RE: Aston Martin Vantage V600 Le Mans | Spotted

RE: Aston Martin Vantage V600 Le Mans | Spotted

Thursday 25th November

Aston Martin Vantage V600 Le Mans | Spotted

Built to celebrate Aston's 1959 victory at Le Mans, the special edition V600 was always something special...



It seems odd to me that the Aston Martin Virage didn't hit the ground running. On its release in 1989, it delivered the classic wedge shape with just enough grace and aggression thrown in for good measure - yet just 411 found homes. Its good looks are another from the Heffernan-Greenly school of design, which also penned the Continental R I happened to single out last week, and it's a design that, if anything, has grown better with age.

Perhaps the reason for its tardy sales was a certain lack of mechanical sophistication. The de Dion and Watts linkage rear suspension was far more muscle car than supercar, and then there was the parts-bin raiding, which was very inclusive to say the least. Rather than just concentrate on one manufacturer, like today's Aston tie-up with Mercedes, the Virage grabbed everything it could from everywhere: it had Audi 100 headlights, a Vauxhall Carlton steering column and stalks, a Jaguar XJ40 climate control panel and seat switches, while select other switches and the heater vents were bagged from the Ford Granada.

But when the Virage became the Vantage in 1993, none of that seemed to matter anymore. A skilfully executed redesign by Marek Reichman enhanced the visuals and even though you still opened the doors using Jaguar XJS door handles, you no longer cared. It became all about that engine, with those two Eaton superchargers and the colossal power and torque they added. The 5.3-litre V8 produced 550hp in standard Vantage form, which already made it the most powerful production car at the time - although if you asked Aston Martin's Work Service to fiddle with it some more, they would upgrade it to V600 spec.



The V600 meant an additional ยฃ40k-odd added on to the already considerable price tag of the Vantage, which was the product of many hours of hand-built labour at Newport Pagnell. It had to be part-deconstructed to fit the numerous the V600 additions, though, which included AP brakes and better cooling to manage its huge potential. The engine produced a beautifully aligned 600hp and 600 lb ft of torque, both of which conspired to generate a top speed of 200mph. These were bewildering numbers back in the day.

This Le Mans is an even more special example of the breed. It was built to celebrate Aston Martin's 1959 victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe but also, sadly, to culminate the Vantage production after a run that went to 280 examples. Of that number, the Le Mans cars were limited to just 40 in total, of which this car is number 17. That makes it a very rare example of a very rare Aston.

And as we all know, that means it's going to be expensive. Half-a-mill expensive when you can pick up regular Vantages for near enough a fifth of that. According to the listing, it comes to its new owner in mint condition, with a full history - right up to a recent service by Aston specialists R.S. Williams. It even has a book from the factory signed by Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby, who drove the works effort to victory in 1959. It's a piece of history and a mighty thing.


SPECIFICATION | ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE V600 LE MANS

Engine: 5,341cc, V8, twin supercharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual (often swapped to 5-speed quick shift), rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 600 @ 6,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 600 @ 4,400rpm
CO2: N/A
MPG: N/A
Recorded mileage: 2,000
Year registered: 2000
Price new: ยฃ233,000
Yours for: ยฃ495,000

See the full ad here





Author
Discussion

V8LM

Original Poster:

5,073 posts

180 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Who makes up this stuff?

Every day a journey

970 posts

9 months

Thursday
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Beast

ChickenvanGuy

258 posts

142 months

Thursday
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Is it listing to starboard in the last pic?

mrclav

804 posts

194 months

Thursday
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ChickenvanGuy said:
Is it listing to starboard in the last pic?
I'd so yes, slightly.

Also, what an hideously ugly car. People on here moan about modern BMWs for example but this definitely outranks them all!

Chubbyross

2,647 posts

56 months

Thursday
quotequote all
It’s nearly but not quite a handsome car. It looks like they kept rifling through the panels bin until they found something that just about fitted.

Don1

14,856 posts

179 months

Thursday
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Has a lean definitely but also has a giant want from me. I think they are wonderful, but would go for a dark blue colour....

Don1

14,856 posts

179 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Has a lean definitely but also has a giant want from me. I think they are wonderful, but would go for a dark blue colour....

DrBrule

2,390 posts

102 months

Thursday
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vomit

Demonix

201 posts

183 months

Thursday
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Brute of a car and exclusive as a limited edition but £495k would but you some fine alternatives that are less aesthetically challenging.

Drinksleeprepeat

85 posts

18 months

Thursday
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In the middle picture each panel looks a different shade of green

NorthernChap

4 posts

1 month

Thursday
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With nostrils like that, soon to be renamed the "Westbrook" edition.......

TheRainMaker

4,980 posts

213 months

Thursday
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In 1993 600bhp must have been epic.

McRors

96 posts

27 months

Thursday
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I remember Clarkson reviewing one of these and commenting on getting “wheel spin in third” then carrying on “if it rains I guess you”ll walk.”

Lovely beast.


TypeRTim

407 posts

65 months

Thursday
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I always had a soft spot for these as a kid. Remember seeing one at the Motor Show (remember those?!) and being absolutely in awe of the sheer presence of the thing. It was such a brutal and yet majestic beast. It cemented my love for the brand back then.

I remember being giddy at being able to fiddle with one in Gran Turismo on the Playstation 2 and getting it to 1000+bhp and hitting over 250mph on the test oval.

will_

6,014 posts

174 months

Thursday
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Didn't the Virage become the V8 coupe before it became the Vantage?

Have always loved these, proper brute of a thing.


Agent57

937 posts

125 months

Thursday
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"...when the Virage became the Vantage in 1993, none of that seemed to matter anymore. A skilfully executed redesign by Marek Reichman..."

I think this was before he joined AM. Happy to be corrected if I am wrong. He would have been at Rover in the early 90s.

Type R Tom

3,320 posts

120 months

Thursday
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Not seen buttons on the seat bolster before, not sure how that would work with my legs.

Do they duplicate each other?

Dusty964

6,866 posts

161 months

Thursday
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Dream car for me.... Have loved these since the day they were released. That said, I'd still lose the nostrils and go with a 550 spec with a more traditional rediator grille.

williamp

17,982 posts

244 months

Thursday
quotequote all
V8LM said:
Who makes up this stuff?
...well they got the year right. Give them some credit...

richinlondon

321 posts

93 months

Thursday
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always loved this car but looking at it again now it looks very much like a kit-car