In honour of the 40th anniversary of Aston Martin’s incredible 1959 victory at Le Mans, the marque built just 40 exclusive supercharged versions of their V8 Vantage. Unveiled next to the race-winning DBR1/2 at the 1999 Geneva Motor show, the so-named Vantage Le Mans was not just a ‘paint and trim’ special – it was a fully enhanced and upgraded model.
The Vantage Le Mans specification included a special front spoiler with larger cooling ducts, added to improve down force. The side vents in the Le Mans were reshaped, while the fuel caps were re-designed to look like fuel valves – all elements to hint at the DBR1. Inside, the sporting treatment continued, with perforated pedal pads, aluminium gear lever knob, and brushed metal panels replacing the traditional wood veneers. This exclusive model was sold as a spectacularly expensive Works Service conversion post production to avoid the thorny issue of homologation.
All V600 Le Mans were originally equipped with the V590 engine before returning to the factory to be re-engineered and upgraded by Aston Martin Works to the impressive V600 specification of 600 hp and 600 lb. ft. of torque. Vantage Le Mans specification also included the Driving Dynamics modification with the up-rated brakes and suspension mechanisms and hollow magnesium Dymag wheels. Several years after its release, a driving test by Classic & Sport Car found the Vantage Le Mans performance to be suitably impressive, with a 0-60 mph sprint of just 3.9 seconds. Interestingly, the V600 Le Mans was also the very last truly coach-built Aston Martin with every part of the car built in-house and hand finished.