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The Audrain Concours Auction / 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage VolanteVIN. SCFCV81V0KTL15715

Lot 115
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
30 September 2022, 16:00 EDT
Newport, Rhode Island, International Tennis Hall of Fame

US$150,000 - US$200,000

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1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
VIN. SCFCV81V0KTL15715
Engine no. V585/5715 LFA

5,340cc DOHC V8 Engine
Electronic Fuel Injection
390bhp at 6,250rpm (approx, see text)
5-Speed Manual Transmission (see text)
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes

*Factory left-hand drive, cosmetic-Vantage spec example
*Single family ownership, delivered new to Florida
*Tastefully uprated and with only 10,000 miles from new
*Subject of a nearly $190,000 mechanical and cosmetic restoration


THE ASTON MARTIN V8

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 carburetors 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 tires. 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 fiberglass 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 .

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This V8 Vantage Volante was supplied new to Palm Beah Motor Cars. Completed on June 9, 1988, it was delivered to its first owner on November 8, 1988. Finished in Suffolk Red over Parchment leather with Bright Red piping interior and matching Red and Parchment edged carpets, it was fitted with a three-speed automatic gearbox and equipped with a power operated Off White hood (top), electric windows and mirrors, driving lamps, Ronal alloy wheels, and a full set of fitted luggage. It is one of only 47 automatic Cosmetic-Spec Vantage Volantes sold to the United States .

The Aston would remain within the same garage in single family ownership up to its offering here. Carefully maintained, in 2008 the decision was made to make the car into what it should have been from new—a rip snorting brute in a suit. Sent to The Creative Workshop in Dania Beach, Florida, the Aston was put under the knife and made stronger, faster, smarter. A European bumper kit was sourced to replace the bulky 5mph bumpers required for the American market. The majority of the work was focused on improving the driving experience. A Steel Wings sourced manual transmission kit did away with the old slush box and replaced it with a 5-speed Tremec manual giving one both the pleasure of rowing their own andthe benefit of two extra cogs over the old Chrysler 3-speed automatic. The brake system was upgraded to handle the extra juice with an oversized Wilwood performance disc brake kit. To make sure that the port and starboard performance could match that of the fore and aft motivation , an uprated, adjustable suspension kit was fitted with higher performance shocks, springs, and bushings along with meatier anti-roll bars. For the pièce de resistance, and the costliest part of the whole affair, the engine was torn apart, balanced, blue printed, and fitted with a high-performance, computer-controlled injection system along with a freer flowing headers and exhaust to let everyone know that these wide hips weren't just for show .

Two years later, when all was said and done, restoration receipts totaled nearly $190,000, about 100 extra ponies had been corralled under the bulging hood, and the local NIMBYs had a new car to complain about being too gloriously loud in the best possible way. Since the work was completed in 2010, another over $20,000 has been spent on additional maintenance while a mere 500 miles have been added to the clock, bringing the present total to a hair over 10,000 miles from new.

Like a British boxer who can recite Shakespeare while wearing a made-to-measure Turnbull & Asser suit and then proceed to knock you unconscious, this tire shredding Aston is complete with its owner's handbook, jack, service manual, copies of factory build records, copious receipts, its original fitted luggage set, a clean CARFAX report, and more. With plenty of power on tap, it will make the perfect velvet hammer for its next owner—the first new home since this Aston left the dealership in '89.

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