Displacement: 5,341 cc
Horsepower: 390 bhp @ 5,800 rpm
Engine Torque: 380 lb ft @ 4,000 rpm
Top Speed: 170 mph
0 - 60 mph: 5.3 seconds
click on image to enlarge
When first shown to the public in 1967, the fabulous William Towns-designed DBS created quite a stir, as it represented such a radical departure from the familiar Touring bodied Astons that had been in production since 1958. Though initially intended as a limited production car, it ultimately enjoyed the longest production run of any Aston model, remaining basically unchanged until it bowed out gracefully in 1989. Conceived to house the all-new Tadek Marek V8, when production got underway, the V8 was not ready and so at first continued with Marek’s 6 cylinder from the previous generation. Finally, in 1969, it fulfilled its destiny and the DBS V8 was launched (though the 6 cylinder version soldiered on concurrently until 1972).
In 1977, the factory decided to up the ante, with the launch of the V8 ‘Vantage’. Through heavy massaging of the already mighty V8, the Vantage was imbued with a top speed of 170 mph and 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, making it the world’s fastest production car at the time.
The following year, a convertible version of the V8, named the Volante, was debuted. Much to the chagrin of Aston devotees, it was not offered in Vantage specification however, due to concerns over safety. (The factory finally relented and began offering a production V8 Vantage Volante in 1986, though it was purely a cosmetic package with no additional power in US supplied cars.) This was unacceptable to some of Aston’s power hungry, sun worshipping clients and so they decided to take matters into their own hands by ordering Vantage specification components from the factory and then having them independently installed on their Volantes, thereby creating the ultimate convertible.
Offered here is one example of such. Delivered new to a wealthy businessman in Northern California, with the rare 5-speed manual transmission, he immediately petitioned the factory and had all the necessary Vantage ingredients shipped to his local Aston service agent, the renowned Griswold’s, in Berkeley, California. They duly installed the new parts and lo, a behemoth was born! In 2002 the car passed to an avid car collector and speed enthusiast in Los Angeles, California. Never satisfied with enough, he determined to unleash yet more fury with the addition of some performance upgrades from legendary Aston tuners, Steel Wings. Furthermore, he set about improving the already impressive handling by installing the latest technology springs, shock absorbers and bushings. It now cornered as well as it drove. Always on the hunt for the next challenge, he reluctantly sold the car to its current Beverly Hills owner in 2006. He in turn, undertook a complete, high standard repaint of the car and also replaced the leather and soft-top. Consequently, the car looks as good as it drives.
This is a unique opportunity to purchase a life-long, California, chrome bumpered Volante with a full European specification Vantage engine in superb condition throughout.