1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749

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Lot 5
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Voliante Pow

Sold for £ 651,100 (US$ 816,401) inc. premium
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible
Registration no. F258 PBM
Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
*One of only 27 built to 'Prince of Wales' specification
*First owned by Aston Martin CEO, Victor Gauntlett
*Formerly registered '1 AML'
*Known history
*36,143 miles from new
*Freshly serviced by Aston Martin Works

Footnotes

  • For many the jewel in the Aston Martin crown, the Vantage Volante to 'Prince of Wales' specification was produced for only two years, drawing uniquely from the best of the Volante and Vantage features. The factory went on to build 27 examples of the 'Prince of Wales' specification Vantage Volante before V8 production finally ceased in December 1989.

    The Aston Martin V8 survived the company's changes of ownership and financial upheavals of the 1970s, appearing in numerous variants, one of the more exclusive being the Volante convertible. Introduced in response to customers' demands for such a car, the latter first appeared in June 1978. Arguably the ultimate in soft-top luxury, the Volante did not become available to high-performance Vantage specification until 1986. Along with the more powerful Vantage engine and its associated bonnet came flared wheelarches, a boot spoiler (a feature the Volante had previously lacked), and an 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.

    Not all Aston Martin customers found the new look to their liking however, preferring the more restrained appearance of the earlier model. Foremost among these was HRH the Prince of Wales, who ordered his Volante with the Vantage engine and bonnet but otherwise effectively to standard specification. The Prince's car was a gift from the Emir of Bahrain, Sheik isa Bin Sulman Al-Khalifa. Knowing the Prince's fondness for the marque - he still owns the DB6 MkII Volante given to him by HRH the Queen for his 21st birthday - the Emir suggested a new Aston Martin. Understandably, the Prince was keen to have what was then the ultimate expression of the V8 range, the Vantage Volante, though his preference was for the styling of the original V8 Volante.

    In consultation with Kingsley Riding-Felce, then in charge of the department that would become Aston Martin Works, it was decided to build a car that looked like the standard Volante but incorporated the more potent Vantage engine and running gear. Fortunately, only minor changes to the Volante's looks were required, being mainly confined to slightly flared wheelarches to accommodate the Vantage's 16" diameter wheels, and the provision of a special chin spoiler. At the Prince's request, his car was finished in British Racing Green, with a dark green hood and mushroom interior leather trim.

    Highly impressed by the Prince's 'one off', Aston Martin CEO Victor Gauntlett ordered one for himself - chassis number '15749', the car offered here. The order book noted 'Build to PoW specification' - the first time this iconic model designation had been used. The factory records show that '15479' was finished in Rolls-Royce Balmoral Green with hood of similar green Everflex, rather than mohair. The interior was trimmed in tan leather, and Gauntlett had the ashtray reinstated (it had been converted into a storage area in the Prince's car). Straight, rather than turned down, exhaust pipes were another special feature.

    A Nardi wood-rim steering wheel was fitted together with a very impressive sound system consisting of a CD changer, two separate amplifiers, four speakers on each side, and an enormous 'bass bin' on the pared shelf behind the rear seats. This audio system was the very finest available in 1989. The car was, of course, serviced by the factory during Gauntlett's ownership, on the last occasion at 2,230 miles. First registered 'F864 OYR', it then carried the factory's famous '1 AML' plates and finally was reregistered 'F258 RBM'.

    In 1990, '15749' was sold and shipped by air to Japan via the Dominican Republic (Great Britain has an embassy there and the country is used as a hub for cargo). The Aston had been sold to the president of Autopolis for ¥76,644,223 - at that time equivalent to £297,640 - and was a present to his wife, Michiko. Autopolis is a Formula l racing circuit that was built in the mountains near Kuma; it was an ambitious project but for various reasons the scheme collapsed just before the planned inaugural race. Within the grounds of the circuit was a car museum, and it was here that '15749' was exhibited until its sale by the receivers in August 1993. The Aston was bought by a major car dealer from Fukuoka City, who displayed the car in his air conditioned and heated main showroom until September 1998 when it was purchased by an English resident of Oaza-Fukui, Mr Humphrey Smith. When purchased, the car had an odometer reading of 3,820 miles. Mr Smith maintained the car meticulously and kept all bills and receipts. It was discovered that the CD changer was still filled with Victor Gauntlett's collection of classical music CDs, which he had forgotten to remove.

    Circa 1999, the Aston was repatriated to the UK. After some invoiced work had been carried out by Aston Martin dealer Desmond Smail, the car was sold by marque specialist R S Williams to a Swedish citizen resident in London, Mr P Tornberg, who owned the car until March 2015. It was during Mr Tornberg's ownership that £32,500 was spent with RSW on converting the engine to 7 litres capacity for a maximum output of 500bhp, together with appropriate suspension upgrading. Later, the standard brakes were wisely swapped for superior AP Racing components. Subsequently, the car was serviced in the Nicholas Mee workshops. When he retired, Tornberg took the car back with him to Sweden, from where it finally returned to the UK again in March 2014, being registered in Nicholas Mee's name to facilitate its importation.

    The accompanying stamped service booklet records regular servicing - since 2001 by RS Williams on four occasions and Nicholas Mee twice. In November 2016 the PoW returned to Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell (at 36,143 miles) and is offered fresh from their £10,000 service. '15749' also comes with a copy of its factory Car Record Card, a current MoT certificate, and a UK V5C registration document. One of the rarest and most sought after of post-war Aston Martins, this beautiful Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' is worthy of the closest inspection.

Saleroom notices

  • Please be advised that the registration number in the catalogue is incorrect and should read 'F258RBM'. The date in the printed catalogue is also incorrect and should read 1989.
Contacts
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales' 7.0-Litre Convertible  Chassis no. SCFCV81C6KTR15749
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