy it

        20 days ago

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