1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

The final and most desirable variant of the V8 model line, the V8 Vantage Volante was announced on 8 October 1986. Inspired by a design made for the Brunei Royal Family, the V8 Vantage Volante was given a deep front spoiler, wide flared wheel arches, and extended side skirts. Due to the high speeds expected from the uprated engine, the V8 Volante was fitted with an additional hood latch, stiffer suspension, and 16-in. Ronal wheels with 255/55 VR16 Goodyear Eagle tires, which were massive for the time. For the first time, the V8 Vantage Volante was offered with a three-speed automatic gearbox, which proved to be the transmission of choice over the expensive ZF manual gearbox and proved better suited for the driving requirements of most buyers.

As a result of U.S. federal regulations, which did not allow for the high-compression V580X engine, Aston Martin fitted the vehicles with a lower compression V585 engine, equipped with Weber electronic fuel injection. The only visual difference was a flatter bonnet and the federally required rubber bumpers.

Chassis 15556, built in April 1987, is one of these exceedingly rare U.S.-specification V8 Vantage Volantes. The car was first delivered new in 1988 through Aston Martin Lagonda of Beverly Hills to a movie industry executive who, not being able to decide which color he preferred, also took delivery of a red version of the same model. After three years of ownership and with fewer than 9,000 miles, Rolls-Royce of Beverly Hills arranged the sale to the second owner, a Dallas socialite. After a divorce from her husband she decided to start a new life and move to Los Angeles to open three luxury boutiques in Beverly Hills. She was often seen driving, top down, heading to and from either her home in Bel Air or Malibu Colony Beach house.

After 24 years of devoted and careful ownership, and with fewer than 25,000 miles, the Aston Martin was acquired by the consignor, a highly regarded collector whose focus is primarily on preservation-type vehicles. Over the years the car had received minor touch-ups and repairs, most notably to the low hanging front spoiler. Never a fan of the U.S. bumpers, he decided to convert it to the far more attractive European-style bumper blades. Master metal shaper and painter Chris Morgan of Morgan Images was commissioned to make this car the straightest, best fitting Aston Martin of its type. Thomas Top and Auto Upholstery of Hollywood was hired to fit the exquisitely tailored original-style Everflex top. The interior leather, wood panels, and rubber trim were in such superb original condition they were retained as testimony to the vehicle’s amazing state of preservation. So as to enjoy the use of this now stunning example, mechanic extraordinaire Jeff Stephan was hired to service and sort all mechanical aspects, including engine tuning, air conditioning system, braking system, and all power-operated components, including the convertible top. With current, detailed invoices totaling over $65,000, this Vantage Volante is not only the finest appearing, but also the best driving example of its type one could expect.

An extremely rare and desirable model, the limited-production V8 Vantage Volante, specifically of 1987, is the last of the famed Aston Martins produced solely by Aston Martin, as Ford Motor Company acquired majority ownership at the end of 1987. Rarely seen, much less offered for sale, this is perhaps the finest V8 Vantage Volante available on American shores today. It is fully sorted, emission compliant, and boasts a wonderful history and superlative condition.

RM | Sotheby’s – MONTEREY 2018

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