Such is the pace of automotive development, and especially so at Aston Martin, that time really does blast past. Just two years ago at the Geneva motor show, the world bore witness to the debut of the AMR range of cars; nowadays - he says, barely 24 months later - it's a badge used for modern sports cars bristling with contemporary touches and technology. See the Valkyrie AMR Pro, the DB11 AMR and the upcoming Vantage AMR.
The launch cars for AMR, though, were rather different propositions. The Rapide AMR, as it transpired, was a celebration of all that was so good about the VH-era Astons: fast, supple, engaging, cool and stunning to look at it. But there was nothing especially advanced about the AMR, like these newer cars, it instead a GT12-spec engine dropped in a slightly more focussed Rapide chassis - lovely car, nothing out of the ordinary.
The Vantage AMR Pro most certainly was. If anything, it can be considered as dramatic as any AMR product, such was its overhaul from standard, bidding farewell to that era of Vantage in spectacular, ferocious fashion. And now there's one for sale.
As a reminder, the AMR Pro was very much the Vantage race car - GTE rear spoiler, GT4-and-quite-a-bit-more engine, competition suspension - for the road, but only if you asked very nicely. Ostensibly it was meant to be the ultimate track car of the traditional Aston sports cars, you see, for the very wealthy to use, presumably, at private resorts and exclusive track days.
The transformation was about far more than getting a 500hp V8 into a Vantage and hoping the noise would prove sufficiently seductive. The suspension was rose jointed for the AMR Pro, the bonnet as well as that wing taken from the GTE car, a roll cage inserted, weight reduced, downforce upped and racing seats fitted. With its stance on the reworked suspension, the Stirling Green paint with Lime accents and the exhaust incorporated into the diffuser - very motorsport - the Vantage AMR Pro looks a million dollars. Which is handy...
At launch, the AMR Pro was £950,000 plus taxes. The seven buyers were presumably close enough to Aston to know which plant pot the front door key was under, and many assumed that was that. The cars would go into collections or be used sparingly at certain events, owners keen to get the most from their (significant) investment one way or another - and perhaps hope for some appreciation in time, as the Vantage faded from memory and the AMR brand grew in significance.
For whatever reason, that hasn't happened here, one of the seven for sale at Aston Martin Walton on Thames with 10 miles on the clock. For collectors or enthusiasts who missed out first time around, then, this Pro looks like some opportunity, as it's hard to imagine any of the other six being available any time soon. An opportunity that'll cost a million pounds, sure, though when did rarity ever come cheap?
A seven-figure sum - oh alright, £995,000 - will be hard to level for some. This is, after all, still a 4.7-litre Aston Martin Vantage. However, it's impossible to discuss vehicles and purchases like this with much rationality; if that were the case, and Vantages really were your jam, a GT12, a V8 Vantage road car and some kind of GT3 racer for similar money would surely work very nicely as alternatives to this one Pro. That's the bizarre realm a million-pound Vantage works in.
For those with the wherewithal and desire, this most expensive of Vantages will offer rarity, cachet and collector appeal like no other, with its role in the history of Aston - the first AMR Pro, one of the very last Vantages - absolutely guaranteed. And if it's anything like any other Vantage from this era, only now with more power, ability and excitement, it's going to be stupendously good to drive. Let's just hope the noise limits are permissive enough...