With the resurrection of the 'Vantage' name in 1977, Aston Martin enthusiasts everywhere breathed a sigh of relief; previously applied to high-power versions of the DB six-cylinder cars, it had been dormant since the V8's arrival back in 1969. A heavier car than its six-cylinder predecessor, the V8 had suffered as emissions legislation became ever more strangulating, leading to concern that Aston Martin's traditional performance image might be lost. The arrival of the Vantage dispelled any such worries.
Propelling Aston's V8 back into the supercar league was a tuned version of the existing 5,340cc engine breathing through a quartet of 48mm Weber carburettors rather than the standard 42mm units. Valves and ports were enlarged and the camshafts changed, the end result being an estimated maximum output of around 375bhp - in Rolls-Royce fashion the factory chose not to disclose the actual figure, merely claiming that power was 'adequate'.
The story of the V8 Vantage X Pack
Noting that the Vantage 'is one on the very fastest cars available at any price,' Motor observed: 'Only two other cars car approach the Vantage's performance – the Porsche 3.3 Turbo and the Ferrai 512 Berlinetta Boxer. Certainly the Porsche is not as fast, and while we haven't tested the Ferrari in its latest form, we doubt that it matches the Aston's pulverising performance: a maximum of 168mph, 0-60 in 5.2 sec, 0-100mph in 11.9 sec'.
Its superior performance aside, the Vantage was readily distinguishable from the standard product by virtue of its blocked-off bonnet scoop, blanked air intake, front chin spoiler, and lip on the boot lid. Chassis changes were minimal apart from the adoption of bigger ventilated discs all round and low-profile Pirelli tyres.
Not all Aston Martin customers found the new look to their liking however, preferring the more restrained appearance of the earlier model. Foremost among these was HRH The Prince of Wales, who ordered his Vantage Volante convertible with Vantage engine and bonnet but otherwise effectively to standard specification.
The story of the V8 Vantage X Pack
ZF five-speed manual transmission was standard equipment on the Vantage, though a handful of cars was built with the Torqueflite automatic gearbox. With either transmission performance was shattering, the Vantage's 0-100mph time of 12.7 seconds making it the world's fastest accelerating production car at that time. For those with a yen for even greater performance, there was the optional 'X-Pack' of engine enhancements that raised peak power to a mighty 432bhp.
“AML saved the best for last…the V580X V8 Vantage. It was to be the swansong for the William Towns designed V8 coupe and the most powerful production Aston Martin built in that era. The Aston Martin Vantage “X- Pack”, as the final evolution has affectionately become known by owners and enthusiasts alike, was the culmination of lessons learned over 10 years hand building these atypical “supercars”.”- Kean M Rogers, ‘Aston Martin V8 Vantage’.
With 43 left hand drive Aston Martin V8 Vantage X Pack produced, only 29 of which were manual cars, a very rare breed indeed!
This car was built to German specifaction in 1987 original left hand drive, manual five speed gearbox finished in Cannock Black with Black Onslow leather trim with Black carpets and Grey roof lining.
Prepared to 580 X pack specifaction and KPH speedo.
The car was shipped to Azabu Motors in Japan where it spent most of its life, then in 2016 it was shipped to the USA and then on to UK, where it was UK registered and all European taxes paid.
The car has ONLY covered 8,000 kms, and was totally re-commissioned, full service, all suspension rubbers replace and rubber brake lines replace, full exhaust system and tyres replaced.
Both outer stainless steel sill covers removed and side sills full inspected and wax oyled as was all chassis members.
The car is in very fine order throughout and is a part of Aston Martin history in the finest order, never to be repeated.