1999 ASTON MARTIN V8 VOLANTE LWB CONVERTIBLE
'The Volante is the new soft-top version of the Virage incorporating the latest changes made to the full Aston range. Beautiful hand-built craftsmanship abounds in this most aristocratic of convertibles.' - Fast Lane.
Premiered at the London Motor Show in October 1998 was one of the most elegant of modern day Aston Martins: the long-wheelbase Volante convertible. Built on a wheelbase not shared with any other V8 Aston, this longer version of the Volante benefited from a 200mm stretch that increased rear passenger leg room and luggage space, and was built to the improved specification of the V8 Coupé that had replaced the Virage as the 'standard' model.
Introduced at the Geneva Salon in March 1996, the new V8 Coupé adopted all of the high-performance Vantage's muscular styling cues but retained the normally aspirated, 5.3-litre engine. The latter boasted revised cylinder heads, camshafts, pistons and an improved 'Alpha Plus' electronic engine management system, all of which boosted maximum power by 24bhp over the earlier Virage unit.
Short-wheelbase Volante convertibles were built to the V8 Coupé's improved specification prior to the introduction of the long-wheelbase version, which has the distinction of being the last production Volante built at Newport Pagnell. Automatic transmission (with 'sport' and 'touring' modes), anti-lock brakes and speed-sensitive power assisted steering were standard on the LWB Volante. Full aluminium body, with a quoted 354bhp on tap, it was one of the world's fastest soft-tops; the factory's claimed performance figures being a 0-60mph time of 6.2 seconds and a top speed of over 150mph.
As well as the 200mm of increased legroom, the LWB Volante's rear passengers enjoyed 20mm of extra shoulder width, making the car one of the roomiest in its class and ideal for growing families. Needless to say, the luxurious interior was trimmed in the best traditions of Aston Martin coachbuilding, featuring Connolly leather upholstery, burr walnut veneer, Wilton carpeting, and chromed fittings. There was also a state-of-the-art stereo system, while air conditioning, air bags, 'memory' seats, and a fully automatic electrically powered hood were all included for the at-launch £169,500 asking price. Given the latter, it is perhaps not surprising that by the time production of Aston Martin's long running V8 finally ceased in 2000, only 64 of these exclusive, last-of-the-line LWB Volantes had been built compared with 101 V8 Coupés.
This left-hand drive, automatic transmission LWB Volante was sold new in Belgium via the official Aston Martin importer, Michiels in Tisselt. The owner of this beautiful Aston had been in touch with Michiels, saying that should a proper four-seater cabriolet come on the market he would be interested in buying one, which is exactly what happened. Happy as ever, he ordered the car, which had a price tag of 9.6 million Belgian Francs, an absolute fortune. The Volante eventually cost him 8.4 million BEF, which was the equivalent of just over €200,000 at that time.
The car was ordered in the very tasteful colour combination of 'Pentland Green' over 'Magnolia/Forest' (beige) leather with green carpets and green hood. We have been advised that only three left-hand drive LWB Volantes were delivered new in Belgium, two of which were in this colour combination.
The owner purchased the car in his company's name and later on assumed ownership personally. The car was serviced regularly at Aston Martin Belgium and submitted for yearly Contrôle Technique inspections. In 2002, Aston Martin Belgium valued this car at €210,000, at which time it had covered 13,700 kilometres (letter on file). With a little under 50,000 kilometres covered from new, the car is presented today in original and excellent condition throughout. The most recent major service was carried out in September 2017 at Aston Martin Michiels in Tisselt.
This beautiful LWB Volante represents a unique opportunity for any Aston Martin collector or car enthusiast with a family who loves to be 'de sortie à quatre'. Ideal for summer evening trips in Knokke Le-Zoute, Monaco, etc, it is the epitome of comfortable and fast cruising in unmatched style. Offered from its first Belgian owner, this little-used example is in arguably the best colour combination for the model.
The car comes with its original books and tools; colour-matched Delvaux pouch; European Emergency service document (1999); the original sales agreement (November 1999) for the total price of 8,409,000 Belgian Francs; taxation report (2016); a new set of green carpets (unsused); a made-to-size car cover and an extra centrepiece grill in black that was delivered new with the car (unused). A rare modern Aston Martin on the way to collectible classic status.
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