1996 Aston Martin Vantage V550/600
Year of manufacture1996
1996 Aston Martin Vantage Coupé
Chassis no. SCFDAM2SZSBL70140
Engine no. 590/70140/M
"What the Vantage is, and what the Virage, Volante and Zagato are not, is a real Aston Martin: a big, very beautiful, very fast, albeit expensive GT with so much appeal and purpose behind it that it is more an experience than it is mere transport..." - Autocar & Motor.
'Brutal' was a word used more than once to described the fastest Aston Martin ever on its introduction in 1993, but as the Vantage had no less than 550bhp available to propel its two tons, the choice can only be judged fair comment.
After almost 20 years in production, Aston's V8 had been updated for the 1990s as the Virage. A consummate fast tourer, the Virage left room at the top of the range for an out-and-out sports car, hence the Vantage. Although the two models appeared superficially similar few panels were shared, while beneath the skin the Vantage chassis boasted the kind of extensive re-engineering required to cope with the massive increase in performance. The latter came courtesy of a blown version of Aston's 5,340cc V8, twin mechanically driven Eaton superchargers being preferred to turbo-charging on the grounds of superior throttle response. Quite apart from its stupendous maximum output of 550bhp, remarkable enough in itself, the Vantage engine is monstrously torquey, producing 550lb/ft at 4,000rpm, a figure that made even the mighty the Chrysler Viper V10's 450lb/ft seem puny by way of comparison. And for those who found 550bhp insufficient, there was the Works Service-developed 'V600' enhancement that brought with it an additional 50 horsepower together with upgrades to the wheels, suspension and brakes.
On test with Autocar magazine, a development Vantage raced to 60mph in a Ferrari 512TR-destroying 4.6 seconds, reaching the 'ton' just 5.5 seconds later. The standing kilometre was achieved in 23.1 seconds with the speedometer registering close to 150mph and although a true top speed figure proved unobtainable, the Vantage was reported as having already recorded 191mph while on test in France. Its price at launch was as eye-watering as the performance figures: a cool £177,600.
According to the Aston Martin Car Record Car (copy on file), this left-hand drive Vantage was ordered in the dignified colour combination of Cumberland Grey with black interior trim. A left-hand drive model, the Vantage was built for the German market and sold via Auto Becker. The AMOC Register (published 2000) records the Vantage as resident in Germany at that time in the ownership of noted Aston Martin collector - and good friend of Bonhams - Ulrich J Schoedel. At the time of cataloguing the odometer reading is 46,398 kms which we believe to be accurate.
Now being offered having been on static display, the car will naturally require recommissioning before returning to the road. Please also note the car will be subject to EU import taxes should it remain in the EU.