The story of the Prince of Wales
The powerful Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante was launched at the 1986 Birmingham motor show it was publicised as the most powerful four seat convertible on the market with speeds of 160 mph. Although, the car with its huge front air dam, flared wheel arches and side sills pulled out to look more like more like side steps and the rear boot lid flip looked more like a after market spoiler kit.
This what was seen as the way to go forward in the 1980's with super cars, but body enhancements was not to everyone taste and among those was the great Aston Martin supporter His Royal Highness, Prince Charles. Having already owning a Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante, which he had owned since 1969.
It was Emir of Bahrain who expressed a wish to present Prince Charles with a new Aston Martin and he was invited to choose his own specifaction.
What Prince Charles wanted was a Vantage Volante without the bodykit! So ensuing discussions with the Aston Martin factory, it was agreed to build a Volante to full Vantage mechanical specifaction, 400bhp-plus X Pack engine, but without spoilers, skirts distended wheel arches, but still have the flared wheel arches to accommodate the Vantages larger Ronal alloy wheels. A discreet front spoiler, much like the regular V8 Volante and no boot flip.
HRH's colour choice was British Racing Green with dark green hood and mushroom leather trim. He also stipulated some other options to include, no ash tray, but a small compartment for his sun glasses, no cigar lighter and the switches to be sunk into the trim. The centre box to be raised to a hight for a arm rest and a glass jar to fill with sugar lumps for his polo pony's, Nardi steering wheel and wood gear knob to match.
Aston Martin Chairman, Victor Gauntlett at the time rather liked Charles creation and so did many others walking the production line, so Victor ordered one for himself and the order was placed as a "POW Spec". Word went around among Aston Martin's preferred clients about the special Royal car proceeding down the line. The car never was released fully and never had a brochure or was on the official price list, but a further 27 POW's were built (in addition to Charles own car) and were built between 1986 to 1989, of which five were were built for the US market and had the injection engine with less power and the ugly black impact bumpers.
So 22 full POW specifaction cars with weber carburettors were built in right hand drive.
The car we have is one of the 22 cars built to Prince of Wales specifaction and was one of the two cars built with a tail flip.
The car was ordered by Mr Roger Bennington of Stratton Motors, Aston Martin dealer in Norwich, Norfolk for his own personal collection and was never officially registered when delivered to him.
Although, Mr Bennington did not want to sell the car, he was made a offer he could not refuse. To be included in the purchase price the car had to be converted to left hand drive, so with the assistance of the Aston Martin factory, it was converted to left hand drive and registered in the UK in 1990.
Purchased to be driven in Switzerland, the car would not meet the Swiss vehicle regulations, so it has been kept on the original UK registration since and used sparingly, returning back to the UK for MOT's and insurance.
We purchased this great car in 2015 and drove the car back to Hamburg and then to the UK, where it was fully checked over by the team at Classicmobilia.
The original Nardi steering wheel and wooden gear knob with the brass insert was fitted back on the car. The complete exaust system was replaced with the higher down pipes and smaller H section and sports rear boxes with down swept tail pipes.
The front suspension was overhauled with new bushes and joints. The car had a full service using all original Aston Martin parts and a full engine tune and set up.
LED light conversion to the instruments and a full chassis inspection with side sill covers removed and wax oyl treatment.
The paint and body is in excellent condition as is the original tan trim and carpets. The hood is totally water tight and in very good order.
The car comes with all original tools, books and keys and supported with a large history file which is very well documented through out the car entire life.