Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

When the time came for Aston Martin to introduce a new automobile, the company realized it needed not only to introduce a new model but also that its existing V-8 powerplant needed a significant upgrade. Designated Development Project 2034, the brief was broad: front-engine, rear-wheel drive, very fast and comfortable, and to ensure that the engine meets the global specifications for unleaded fuel that was on the way. Reeves Callaway Engineering in Connecticut, U.S.A. was chosen to consult on the project, giving the V-8 its first update in twenty years. The resulting engine débuted in the Virage in October 1988—now with four valves-per-cylinder and Weber fuel injection, developing 310 horsepower while enveloped in all new bodywork evocative of Aston Martin’s benchmark DB4 from the 1960s. In Vantage guise, output was raised to 375 horsepower, along with bigger ventilated disc brakes and lower-profile tires.

The Vantage moniker has always stood for something special at Aston Martin, signifying additional performance above that of the standard fare offered by the British firm. Vantage specs add a blocked-off bonnet scoop, blanked front air intake, front chin spoiler, and lipped boot lid. By the time a Vantage Volante version was introduced in 1988, output was increased to around 400 horsepower. Flared wheel arches, a boot spoiler, an extended front spoiler, and fibreglass extensions replaced the former bright metal sill covers to comprise the Vantage upgrades. Production ended in December 1989.

A most exceptional automobile and one of the final examples of the Vantage Volantes produced, this car is one of only 79 genuine X Pack versions with the desirable factory-fitted manual gearbox, adding to its exclusivity and desirability. Finished in the dreamy combination of Salisbury Blue and a dark blue mohair hood with a glass rear window over a sumptuous magnolia leather interior with contrasting blue piping, it is at the same time both strikingly beautiful yet understated in its elegance. It is complimented by a set of the finest Tanner Krolle fitted luggage in the boot.

Part of the RM Auctions event in London, October, 2012.

432 hp, 5,340 cc DOHC X Pack V-8 engine, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, rear suspension with de Dion live axle, radius arms, and coil springs, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 102.8 in.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Simon Clay

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante