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Lot 025: Aston Martin Virage

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (16 May 2012)

CATALOGUE AMENDMENT: Mileage is 42,700 not 48,000 as stated in the catalogue. Launched at the 1988 Birmingham Motor Show, the Virage was the first new Aston Martin for 18 years and was described by company chairman Victor Gauntlett as "one of the most, if not the most, important newcomers in Aston Martin's 70-year history." Sleek, muscular, yet understated, the aluminium bodywork was the work of Royal College of Art tutors John Hefferman and Ken Greenley. The chassis was a modified version of that found on the Lagonda with de Dion tube rear suspension and an independent double wishbone set up at the front. Power came from a reworked version of Tadek Marek's legendary quad-cam 5.3-litre V8, but now with a 32-valve head designed by Callaway Engineering of Connecticut, hydraulic tappets and Weber-Marelli fuel injection. Two transmissions were offered, either three-speed automatic or five-speed manual. The result was a mighty 330bhp and 350lb/ft of torque, sufficient to propel the manual car to 60mph in just six seconds on its way to a top speed of 160mph. "Acceleration just never seems to run out", claimed Sports Car International on a first test. They also praised the "eager and quicker revving" nature of the engine and were generally mightily impressed with the whole package: "The new car outperforms the old in every respect. It's quicker, sharper handling, more refined and has an astonishingly good ride. It's better made, too. The factory's craftsmanship is legendary, but now it is allied to 1990s standards of quality and reliability. Once Aston Martin had to rely on patriotic flag waving. That is no longer necessary." Costing 135,000 at launch, the Virage Coupe was necessarily exclusive and just 1,050 were made before production ended in 1996. Supplied new by the JCT 600 Group in 1994, this Middlesex Green Virage has a tan leather interior and a three-speed automatic gearbox. It was acquired by the Stondon Museum in October 2010 and comes with a good service history comprising 11 stamps to date, the last at 41,328 miles in 2007, plus sundry other bills and brochures. Now with some 48,000 miles on the clock it is said to drive beautifully and is due to have a fresh MOT before the sale.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
Lot Number025
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£15500
Condition rating
Registration numberL137 ULG
Chassis numberSCFCAM1S5NBR50420
Engine number89/50420/A
Engine capacity (cc)5340
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors