V8 Vantage Volante (Prince of Wales / PoW)
V8 Vantage Volante (Prince of Wales / PoW)

V8 Vantage Volante (Prince of Wales / PoW)

(1986 - 1989)

When Aston Martin unveiled the bespoilered Vantage Volante, the skirts and body enhancements were not quite to everybody's liking. One particular customer, HRH, The Prince of Wales, who has owned a DB6 Mark II Volante since 1969, obviously wasn't keen on the new additions. When the late Emir of Bahrain offered to purchase the Prince, as a gift, a brand new V8 Volante, Prince Charles requested Vantage performance yet with a more restrained look. Whilst the wheel aches were slightly flared and the larger 16 inch wheels and tyres of the V8 Vantage saloon were fitted, the resulting 'Q car' looked almost indistinguishable from a first series V8 Volante.

V8 Vantage Volante (Prince of Wales / PoW)

Once Prince Charles had taken delivery of his rather special car, other customers began to ask for something similar. Thus AML began offering to those special people the new derivative which has become known as the V8 Vantage Volante Prince of Wales or PoW for short. Each subsequent car had their own unique features and thus no two are alike. Needless to say that the  PoW is now considered as the pinnacle of the V8 range and featured below are a number of these wonderful cars

This car was photographed at Stonor Park during the AMOC concours in May 2000. By coincidence, that this was a location for the James Bond film, The Living Daylights, where Timothy Dalton drove a V8 Volante (with a Vantage engine) very similar to this car.

These two examples are absolutely typical of the POW cars; subtle and restrained yet bursting with presence. They are the most highly sort after variant of the V8 with the combination of convertible coachwork, subtle yet elegant lines with tremendous performance. Spotting the POW’s are difficult as they are so similar to the series 1 Volantes. All I can suggest is to look for the subtle front air dam, large flared wheel arches, flat boot without a lip, 16 inch (usually Ronal) wheels, Vantage bonnet bulge with the late spec wing mirrors and side indicator repeaters behind the front wheels. Just to make things even more difficult, there are some standard Volantes converted to appear like POW’s – and I’ve been fooled more than once.

The AML/Brooks auction in May 2000 saw two ‘POW’ Vantage Volantes on sale. This car, presented in Rolls Royce Graphite Gray, features a Burgundy Hide interior and sold for almost £100,000. A really decent car in an interesting and unusual colour combination.

The interior of the POW specification cars typically features a leather covered central arm rest, walnut covered oddments box, recessed switches and a wood rimmed Nardi steering wheel. The oddments box replaces the ashtray and cigar lighter, as Prince Charles is a non-smoker. Not all POW cars feature these specific features. These are pictures of the interiors of two different cars. For more information and pictures of the exclusive POW cars try www.v8vantage.com POW gallery

The above Windsor Blue PoW V8 Volante is unique in so much that it was the only example of the model built with automatic transmission.

From 1986 to 1989 a total of 27 cars were built. Of these, 22 were full spec right hand drive cars, all for the British market, the other 5 were LHD destined for North America. The US cars should actually be described as ‘cosmetic’ PoW as they were not built with a European tune Vantage engine but instead received the much lest powerful Federal emission controlled fuel injected engine. These cars do feature the smart Ronal wheels, wider wheel arches and stiffer Vantage suspension. Sadly they were also fitted with the ugly black 5 mph impact bumpers.

Exterior and interior details of the V8 Vantage Volante PoW

Exterior features of the V8 Vantage Volante Prince of Wales

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

Interior features of the V8 Vantage Volante Prince of Wales

It has to be mentioned here that as every PoW is unique, not all of them have all of the features shown above.

Prince Charles must have really enjoyed his PoW as by 1995 he had covered 46,000 miles in it. It was auctioned by Sotheby’s in December 1995, the entire sale price of £100,000 was donated to the Prince’s charity, The Prince’s Trust.