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Lot 284: Aston Martin V8 Vantage Saloon

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bonhams (29 June 2012)

People who buy the Vantage will do so in the first place for its performance, and they will not be disappointed. The figures speak for themselves. But they should take extra heart because it is one of the easiest true high performance cars to drive well: and it has been given brakes to match. In comfort too, it has much to offer, and there is a great deal of what is best in the British tradition of designing and building sports cars in its making.' - Autocar. 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. A heavier car than its six-cylinder predecessor, the V8 suffered as emissions legislation became ever more strangulating, leading to concern that Aston Martin's traditional performance image might be lost. The arrival of the Vantage dispelled any such worries. Propelling Aston's V8 back into the supercar league was a tuned version of the existing 5,340cc engine breathing through a quartet of 48mm Weber carburettors rather than the standard 42mm instruments. Valves and ports were enlarged and the camshafts changed, the end result being an estimated maximum output of around 375bhp - in Rolls-Royce fashion the factory chose not to disclose the actual figure, merely claiming that power was 'adequate'. 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. This V8 Vantage was ordered new by Elton John (his knighthood came later) from Aston Martin's Sloane Street showroom and first registered in August 1985. Factory records show that the only option specified at time of purchase was detachable headrests while the original colour scheme is confirmed as the present Royal Cherry, with magnolia upholstery piped to match the body colour. Other noteworthy features include BBS wheels and a Sony stereo system. While in Elton John's ownership, servicing and maintenance were carried out by Weybridge Automobiles and marque specialists R S Williams and HWM. The most significant work undertaken during this period was R S Williams' extensive package of upgrades to the engine and drive train, including enlarging the former to 7 litres capacity, at a cost of around 25,000, which was carried out in 1992 at 8,390 miles. The late vendor bought the Aston when a selection of cars from Sir Elton's collection was auctioned in 2001, by which time it had covered approximately 10,000 miles. Since then the Vantage has been maintained by Aston Martin agents Stratstone of Wilmslow (up to 2005) and subsequently by a reliable local firm, R Webb of Chelford, for routine servicing and MoTs. The car went back to R S Williams in 2003 (at 17,500 miles) for an engine rebuild, which included new cylinder liners and Cosworth pistons of the latest specification, new Carrillo con-rods, new valve guides, new camshafts and new timing chains. Other works included the installation of a modified differential cradle and an up-rated radiator at a total cost of 37,000. Additionally there is a 7,000 bill on file from marque specialist Desmond Smail for suspension work, wheel bearings, new bushes, shock absorbers, springs and a service. Currently displaying a total of 44,000 miles on the odometer, this extensively upgraded and well-maintained V8 Vantage is offered with owner's handbook, service booklet (stamped to 1999), numerous expired MoTs, a few tax discs, Swansea V5 document, current road fund licence and fresh MoT.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood,UK
Lot Number284
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£68500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£78220
Condition rating1
Registration numberC194 BYW
Chassis numberSCFCV8/V8FTR12486
Engine numberV/580/2486/V
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2