OUR CAR

 

Aston's are one of our favourite marques. Not just because they have such a great heritage, but they are a refined, breathtaking driving machine. Agreed they are not the fastest super car on the market, but they stand head and shoulders above the others when it comes to quality of ride and driving comfort. Roadster versions allow the driver to hear that sweet symphony of V8 burble coming from the Aston power plant. 

Our car is simply one of the finest examples of the 4.3l Roadster we have come across. The coachwork is unblemished, none of the usual corrosion around the door mirrors or door handles, no age related marks or scratches, just a blemish free exterior. This car has been looked after so well, even the door handle identity lights are fully functioning, a usual failing on most older cars. The maintenance record is more than comprehensive, numerous stamps and invoices show how the former owners have looked after it. 

We have experienced issues with the Aston Martin Sportshift box in the past, it is notchy and frequently chatters in reverse and in crawler mode, we therefore select our Aston's carefully. You will see this is the favoured 6 speed manual car with a new clutch being fitted only a coupe of thousand miles ago. The car has also recently had a 10 year/100k service and wears four brand new Michelin Pilot tyres, so the car is ready to go and will need no further investment for some time. 

In our opinion this Vantage stands above most on the market today. The car is priced accordingly as it is a fantastic low mileage car that could be mistaken to have just driven out of the the showroom. 

 

Aston Martin Vantage

The V8 Vantage Roadster is clearly based on the V8 coupe, but its suspension is actually stiffer than the closed car’s. That could not have happened if there were worries about structural integrity.

What we’re looking at here, dark glasses shielding our eyes from the livid metallic Sunburst Yellow paint, is Aston Martin’s first proper production sports car. It must be; no open Aston has ever been more taut and focused, visually or dynamically, than this one. The V8 range was designed with an open version in mind, and it shows.

We’ve just been over some bumps and ripples and this is one rigid roadster. There really is no structural shake and shudder at all. The figures for torsional stiffness do show a drop from the coupe – 15,500lb ft per degree of twist against 19,900 – but it’s still stiff enough not to make you wish it were stiffer.

It’s also rather more rigid than the DB9 Volante, thanks mainly to the shorter wheelbase but helped by a stronger crossbeam behind the dash. The same beam is also fitted to the latest V8 coupes, so the only Roadster- specific bit of strengthening is in the under trays, which are of thicker aluminium and attached at more points to perform a structural function not needed in the closed car.

And the roof? Stowed away, it makes for a fabulous-looking Roadster with leather-covered fairings behind each headrest. When raised – fully powered operation is possible at up to 30mph – it looks neat and rounded and seals excellently against wind noise. Aston Martin’s first post-PAG product (it was launched the day after the March 12 sale announcement) is an open car without obvious compromise, and we like it a lot.

EVO RATING: *****

EVO Magazine 2007

 

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