1994 Aston Martin Virage
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Formerly the property of HRH The Prince of Wales
1994 Aston Martin Virage Volante 6.3-Litre Convertible
Registration no. L199 GGS
Chassis no. SCFDAM2C9PBR60107
'The Volante is the new soft-top version of the Virage incorporating the latest changes made to the full Aston range. Beautiful hand-built craftsmanship abounds in this most aristocratic of convertibles.' - Fast Lane.
The Volante convertible had been the big seller of the 'old' V8 line-up, so the only surprise was that it took Aston Martin more than two years from the Virage coupé's introduction to come up with a soft-top equivalent. The production Virage Volante debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1991, a prototype having been displayed at Birmingham's NEC the previous October. Weighing in at over two tons, the open Volante was even heavier than the closed coupé, itself no lightweight, this increase in weight being accounted for by considerable body strengthening to compensate for the absent roof, plus the extra complication of the power-operated convertible hood. Electrically powered, the latter was beautifully made and incorporated a glass rear window, complete with heated de-misting elements. Mechanically the Volante remained much the same as its closed cousin, though with slightly lower final drive gearing to aid acceleration through the gears. Top speed was slightly reduced, to a still outstanding 150mph. Automatic transmission was standard on the Volante, the original three-speeder being superseded in 1993 by a new four-speed dual-mode (normal/sport) unit. The five-speed manual gearbox continued to be available as an option.
Ahead of its forthcoming twin-supercharged Vantage, Aston Martin offered 6.3-litre conversions for the existing 5,340cc V8-engined Virage and Virage Volante. When first released, the '6.3' produced 456bhp at 6,000rpm and 460lb/ft of torque. The resulting performance gains - 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of up to 174mph (depending on the axle ratio) - required serious chassis modifications, the '6.3' boasting sports suspension, 18"-diameter alloy wheels shod with Goodyear 285/45ZR18 tyres, and double vented and cross-drilled 14" front disc brakes. Outwardly the '6.3' in its 'wide body' configuration was distinguishable by flared wheelarches and new front, side and rear valances.
Owned from new by Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd and used by HRH the Prince of Wales until 2007/2008, chassis number '60107' was converted to 6.3-litre specification (engine, suspension, brakes and exhaust) by Aston Martin Works Service but unlike many Virage Volante '6.3s' has the standard (non-wide) body. This followed the tradition of the 'Prince of Wales'-specification V8 Volante of the 1980s, which retained the more subtle standard body to suit HRH's tastes. Other bespoke features include a police radio (since removed), second rear-view mirror and a leather-trimmed container in the centre armrest for the polo ponies' sugar cubes. A manual transmission model, the Volante was delivered finished in Special British Racing Green (non-metallic) with green Everflex roof, Mushroom leather upholstery, black leather dashboard top, and green carpets.
From circa 2007/2008, the car was displayed for some 4-5 years at Aston Martin's Headquarters at Gaydon, its arrival coinciding with the project, led by Works Service, to convert HRH's DB6 Mk2 Volante to run on bio-ethanol fuel. While in use from 1994 until 2007, '60107' was always serviced and maintained by AMWS at Newport Pagnell and is accompanied by its service booklet. The car also comes with a current MoT and a V5C document.
The current vendor purchased the Car in May 2012. The recorded mileage at that time was 33,960, to which the owner has added 889 miles, making the current total 34,849. Works Service had carried out a major service and MoT'd the car immediately before the 2012 sale. With its unique specification and former Royal patronage, this beautiful Virage Volante is a 'must have' for the serious Aston Martin collector.