Lot 313 - 1994 Aston Martin Virage ‘Widebody’ Volante (6.3 litre)
|Odometer reading||47,272 miles|
|Estimate||£85,000 - £110,000|
Introduced at the October 1988 Birmingham Motor Show to almost universal acclaim, the Virage was the first new Aston Martin for eighteen years. A satisfying blend of muscularity and understatement, its sleek aluminium silhouette was the work of John Hefferman and Ken Greenley. Based around a modified version of its Lagonda sibling's sheet-steel platform chassis, the newcomer benefited from revised wishbone independent front suspension, a lightened de Dion rear axle, four-wheel disc brakes and power-assisted rack and pinion steering. Suitably reworked by Callaway Engineering of Connecticut, USA (using 'four-valve' cylinder heads, hydraulic tappets and Weber electronic fuel injection), its 5340cc 'quad-cam' V8 engine not only satisfied forthcoming emissions legislation but also developed some 330bhp and 350lbft of torque. Allied to a choice of either three-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmissions.
Lack of anticipated sale orders and a general lack of enthusiasm for the car's performance led the Works in house engineering team to devise a reworked 6.3 lire conversion for customers who wanted more power and greater performance. It is believed that only 22 brand new Volantes were driven around to the back door of the factory after delivery, each of which was then fitted with a new wide body, new wheels and suspension, an uprated 500bhp engine improving the 0-60 time and enabling the car to make 165mph.
First registered in 1994, the Vantage on offer today is one of the much rarer and seriously more desirable 6.3 factory converted Volantes, or convertible, models. It is described as being in excellent condition throughout with the bodywork finished in Aston Martin Racing Green beautifully complemented by the magnolia hide upholstery with Spruce piping and Fern Green carpets. That engine is mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox. Much care and attention has been lavished upon L11 AML; last year Rikki Cann, the well-known Aston Martin V8 specialist based in Essex, completely rebuilt the engine at a cost in excess of £15,000 and at the same time hoses, radiator and airconditioning condenser were all replaced. The suspension was also removed and powder coated by Stratton Aston Martin when the car was acquired in 2012. It has a detailed maintenance history file and upgrade history going back for rather more than the four years that it has been owned by the vendor, including old MoT test certificates going back over many years including a photograph album of the work done during his ownership. The tyres have been recently replaced and all in excellent condition and a Rikki Cann service took place 1,000 miles ago. Supplied with a DB9-style battery trickle charger installed discreetly in the boot, green lambs-wool overmats and the original works number plate, L11 AML, these superb examples, like its fixedhead brother, are fast becoming the latest Aston Martin investment vehicles to watch.