Collecting Cars

1997 ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE V550

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This 1997 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 is a very rare example of the marque’s ‘brute in a suit’, presented in very smart condition and provided with an extensive service history. Under the bonnet is a 5.3-litre twin-supercharged V8, which sends 550bhp and 550lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, via a six-speed manual transmission.

Launched in 1992 and first produced in 1993, the Vantage was a high-performance version of the Virage, imbuing the traditionally crafted Aston Martin with contemporary supercar pace – capable of 0-60mph in just 4.6 seconds. As Jeremy Clarkson noted in his 1993 Sunday Times review of the Vantage: “Calling the performance explosive is like calling the space shuttle jolly clever.”

First registered on 27 October 1997, this Vantage has three previous registered keepers on its log book, and its first is believed to have been Steve Gibson OBE, the owner of Middlesbrough Football Club. The seller has enjoyed nearly 4,000 miles behind the wheel in the past five-and-a-half years.

Significantly restyled compared to the more sedate Virage, the Vantage features a wider, lower body, with only the roof and doors remaining unchanged. This particular example presents handsomely in bright Suffolk Red paintwork, which is in very good condition, save some minor age-related marks – though these have been touched in. The seller notes the car did suffer some minor damage to the passenger-side door and sill when it was dropped from a wheel jack; however these panels have been repaired and resprayed.

The exterior trims such as the badging and front grille are all in great shape and the headlight lenses are clear and free of chips or scratches. It also has the later style Jaguar-sourced door mirrors. The car rides on its original silver-finished five-spoke wheels, which are in very good order, with no signs of chipping or kerb damage.

Looking to the interior, this Vantage is a showcase of Aston Martin’s attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship. Walnut veneers adorn the upper door cards and central console, while the upper dashboard, steering wheel rim, gear knob, and handbrake grip are finished in dark red leather. The lower dashboard and seats are upholstered with Magnolia hide, which is in great shape aside from some slight wear to driver’s outer seat bolster. The front and rear seats are accented by red piping throughout, reflecting the body colour. The seller notes that the electrical items all work, though the oil gauge can be somewhat ‘lazy’.

This Vantage’s last scheduled maintenance was carried out on 11 April 2018 at 60,440 miles by AJ Tech in Devon. This included the usual 6,000-mile interval items such as replacement oil and filters, plus renewal of the water pump which was becoming noisy, fitment of new rear bump stops, and the fabrication of a new heatshield.

Prior to this, services were carried out in April 2016 and September 2014, both by Aston Engineering of Derby, the latter of which was a full 12,000 mile service at a total cost of more than £6,800. The seller also understands that in 2003 a previous owner sent the car to Aston Martin Works, where it had a new gearbox fitted at 50,000 miles, and that the clutch was replaced by Aston Martin dealer Hardwoods in 2013 at 57,366 miles.

Its last MOT test was carried out on 21 May 2020 at 61,403 miles, which the car passed first time with no advisories. All four wheels are fitted with Pirelli P Zero tyres, which are approximately six years old and have covered just 4,000 miles to date. They appear to be in good condition, with plenty of useable tread remaining.

This V550 is accompanied by extensive documentation and service history records, as well as its two keys. The manufacturer’s jack and tyre sealant are also present, along with the original tool case – however a number of items are missing.

A striking modern classic grand tourer, this Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 is the consummate British muscle car, providing astounding performance and refined comfort, all wrapped up in a hand-crafted and stylish package. This smart example is in very good condition throughout, and is ready to delight and excite its next owner.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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