1988 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Series 2' Convertible Registration no. Dutch registered Chassis no. SCFCV81V9JTL15663 Engine no. V/580/5663/LFA
With the resurrection of the 'Vantage' name in 1977, Aston Martin enthusiasts everywhere breathed a sigh of relief; previously applied to high-power versions of the DB six-cylinder cars, it had been dormant since the V8's arrival back in 1969. A heavier car than its six-cylinder predecessor, the V8 had suffered as emissions legislation became ever more strangulating, leading to concern that Aston Martin's traditional performance image might be lost. The arrival of the Vantage dispelled any such worries.
Propelling Aston's V8 back into the supercar league was a tuned version of the existing 5,340cc engine breathing through a quartet of 48mm Weber carburettors rather than the standard 42mm units. Valves and ports were enlarged and the camshafts changed, the end result being an estimated maximum output of around 375bhp. Chassis changes were minimal apart from the adoption of bigger ventilated discs all round and low-profile Pirelli tyres. The Vantage was, nevertheless, readily distinguishable from the standard product by virtue of its blocked-off bonnet scoop, blanked air intake, front chin spoiler and lip on the boot lid.
Produced to satisfy demands from the USA, the Volante convertible debuted in 1978 but it was not until 1986 that it became available to Vantage specification, which by this time meant around 400bhp. Along with the Vantage engine and bonnet came flared wheelarches, boot spoiler (a feature the Volante had previously lacked) and extended front spoiler, while glassfibre extensions replaced the model's hitherto characteristic chromed sill covers. The result was a muscular, aggressive-looking car that could justifiably claim to be the world's fastest convertible, all the more so when it came with the optional 432bhp 'X-pack' engine. A total of 166 Vantage Volantes had been completed by the end of production in December 1989.
This left-hand drive V8 Vantage Volante comes with copies of original factory documents showing that it was prepared to 'cosmetic Vantage Volante F.I. automatic convertible' specification for sale in the USA, whose emissions legislation precluded the use of the Weber carburettor-equipped Vantage engine. This car's specification included the Vantage Volante body; the standard Volante's Weber fuel-injected engine; cruise control; the smooth bonnet; and the standard Volante front grille. Other features listed include Windsor Red paintwork; Burgundy-piped Parchment leather upholstery; off-white hood; steering wheel cowl, rim and spokes in Parchment; and steering wheel boss in Burgundy. The purchaser was Palm Beach Motor Cars in Florida and the first retail purchaser Mar-Flite Inc of Portland, Oregon.
Restored in 2010 and currently registered in the Netherlands, the Aston boasts European-specification chrome bumpers and is described by the vendor as in generally excellent condition with very good, recently serviced engine and very good original interior. Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned factory paperwork, sundry restoration invoices, Dutch registration document and Dutch MoT.