For the small portion of V12 Vanquish still uncomfortable with the factory fitted system, the auto shifter can be removed and replaced with a normal gear stick and clutch pedal. The conversion by Aston Martin Works is extremely neat with the gear lever from the V8 Vantage, appearing from what was formally the cup holder. Later 2006MY S’ cars with the DB9 type centre console are a little more complicated to convert. Firstly the aperture for the gear stick need to be created as the later cars have an ash tray instead of a cup holder. Also the panel in the centre console has to be recessed back to allow full movement of the gear lever. Finally the redundant paddles are removed and the steering wheel cowl is recovered to hide the holes.
The ‘slick-shift’ was never offered as an option on new cars during initial building but was available retro-fitted after the cars had been registered for the road (in the same way as with the V600 Vantage models of the late 1990’s). Prices for a conventional stick-shift transmission commenced in August 2006 was listed as from £13,250 (+ VAT). By the middle of 2013, Works had carried out over 90 conversions to V12 Vanquish and V12 Vanquish S cars both at the Works and at selected dealers overseas.
* The recommended way to drive a paddle-shift V12 Vanquish in traffic is to leave a gap and not drift along as you would in a conventional automatic car.