And each of the nine cars was built to a completely individual and unique specification. Whilst eight were built on the standard chassis, a single V8 Vantage Volante was built on the longer V8 Volante chassis. Just to confuse things a little more, a single long chassis V8 Volante (with a chassis number in the long chassis range) was given a supercharged engine. Of the eight on the standard chassis, three were built to European left hand drive specification, the remaining five to UK right hand drive.
I would like to note that there is a little conflict as to how to describe this particular model. Officially they are V8 Vantage Volante special edition but often added to this is the term ‘short chassis’ to differentiate them from the long chassis V8 Volante. Strictly speaking, the cars sit on a standard length chassis and the AM register advises against calling them ‘short chassis’. Problem is that adding ‘short chassis’ is an easy way to separate these cars from the 1980’s V8 Vantage Volante and the later LWB V8 Volante.
This car, chassis 007 was spotted at the 2002 AMOC Horsfall race meeting. It was being displayed with a ‘set’ of six different Astons of similar coachwork and trim specification ranging from a 7 litre V8 Vantage to a Vanquish – each finished in Coniston Sand together with a parchment leather piped in charcoal. Each special edition is unique – this particular example has been built to full V600 specification but doesn’t have the ‘Le Mans’ style bodywork additions.
This is chassis 002, It was finished in September 2000 and subsequently road tested by Autocar before delivery to it’s very lucky owner. The car is of course, unique, with a V600 specification engine, ‘Le Mans’ style bodywork enhancements, traction control and a five speed gearbox. The white faced instruments are dominated by a large rev counter almost dead ahead of the driver.
One small but interesting fact about the last car. A sample of oil contained in a small phial used when the engine was being bench tested was auctioned at the AML/Bonham’s sale in May 2001. It was sold for a massive £800.
Basic list price for each car was £230,000 although most cost considerably more as each owner had the car personalised. An example was sold at the AML/Bonham’s auction in May 2002 for £254,500 including buyers premium.
This car, chassis 006, finished in Cumberland Grey with a smoke green interior is the first of the eight short wheelbase cars. One of the three left hand drive examples, this European specification car was photographed in the showrooms of Nicholas Mee in London in March 2003 where the car was on sale – it quickly sold.
This is chassis number 001, built to V600 specification but not the first completed. Certainly they were built out of chassis number order. Finished in Antrim Blue with parchment interior piped dark blue, the centre seat panels are in Alcantara. Of special note are the unique vents either side of the rear wheel. The car came onto the market in the AM/Bonhams auction in 2007, only the second to be sold at auction. I have clear memories of this car together with a supercharged Vantage passing me at huge speed on a French Autoroute near to Caen following the 2005 Le Mans 24 hour race. The Gendarme on the BMW motorbike could hardly keep up.
The third car of the eight was initially started as a right hand drive car but was changed to left hand drive part way through the build
This is 71008, and I believe that this car was the very last V8 and indeed last Volante to be built at Newport Pagnell. Perhaps the most discrete of the short chassis cars, 008 is finished in Balmoral Green with fawn interior, and has the full V600 package including the 5 spoke Dymag wheels. I have only seen the car once, parked at Newport Pagnell for the Bonhams/AM auction in 2005. As with other special edition cars, the rear has V8 Volante badges whereas the side vents have V8 Vantage badges.
Special thanks to Kean Rogers for assisting with this particular page.