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Lot 225: Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

Aston Martin and Lagonda Motor Cars, Bonhams (19 May 2012)

With the resurrection of the 'Vantage' name in 1977, Aston Martin enthusiasts everywhere breathed a sigh of relief; previously applied to high-power versions of the DB six-cylinder cars, it had been dormant since the V8's arrival back in 1969. Propelling Aston's V8 back into the supercar league was a tuned version of the existing 5,340cc engine producing an estimated maximum output of around 375bhp. Chassis changes were minimal apart from the adoption of bigger ventilated discs all round and low-profile Pirelli tyres. The Vantage was, nevertheless, readily distinguishable from the standard product by virtue of its blocked-off bonnet scoop, blanked air intake, front chin spoiler and lip on the boot lid. Although introduced in 1978, the Volante convertible did not become available to Vantage specification until 1986. Along with the Vantage engine and bonnet came flared wheelarches, boot spoiler (a feature the Volante had previously lacked) and extended front spoiler, while glassfibre extensions replaced the model's hitherto characteristic chromed sill covers. The result was a muscular, aggressive-looking car that could justifiably claim to be the world's fastest convertible. Not all Aston Martin customers found the new look to their liking however, preferring the more restrained appearance of the earlier model. Foremost among these was HRH the Prince of Wales, who ordered his Volante with the Vantage engine and bonnet but otherwise effectively to standard specification. For many the jewel in the Aston crown, the Vantage Volante to 'Prince of Wales' specification was produced for only two years from 1988, drawing uniquely from the best of the Volante and Vantage features. The factory went on to build 26 examples of the 'Prince of Wales' specification Vantage Volante before V8 production finally ceased in December 1989. This automatic transmission Vantage Volante was sold new via the Stratton Motor Company to its first owner, Mr Ivor Silverstone, who bought the car for 112,420 (order sheet on file). Mr Silverstone specified that the Volante be finished in Cannock Black with matching leather interior, carpets and hood, complemented by headlining in Slate Grey (see letter on file). The Aston appears to have been sold again by SMC in January 1989, on this occasion for 150,000 to a Mr Barry Lever. In 1992 the car was bought by the Rotch Property Group of London, W1, apparently for the use of a Mr Vincent Tchenguiz, carrying the registration plate of '1 VV'. In June 2003, at circa 28,000 miles, the car was sent to Aston Martin Works Service for full engine rebuild and conversion to 'Prince of Wales' specification (while retaining the boot spoiler) at a cost of 70,000 (invoices on file) followed by re-chroming of all the bumpers in September of that same year. In October 2004 Rotch Property spent 1,800 with marque specialist Nick Mee on tyres, general maintenance and an MoT at 29,344 miles (invoice available). The current vendor bought the car in 2008 from R S Williams Ltd, who had spent some 1,500 on its preparation and have maintained it ever since (see bills). The current MoT (expiry date 19/10/12) records the mileage at time of issue as 30,592 miles, and there are three previous certificates on file. Described by the vendor as in generally excellent condition, the car is offered with the aforementioned history, its original warranty card, current MoT/tax, Swansea V5C registration document and a spare set of keys.

Lot Details
Auction Aston Martin and Lagonda Motor Cars
Bonhams, Newport Pagnell, Aston Martin Works Service
Lot Number225
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£82000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£93340
Condition rating1
Registration numberF8 VOL
Chassis numberSCFCV81V2KTR415717
Engine numberV/580/5717/XA
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2