Rare Rides: A Custom Aston Martin V8 Shooting Brake From 1998
Ever wondered what a bespoke shooting brake might look like if its donor vehicle were a long-wheelbase convertible? Wonder no more, for today’s Rare Ride is just such a vehicle, and is also an Aston Martin.
The car which would become Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage model began with the (relatively) lower performance Virage, which debuted in 1989. That chunky coupe was the subject of a Rare Rides already, so we won’t dwell on those beginnings today.
As Virage production wound down in 1995, the upmarket V8 Vantage model had been on sale for two years. Wearing very similar styling to the Virage, the Vantage was in fact very different underneath. When Aston Martin finished its modifications to the Virage, the Vantage shared only roof and doors with its predecessor. Other changes included a wider, lower stance, and a new rear suspension setup. The interior gained its own revisions, boasting new electronics that were surely the pinnacle of reliability.
But the most significant Vantage changes were found in the engine bay. Sharing a 5.3-liter V8 with the Virage, the Vantage had the added benefit of dual superchargers. Power increased from a prior figure of 330 to 550. Torque was present in abundance, amounting to 555 lb-ft. Suitably enlivened, the heavy cruiser rocketed from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.
Production was slow, and between 1993 and 2000 the automaker built just 280 Vantage examples. Among that number, Aston Martin began building a long-wheelbase Volante (convertible) version in 1998. Length was increased by 20 millimeters as the Vantage was reworked to contain all the relative cabriolet accoutrements. Just 63 rolled from the factory, and one of those became today’s shooting brake.
The project began in 2003. Aston Martin commissioned designer Andrew McGeachy and tasked him with creating a shooting brake from a Volante. After the new body was conceived, it was built in Switzerland by Roos Engineering. No expense was spared, and the ad copy indicates over 8,000 hours were spent on the very special vehicle.
Engineers reinforced the chassis to carry the extra weight of the revised body. Luxurious, suede-coated seats fold to increase cargo room, and there’s a pass-through in the rear seat for longer cargo. Rear-seat passengers will not be without fresh air in the shooting brake, as the rear windows roll down. All of it is finished in beautiful detail, and with reminders of the era intact. Check that Taurus steering wheel, should any doubt exist.
Currently located in Switzerland, this very special one-off Aston is only priced on request.
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- Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
- Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
- Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
- William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
- Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
British-English lesson for Tuesday: Bespoke = Cobbled
Surely they could have done better than the $59 Best Buy special Alpine! I'd still love this thing just for the 100% oddness of it. It's like the interior "designer" just threw stuff in the air and installed it where it landed. Kind of makes a 1980s era Citroen look normal.