Lot 449: Aston Martin 8 Vantage Volante
The Aston Martin V8 survived the company's changes of ownership and financial upheavals of the 1970s, by appearing in numerous variants, with one of the more exclusive being the Volante convertible. Introduced in response to customers' demands for such a car, it first appeared in June 1978. Arguably the ultimate in soft-top luxury, the Volante boasted a lined, power-operated top which, when erected, endowed the walnut embellished interior with all the solidity and refinement associated with the coupe version. Although its open-car aerodynamics meant that max speed suffered with the top down, the Volante's 140mph-plus maximum nevertheless ranked it among the world's fastest convertibles. V8 Volante chassis numbers ran from '15001' to '15849', a total of only 849 cars. Although introduced in 1978, the Volante (convertible) did not become available to high-performance Vantage specification until 1986. Along with the more powerful Vantage engine and its bulging hood were flared wheelarches, a trunk spoiler (a feature the Volante had previously lacked), and an extended front spoiler, while fiberglass 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. A total of 167 Vantage Volantes had been completed by the end of production in December 1989, 78 with Right Hand Drive. Of the remaining 89 Left Hand Drive vehicles, 58 (including this car) were made for and imported into the US. This example, built in August of 1989, is the twentieth from last V8 Volante manufactured. Finished in burgundy with color matched wheels, the interior is resplendent in magnolia hued leather with burgundy piping and warm burl walnut trim. It is one of 47 Vantage Volantes ordered with the automatic transmission. The car's owners, past and present, have shown a remarkable level of restraint in driving the car, it presently shows only 10,792 miles. While not quite as well optioned as James Bond's V8 Vantage Volante in The Living Daylights, no self destruct feature on this example we're afraid, this Aston is equally as stylish and suave.
Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia|
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
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