"The most well-travelled modern Aston of recent years", with more than 200,000km to show for it…
By Matt Bird / Monday, October 5, 2020
While the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is renowned as a great GT car, there are certain journeys it isn't ideally suited to. It obviously wouldn't take on off-roading especially well, or be the greatest city car in the world, or serve as a particularly brilliant estate. Yet this particular Vantage has taken on all of those feats and more, having been the first car to drive the Asia-Pacific Highway.
Of all the ways to complete the 10,000 miles from London to Tokyo, a V8 Vantage would probably not be high on your list. Even the advert for this one admits the route was "gruelling", that "no sterner test of a modern production sports car" existed. Moreover, you probably wouldn't take a 100,000-mile V8 Vantage on such a demanding route, but that's exactly what happened here.
Back in 2006, this Vantage was part of Aston Martin's 'Project 30,000' celebration, where 30 employees drove 30,000 miles in 30 days to mark production of its 30,000th car. Consequently, the 2005 model had already covered a six-figure mileage by 2007. It was then that adventurers Richard Meredith and Phil Colley secured use of the Vantage for their 49-day drive through 18 countries – the length of the Asia-Pacific Highway. Their aim with the drive was to raise awareness of (and funds for) road safety campaigns in the developing world. It took "oppressive heat, frustrating bureaucracy, inhospitable terrain and petrol supply problems" to achieve, but 'Driving Home Road Safety 2007' was completed exactly on time. Meredith even wrote a book on the journey, a signed copy of which comes with the Vantage.
Perhaps the most extraordinary achievement, however, was that the Vantage is said to have taken it all in its stride. Don't forget this was after 100,000 miles of use already. The advert states that "minor modifications" were made for the trip, though the most significant appear to be raised suspension and a more serious sump guard. The Aston apparently never missed a beat, "proving a model of reliability and performing faultlessly throughout the trip". Pretty remarkable, really.
Sold in 2007 to benefit the charities involved, the Vantage has been with the owner who's now selling ever since. It's lived a much more sedate life over the past 13 years, covering less than 1,000 miles a year, meaning the odometer now stands at 129,000 miles. Or 207,686km, given it's a left-hand drive car. Funny to think that majority of that was achieved while Tony Blair was still Prime Minister, but it remains a fair achievement for any Vantage; the next highest mileage car after this one in the PH classifieds has almost exactly half the mileage, at 65,000.
The Vantage is going under the hammer with Silverstone Auctions next month, just serviced at Rybrook Aston Martin Henley and with an MOT until next September. It's only had four MOT advisories since 2008, in fact, if that helps allay some concerns. Either way the car richly deserves high mile hero status – very few Vantages will live half the life it has. And those keen to embark on more European road trips (once they're possible again), what could be better? See you at Le Mans…
See the original advert here.
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