1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage X-Pack Sports Saloon
'Ettore Bugatti once contemptuously dismissed W O's magnificent blower Bentleys as "the fastest trucks in Europe." No doubt if Le Patron were alive today he would view the Aston Vantage in a similar light. Everything about the car is massively engineered, from the alloy V8 engine, to the steel chassis, to the suspension and brake components, to the huge Pirelli P7 tyres.' - Car Australia.
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'.
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.
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.
First registered on 1st August 1989, this outstanding Aston Martin Vantage X-Pack has been cherished and cosseted from new by its single careful owner, as evidenced by the extensive and continuous documentation on file in the form of invoices, expired MoTs, old registration documents, etc. The Vantage received its first service at Aston Martin Lagonda's Newport Pagnell factory on 1st September 1989, which included fitting the optional sports exhaust system. Since then the car has been serviced regularly by the factory and recognised specialists R S Williams and Tony Christie Classic Engineering. Details of some 23 services are on file, the last being carried out by Aston Martin Works in May 2017 at 48,538 miles (less than 300 miles ago).
Finished in green with matching fawn-piped leather upholstery, the latter preserved in excellent condition, this ultimate V8 Vantage X-Pack presents beautifully and is a testament to the inherent quality of this hand crafted British supercar.