- Rare and highly desirable Vantage Volante in fearsome “X-Pack” specification
- Finished in Suffolk Red over tan leather interior, with a matching power-operated tan soft-top
- Serviced by Aston Martin Monaco in September 2021
- Odometer showing just 1,769 km at time of cataloguing; condition commensurate with mileage
- Enticing combination of supercar performance, supreme luxury, and four-seat practicality
Bolstered by the on-screen exploits of Sean Connery in the box office hit Goldfinger, every man, woman, and child with a pulse yearned to own an Aston Martin DB5 in the mid-1960s. But it didn’t take long before the English marque’s premier grand tourer—and the remarkably similar DB6 that replaced it in 1965—began to appear somewhat long in the tooth. The task of modernising Aston’s flagship model fell to William Towns, who penned a strikingly modern interpretation of the marque’s trademark look—one that borrowed as much from the transatlantic success story of the Ford Mustang as it did its DB predecessors—to create the handsome and purposeful DBS in 1967.
The new car initially inherited the DB6’s Vantage-spec inline six-cylinder engine, finally being married with its new 5.3-litre Tadek Marek-designed V-8 in 1969, after which it was dubbed the DBS V8. With the demise of Tadek Marek’s ageing 4-litre inline-six, the grand tourer became known simply as the Aston Martin V8 in 1972. The ever-popular model began its life with a leading role in the television series The Persuaders!, where it was driven by Roger Moore’s character, Brett Sinclair, and would go onto perpetuate the marque’s long association with 007 by starring alongside Timothy Dalton’s James Bond in The Living Daylights—but there can be no greater testament to the modernity and enduring appeal of the model than the length of its production run, which carried on for two decades before eventually coming to a conclusion in 1989. In fitting style, the model went out not with a whimper, but with a bang.
In January 1986, at the New York International Auto Show, the Aston Martin V8 entered its fifth iteration, headlined by the transition from carburettors to a more compact Weber fuel-injection system. A very notable exception was the top-of-the-range Vantage, which was unveiled in Birmingham in the same year and featured the powerful “580 X” engine that made its debut in the fearsome V8 Vantage Zagato. These highly desirable variants became known as the “X-Pack” cars, benefitting from high-compression Cosworth pistons, four dual-barrel Weber carburettors, and high-lift camshafts, in addition to styling improvements that included a boot spoiler and slim bumpers with no overriders. In top tune, the “X-Pack” produced 432 horsepower and was capable of outsprinting almost every open sports car on the road—with the added benefit of two rear seats.
Chassis 15702 is a particularly special vehicle, being one of a small number of Vantage Volantes configured in left-hand drive and optioned with the desirable ZF five-speed manual gearbox. Specified in the eye-catching shade of Suffolk Red over tan leather interior, with complementary beige carpet and luxurious Wilton overmats, the car was delivered new to Achilli Motors in Milan, Italy before being registered for road use on 7 October 1988. Having lived a cossetted existence since, the car was serviced by Aston Martin Monaco in September 2021, when the odometer reading was 1,713 km. At the time of cataloguing this Vantage Volante had covered just 1,769 km, presenting today in a condition commensurate with its low mileage.
Offering the perfect blend of practicality, performance and road presence, the Aston Martin Vantage Volante “X-Pack” is a true gentleman’s express—a four-seat, open grand tourer that marries luxury appointments with supercar-baiting pace. As remarkable today as in 1988.