Introduced at the 1996 Geneva
Salon, the V8 Coupe was added to the Aston Martin range which then included the
Vantage and Volante models. More elegant than the otherwise similar Vantage,
the V8 Coupe has slimmer wheel arches, distinctive 6-blade OZ Saturn alloy
wheels and a less overt front air dam. It is powered by a normally aspirated
version of the 5340cc quad-cam, 32 valve V8 Vantage engine, producing a still
impressive 350 bhp and 369 ft lb of torque. The automatic version would
complete the 0-60 dash in 5.9 seconds and reach a top speed of over 155 mph.
The production run continued until 1999 and reached a total of 101 examples –
it is a rare car by any standards.
My V8 Coupe is number 60 and
is a matching numbers example delivered in September 1997, finished in
Buckingham Green metallic with a beautiful Light Grey leather interior piped in
Black and Blue Wilton carpets. The odometer reading of just 56,500 miles is
supported by the service book which includes 14 stamps.
Most significantly, it is
unique in being fitted with a manual gearbox. The installation was undertaken
by the well-respected Aston Martin specialists Goldsmith and Young in 2006 and
has recently been supplemented by the installation of a 3.54:1 limited slip differential,
as fitted to the Vantage. The majority of Vantages also had manual gearboxes,
so my V8 Coupe is the closest to the
Vantage in terms of the driver experience, while being significantly less
complex and costly to maintain and available at a fraction of the price of a
The history records with the
car show a total expenditure of over £64,000. The most recent service was
undertaken by Vantage Engineering in April 2020 at a cost of over £9,000 and included
an MOT to April 2021. The car has been valued at £175,000 and is insured for
that figure. The impressive specification includes sports exhaust, cruise
control, heated electric front seats, remote central locking and climate
control. During my almost 3 years ownership I have enjoyed trouble-free trips
to central France and Scotland. Included are the Owner’s Guide, Technical Guide
and Parts Manual.
These limited-edition, Newport
Pagnell built V8 Coupes are among the last truly hand-built Aston Martins, they
offer extreme levels of comfort, effortless performance and discreet
exclusivity and are becoming increasingly collectable. My unique version is
ready for immediate use and enjoyment.
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