Rare colour combo but the same old beguiling Vantage shape underneath…
By John Howell / Thursday, 16 March 2023 / Loading comments
There’s a lot of baby blue around at the moment. It’s the colour that Hyundai launches all its N cars with, and I was in America recently, driving various new BMWs, and they do a nice shade of baby blue, too. And if, like me, it’s a colour that appeals, then you might be interested in this Gulf-coloured Aston Martin V8 Vantage S, complete with Speed Orange nose and tail. And if exclusivity is your thing, according to the advert you’re unlikely to see another one like it; there is only ‘an other’ one knocking about in the same spec.
Whatever you think of the paintwork, are there many people out there who would say the basis Vantage shape is anything less than handsome? I think not. In fact, I’d wager most people would happily preface ‘handsome’ with a ‘devastatingly,’ and still be underselling its lines. It may have been introduced as the baby of the range – the common or garden Aston, if there is such a thing – but there’s nothing ordinary about those curves.
That’s not to say the V8 Vantage was perfect in every area. There were always niggles about how it drove, from the loud but hollow performance of the original 4.3-litre cars to handling that, while good, wasn’t up to 911 beater snuff. But the thing was, the engineers didn’t give up. They may not have had a zany Zuffenhausen budget to play with, but they kept on playing nonetheless. Tinkering, fettling, making better, and it worked.
A while back I drove a V12 Vantage S and I had my socks blown off. I just never imagined it would be as good as it was, but it was. I loved so much about the way it went down the road that I found myself really wanting one, which, again, was a surprise. You see, over the years I’ve become used to Aston Martins disappointing me, but the V12 S steered well, stopped well, and the way it was damped – well, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
The thing is, this Vantage S doesn’t have the V12, which was something else I fell for that day. Those twelve cylinders yowling away like a choir of tuneful wolves were without a doubt felt like an inseparable part of the package. But this V8 Vantage S compensates for that: specifically, it has a six-speed manual ‘box instead of the automated manual of the V12. Not that I had a problem with the Sportshift III transmission, mind, but I know many people do.
Besides its paint, rarity, gearbox and looks, there’s also the condition of this car, which is lip-smackingly good. The 10,000 miles it’s covered is almost criminally low, but it means some lucky sod gets to buy a six-year-old Aston that, to my eyes, looks brand new. The specification list is also a long one that includes a 700w stereo and lashings of carbon fibre inside and out. For that, you’ll pay less than £70,000 even if you don’t haggle, which for a good-looking Aston doesn’t seem like bad value. And just in case baby blue really isn’t your thing but you’re taken with the orange bits, I’ve found one that will suit you and that’s in similarly fine shape. Don’t say I don’t try.
SPECIFICATION | Aston Martin V8 Vantage S
Engine: 4,735cc, V8, naturally aspirated
Transmission: six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 430 @ 7,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 361 @ 5,000rpm
Recorded mileage: 10,000
Year registered: 2017
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £69,850
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