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1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante X-Pack 7L Manual

Year

1989

Make

Aston Martin

Model

V8 Vantage Volante X-Pack 7L Manual

Engine

7.0 RS Williams

Transmission

5 Spd.

Price

$499,995

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Description

‘It’s not by any means the world’s most expensive drophead in production (the Corniche costs an extra £23,000) nor is it quite the quickest, though a Porsche Cabrio would have to be very well driven to get away from it, but the Aston Martin Volante is perhaps the greatest. It is a true sports car which is also luxuriously comfortable.’ – Fast Lane.

With the introduction of the Vantage in 1977, Aston Martin’s V8 was thrust back into the supercar league. The name had previously been applied to high-power versions of the DB six-cylinder cars, and in the V8’s case the Vantage tune raised maximum output to 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 disc brakes 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 lipped boot lid.

Produced to satisfy demands from the USA, the Volante convertible had debuted in 1978 but it was not until 1986 that it became available to Vantage specification, which by this time meant around 400bhp. Arguably the ultimate in soft-top luxury, the V8 Volante boasted a lined, power-operated hood which, when erected, endowed the walnut embellished interior with all the solidity and refinement associated with the saloon version. Although its open-car aerodynamics meant that top speed suffered with the hood down, the Volante’s 150mph maximum was nevertheless more than enough for most owners.

Along with the Vantage engine and bonnet came flared wheelarches, a boot spoiler (a feature the Volante had previously lacked) and an 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, all the more so when it came with the optional 432bhp ‘X-pack’ engine. A total of 166 Vantage Volantes had been completed by the end of production in December 1989.

This superb V8 Vantage Volante was originally manufactured in left-hand drive configuration and sold new in July 1989 via British Motors in Monaco. The accompanying copy of its Car Record Card shows that ‘15790’ left the factory fitted with optional X-Pack engine, and was originally finished in Suffolk Red with magnolia trim and off-white hood. Aston Martin Works has confirmed that in December 1989 the car returned to Newport Pagnell and was converted from left- to right-hand drive, and from automatic to manual transmission on behalf of marque specialist, Desmond Smail.

A letter on file (dated December 2012) states that from 1991 to 2006 the Aston was used solely by Mr Touker Suleyman, chairman of the Low Profile Group. The car had been purchased from Aston Martin, Brighton in 1991 with a recorded mileage of circa 1,000, and was regularly maintained by marque specialist Rikki Cann. The aforementioned letter goes on to state that when sold in 2006 (at 39,000 miles) the car was in perfect working order and similar cosmetic condition.

The current vendor purchased this Vantage Volante in 2012 from Bramley Motor Cars, by which time the car had been fitted with a new 7.0-litre R S Williams engine. At time of purchase, the Aston had covered only some 2,000 miles since an extensive restoration. An advertisement on file states that the chassis had been inspected, new sills fitted, and the car sent to marque specialists Spray Tec Restorations for a full bare-metal, glass-out repaint in Cumberland Gray. A new black mohair hood was fitted at the same time, and the interior completely re-trimmed in light tan hide, which is complemented by matching carpeting extending to the luggage compartment and boot-lid recess. All interior veneers were refinished, and new pockets fitted to both doors, while the centre console was upgraded with a new raised centre armrest incorporating switches for the two-stage heated front seats. The interior was also equipped with a new and upgraded hi-fi system, controlled by a new Becker head unit providing Bluetooth telephone connectivity, and a DVD navigation system with iPod compatibility. Other noteworthy features include a Nardi wood-rim steering wheel, sunken switch panel, and veneered lid to the centre console coin box. More recent works have included overhauling the differential and raising the final-drive gearing for more relaxed and economical cruising, resulting in a much improved driving experience.

Last serviced (by R S Williams) in 2014, since when it has covered only some 1,000 miles, this extensively restored and concours-winning Vantage Volante comes with a good history file containing the stamped service booklet, V5 registration document, current MoT certificate, and all bills for work carried out.