Whilst some V8 Volantes had already been fitted with Vantage engines, plans for a production V8 Vantage Volante began back in 1984 under the internal code name of DP2014 or V8 Volante HP. Rather than just install the high-performance Vantage engine into the existing car, the opportunity for a radical updating of the now 20-year-old design was taken.
The original stylist of the DBS, DBS V8 and AM V8, William Towns, was engaged to update his earlier V8 design and bring it up-to-date for the mid-1980s. Starting with the Brunei Vantage Volante, Towns flared the arches further still and blended them into extended side skirts. The look was certainly in keeping with the times and made the Vantage Volante the most muscular V8 of all, 63 mm wider than the regular Volante. Strangely, the new 1980s re-styling of the Vantage Volante remained unique to the model and was not carried over to the Vantage saloon. Another crucial update was to the hood which gained a third electrically operated latch to prevent it being torn off at the high speeds the car was designed for. With stiffer suspension and yet more power, the new car was beefed up further with new pick-up points and more bracing.
Over its three-year production run, the total number of V8 Vantage Volantes of all derivatives was 194, the one on offer here today being the only example of its specification delivered new to Switzerland.
Rolling off the production-line in 1989, #15774 is believed to be the last but one car built by Aston Martin before the Ford acquisition of the marque. Supplied uniquely to the first of its three owners, with Aston factory fitted twin spoke Borrani wire wheels and documentation of the sale is available in its file. This special request by its first owner caused so much consternation, with Aston Martin at first refusing to fit the wheels and warrant the vehicle, stating that the 450bhp 5.3 litre V8 engine would produce too much torque for the strength of the wheels. There followed a great deal of correspondence between Borrani and Aston before suitably designed double-spoked strengthened wheels were fitted. The AMOC are aware of only one other AMV8 similarly equipped.
During its second period of ownership, the car had initially returned to Newport Pagnell for a complete overhaul before joining a number of vehicles on permanent display over many years. During this time, only a few hundred kilometres were added to the odometer before eventually returning to its owner in Germany.
Subsequently purchased by its current custodian some 14 years ago, he himself collected and drove the car from Munich back to his home in the South of France where it was enjoyed in the French Riviera. Eventually patriating the car to England, it then then received an engine rebuild and eventually a comprehensive restoration by marque specialists such as the renowned Grange of Exeter and Nostalgia cars of Taunton.
Having been restored to its original splendour and being of unique specification, naturally the car was selected and featured in the Aston-martin owners club magazine. So fastidious is the owner that in preparation for sale, the car has just received a restoration of the car’s walnut interior trimmings.