Left-hand drive 1984 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Sports Saloon Registration no. EU Registered Chassis no. SCFCV81VXFTL12455 Engine no. V580/2455V
An AMOC member since 1999 and currently one of the Club's representatives in Europe, this left-hand drive Vantage's owner first encountered the car when it was advertised for sale in Japan in 2003 'needing some cosmetic work'. Only 127 V8 Vantage saloons were produced in left-hand drive between 1977 and 1989 making them rare enough for him to jump at the opportunity. He also loved the specification of the car, which was finished in Royal Cherry with Magnolia trim, dark red piping and carpeting, and equipped with the later semi-automatic Coolaire Mk2 air conditioning. Having to partly restore the car meant that discreet upgrades could easily be incorporated while keeping the original appearance.
Chassis number '12455' was first registered on UK plates on 2nd December 1984 in the name of the Kuwaiti importer, Mr Jassim Boodai, then shipped to Safat in Kuwait. It later found its way to Japan where left-hand drive cars have a both curiosity value and desirability. After purchase the Vantage was first shipped to the UK where it received an EU registration. The owner then drove it home to Scandinavia via Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden, the whole trip taking around 48 hours including the flight to Heathrow. The journey consists of about 1,500 miles of driving and three or four ferry crossings depending on the route taken through Denmark.
This turned out to be the first of many European trips undertaken with the Aston including two more to the UK and two longer trips around Europe in 2009 and 2012 taking in Alpine passes, Italian lakes, Croatia's Dalmatian coast, the Côte d'Azur and many other beautiful scenic routes. And, of course, the unforgettable AMOC Nordic Tour in 2006. Two of the vendor's experiences vividly illustrate the cachet of owning an exclusive Aston Martin. When asked about possible wheel clamping in front of Harrods, the doorman replied: 'Oh, that car you needn't worry about the parking wardens, let me take care of them sir.' And on leaving the car for valet parking at Le Casino Monte Carlo he was greeted: 'Welcome sir, this is a real Bond car!' The Aston was then given the best spot next to the entrance. The vendor's account of his ownership - 'A well-travelled V8 Vantage' - is to be published in the AMOC Quarterly prior to sale.
The Vantage's restoration was completed in 2009 with the help of Rikki Cann in Essex, who undertook all the necessary panel work and preparation for the full re-spray; completely overhauled the engine to 'X Pack plus' specification; and fitted MSD ignition, a complete handling kit with rear anti-roll bar (making a big difference) and so on. A set of 16" Ronal type wheels and several upgrade parts had already been fitted, all bought from R S Williams and designed to take the power of their 7.0-litre conversions. An Alpine navigation system with DVD player has been fitted recently together with a digital TV, Bluetooth, rear-view camera, Infinity speakers and two extra amplifiers all discreetly hidden.
A lot of the routine servicing has been done by local specialists using original parts, and the service book also has two stamps from Aston Martin Works Service in Newport Pagnell and three from Rikki Cann, all during the vendor's 11-year ownership. Related bills and a current MoT certificate come with the car, which currently displays a total of 147,000 kilometres (approximately 91,200 miles) on the odometer.
The vendor has decided to develop his own business as an Aston Martin and classic car specialist, hence the decision to sell the Vantage. It is hoped that the new custodian will enjoy what is probably one of the best driving and best handling examples anywhere.