2004 Aston Martin Vanquish Coupé Registration no. FJ53 WNC Chassis no. 501316
An entirely new Aston Martin for the 21st Century, the Vanquish debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2001, with deliveries commencing a few months later. The Vanquish took over from the Vantage V8, the Newport Pagnell factory undergoing an extensive multi-million pound refurbishment to accommodate it, gaining a new assembly line, paint shop, rolling road and water test facility.
Styled by Ian Callum, the man responsible for the DB7, the Vanquish was developed with assistance from Aston Martin's parent company Ford using constructional techniques more advanced than those of any then current road car. The monocoque tub was made of heat-cured bonded aluminium, braced by a central tunnel of carbon fibre to create a lightweight structure of exceptional rigidity, thus enabling the chassis engineers to develop suspension combining excellent handling and roadholding with unrivalled ride quality. As well as its superior strength/weight ratio compared to aluminium, the carbon fibre backbone also provided better insulation from transmission and exhaust heat in the cabin.
The all-independent suspension followed the accepted supercar norm and comprised double aluminium wishbones, coil springs, mono-tube damper and anti-roll bar front and rear. Four-wheel ventilated steel disc brakes gripped by four-piston callipers provided all the stopping power one needs, while ABS and traction control afforded maximum security in poor road conditions or 'on the limit'.
Aston Martin's first power unit of its type, the 6.0-litre, 48-valve, V12 engine developed 460bhp at 6,800rpm, with 400lb/ft of torque available at 5,500 revs. In its 'Stage 2' Vanquish specification it benefited from a 18kgs weight reduction, most of which was shed from the rotating masses to improve throttle response. A spin-off from Formula 1 technology, the state-of-the-art electronic engine management system provided 'drive by wire' throttle control and was linked to the six-speed manual gearbox's electro-hydraulic change mechanism, a 'first' for a production car. The gearchange was controlled by F1-style paddles and could be operated in either of two modes - fully manual and computer-controlled automatic - with a 'sport' setting available on both. The system allowed the driver to skip intermediate gears on down-changes without recourse to the clutch, while at the same time providing engine protection by means of a rev limiter. All emissions requirements worldwide were surpassed, including California's LEV (Low Emission Vehicle) standards.
Standard equipment inventory included almost everything the discerning connoisseur would wish for: Alpine stereo system, 6 CD changer, air conditioning, electrically adjustable seats, alarm/immobiliser, tyre pressure sensing, automatic rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlamp operation, automatic rear-view mirror dipping, trip computer, etc. The performance? 190mph and 0-60 in 4.5 seconds.
The Vanquish was built in two versions - two-seater and 2+2 - the rear seat space in the former being occupied by a shelf for golf bag or other luggage. A pleasing blend of up-to-the-minute technology and traditional materials, the interior was dominated by an imposing aluminium centre console extending from fascia to transmission tunnel. Connolly leather upholstery, Wilton carpeting and quilted Alcantara headlining emphasised the Aston Martin heritage, for despite its advanced specification, the Vanquish was built like all other Astons before it, one at a time, by hand. Production ceased in 2007, by which time the UK list price had risen to over £183,000.
Finished in Grigio Titanio with Parchment leather interior, this Vanquish left the factory equipped with sports alloy wheels, red brake callipers, Linn hi-fi system and satellite navigation. 'FJ53 WNC' has had only two owners, covering a mere 18,444 miles from new, and is offered with full Aston Martin service history from Paramount, Derby and Stratstone, Wilmslow. The car also comes with a V5C registration document and current MoT certificate.