1993 Aston Martin Virage
Year of manufacture1993
Number of seats2
1993 Aston Martin Virage Volante Convertible
Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. 60094
'When the obituary of the Motor Car is written, probably in about seven years' time, I'm sure this design from the pens of British designers Heffernan and Greenley will be remembered as one of the most beautiful front-engined cars ever made. Aston Martin Chairman Victor Gauntlett wanted an evolutionary design, and the boys have done him proud. It's got terrific poise and looks every inch an Aston. In fact, the Virage in its present form is a car of such beauty and visual balance it's going to be a difficult shape to modify.' ? Rowan Atkinson, Car magazine.
Launched at the International Motor Show, Birmingham, in October 1988, the sensational new Virage restated its Aston Martin V8 forerunner's muscular looks in the modern idiom, contriving to be slightly narrower yet providing increased interior space. The car was still no lightweight, but with 330bhp on tap courtesy of the trusty 5.3-litre V8 engine's new 32-valve top end, was good enough for a top speed approaching 160mph and a 0-60mph time of under seven seconds.
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 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,' declared Fast Lane magazine.
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 'box continued to be available as an option.
One of the finest British performance sports cars of its time, the Virage Volante rapidly became a prized collector's item. Only 112 of these cars were produced in left-hand drive configuration like '60094', making this particular variant of the Virage Volante one of the rarer of post-war Aston Martins. First sold in the UK, this Aston was purchased by a Belgian collector and has always been well maintained and carefully stored. It is a stunning example that still looks and holds the road like new, having covered a mere 75,000 kilometres (approximately 46,600 miles) since it left the factory. One of the more affordable soft-top Aston Martins, this well cared for Virage Volante is offered with sundry bills and Belgian registration papers.