Spotted: Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Hard to quite believe that the V8 Vantage is now seven years old - it's a testament to a brilliant styling exercise that the car still looks so clean and fresh. For many, the baby Aston remains a better looking car than the new 991 and, given how important looks are to most people in the market for a slinky coupe, that still makes it one of the 911's strongest rivals.

The Vantage never quite matched the 997 in any key dynamic area - that it got so close and is so beautiful made it a runaway sales success in 2005/2006. Seems like a long time ago now, doesn't it - easy credit everywhere.

I stumbled across a key part of the Vantage's development history a few years back, in the form of a 997 Carrera being offered for sale.

It was the car Aston had bought for R&D purposes. Presumably they gave it some death, drew as much data as possible from it and then unscrewed every nut and bolt to see what it was all about. I know this last bit to be true because the car came up for sale in bits.

Anyways, prices of early Vantages have certainly firmed-up over the past 18 months. For a while in 2008 the 4.7 Volante was the fastest-depreciating vehicle in Glass's Guide, but as is often the case the fall went too far, very few newer cars were being registered and prices began to rise. Good, early 4.3-litre coupes were low-20s in the trade two years ago, they're about the same now.

I never quite gelled with the way the Vantage drove - it was quite lazy in direction changes, but the steering was quite fast. Then there was the fact that M3s could have you in a straight line, which was unfortunate because with that fuse removed it sounded like Thrust SSC. A little too much flatulence and too little actual muscle.

But every time I see one (like this black V8 Vantage coupe) I think it looks terrific.

There are very few genuine 360-degree cars: machines that sparkle however you view them, but this is one of them. For that reason alone I've often wanted to own one. They still look great value and of course Aston's limited resources mean that there's no replacement planned any time soon, so there's an element of future-proofing going on here that should keep prices of cars like this pretty solid.

For the same money as an over-specced Golf GTI, it's an absolute steal.

: 4,280cc V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 380hp@7,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 302@5,000rpm
MPG: 18.8mpg 
CO2: 358g/km
First registered: 2005
Recorded mileage: 58,000
Price new
: £83,000
Yours for: £29,950

Have a lookee at the other Aston Martin V8 Vantages for sale in the PH classifieds

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (196) Join the discussion on the forum

  • spice 21 Mar 2012

    Transmission: 5-speed manual, four-wheel drive hehe

  • Jag-D 21 Mar 2012

    It's a shame they just weren't that fast as they've achingly beautiful and sound amazing!

    If I had the pennies, I would certainly buy one and have it breathed on a little bit smile

  • Motorrad 21 Mar 2012

    30 grand?

    What's the reliability of these like...........I can see another option on the horizon.

  • JohnGoodridge 21 Mar 2012

    So tempting, so much more special than a 911 IMHO, but running costs?

  • mrclav 21 Mar 2012

    I can't think of many cars as recent as this that would give one that "sense of occasion" quite as much as this - Maserati 3200/4200 maybe? That seems like an awful lot of metal for the money...

View all comments in the forums Make a comment