'Brutal' was a word used more than once to described the fastest Aston Martin ever on its introduction in 1992, 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 well-liked 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, and 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, remarkable enough in itself, the engine is monstrously torquey, producing 550lb/ft at 4,000rpm, a figure that makes even the mighty Chrysler Viper V10's 450lb/ft seem puny by way of comparison and the ZF manual gearbox's six-speeds an un-necessary luxury.
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 car was reported as having already recorded 191mph while on test in France.
This early Vantage (the production sequence commenced with '70001') was supplied new via HWM to the current owner at his business address and effectively has had only one owner from new. Currently displaying a total of 41,437 miles on the odometer, the Vantage comes with full service history consisting of 11 stamps in the service booklet to 41,000 miles, all bar one from the supplying dealer. Recent works, undertaken by HWM in 2012, include replacement of engine seals, bodywork restoration and a repaint. 'M676 JPB' is described as in generally very good condition, the only faults notified being some clutch plate noise at low revs in 3rd gear and electrical switches in need of re-seating.
Finished in Chiltern Green with fawn leather upholstery, the car comes with the aforementioned service records, sundry invoices, recently expired MoT (October 2012) and Swansea V5 document.