1993 Aston Martin Virage Volante

Highlights


• One of only 233 Volantés made
• Comprehensive service history
• £25,000 engine rebuild
• Original, unrestored condition.

THE BACKGROUND


The replacement for the classic Aston Martin V8 was a long time coming, but when it debuted in 1992 most people agreed that the new Virage was well worth the wait. 

The chassis was an evolution of the Aston Martin Lagonda's, with a de Dion tube rear suspension, located by triangulated radius rods and a Watts linkage, and a double wishbone set-up at the front, while under the bonnet it retained the potent 32-valve 5,340cc V8 that had powered the last of the classic V8s. 

The convertible version of the Virage, called the Virage Volanté, debuted as a concept at the 1990 Birmingham Motor Show as a strict two-seater, but a 2+2 version was shown at the 1991 Geneva Motor Show and would become the template for the production variant, all of which featured four seats and a power-operated roof. 

THE HISTORY


Sold at a cost of £142,000 to its first owner in 1993, the Aston has had four keepers since then and has been maintained properly by each of them, with a full service history through either Aston Martin itself or from well-known marque specialists, with huge amounts of money spent keeping it in tip-top order. 

The current owner bought the car this summer as he wanted the fun of owning and enjoying an Aston Martin Virage before the ULEZ zone kicked in around outer London, but has now decided to part with it to run a DB9 instead. It’s better for the environment, apparently…

THE PAPERWORK


The service history supplied with this car really is something to behold, with paperwork going right back to the original bill of sale, and documenting each of its annual services from the very first dealer inspection right through to its most recent full service carried out in August this year at a cost of over £800. 

There is also one particularly important bill that documents a £25,000 Oselli engine rebuild in 2013, which was essentially a complete strip down and overhaul. 

Also supplied with the car are the original green Aston Martin service wallet, owner’s handbook, service vouchers and audio instruction guide as well as a letter from the car’s previous owner explaining the procedure by which you can open the roof, and a further receipt documenting the purchase of its distinctive ‘AML’ numberplate when the car was first registered. 

THE EXTERIOR 


Despite operating on a strictly limited budget, Aston Martin made a terrific job of the Virage’s exterior, which is an especially bold and imposing design. 

It looks terrific in Aston Martin Racing Green and is in superb order throughout, having seen small localised body repairs throughout its life but never a restoration or full rebuild - this is simply a car that has been properly looked after and is in lovely original condition. 

You can also have a lot of fun playing spot the part. To cut development costs, many of the less-important components came from other companies, as had been the case for Aston Martins of the past. The headlights and taillights were sourced from the Audi 200 and the Volkswagen Scirocco respectively, while General Motors, Jaguar, Citroen and Ford provided the steering column, climate control panel, wing mirrors and dash switches - the latter of which (whisper it…) can also be found in the Mk 3 Transit.

All of the wheels are in fabulous condition having been refurbished in recent times and all of the trim is present and correct, with only one small mark to the corner of the hood and some minor lacquer damage to the rear bumper detracting from the overall appearance. 

THE INTERIOR 


The cabin is trimmed in a rich tan leather with walnut veneers and deep-pile green carpets. Everything operates as it should, with the exception of the nearside rear passenger window, which needs manual assistance to help it go up and down.

The leather and carpets are in superb condition, as are the dashboard veneers and supplementary switches, even if they do have fairly humble origins.

The interior looks truly stunning, though, and a further bonus is the existence of the original first aid kit and toolkit stashed away in the boot, complete with Aston Martin logos on them.

THE MECHANICS 


Aston Martins 5,340cc V8 engine is craftsman-built and requires regular specialist attention to keep it in tip-top running condition.

This example has been thoroughly serviced all its life, as proven by that wonderfully comprehensive service history. However, it did require a full engine rebuild carried out by Aston Martin specialists Oselli in 2013 at great expense. The car has covered barely any mileage since (just over 1,000) so it is unlikely to need any form of major repair anytime soon. However, it is an Aston Martin and these things are never guaranteed.

In addition to the engine rebuild, since 2013 the last owner had additional engineering work carried out, all of which was been done by an ex-Aston Martin mechanic.

Among the repairs were a replacement gearbox intercooler and pipework, professionally re-cored radiator and replacement thermostatic fan switches, a brand new fuel pump, swirl pots and all other associated pipework

It also had a full brake overhaul with discs and pads fully refurbished and all brake fluid replaced in 2020.

The engine sounds fantastic and is coupled to a GM Torqueflite automatic transmission, with all of the gears appearing to engage as they should. 

THE APPEAL


This is a this is a bold, distinctive and imposing car with a truly unique presence about it. it manages to make an entrance without being overly brash, it's dripping with luxury and it sounds absolutely fabulous. 

it's a rare, individual and classy example of a 1990s British GT convertible, vast in proportion and huge in character. There’s a lot here to recommend – even if it does promise to be a bit of a handful on the open road. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1993
  • Make Aston Martin
  • Model Virage Volante
  • Colour Aston Martin Racing Green
  • Odometer 36,730 Miles
  • Engine size 5340
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
38 bids
  • jason.b•••• £48,000 24/10/21
  • thompso•••• £47,000 24/10/21
  • jason.b•••• £46,000 24/10/21
  • xkHarri•••• £45,500 24/10/21
  • thompso•••• £42,000 24/10/21
  • xkHarri•••• £41,250 24/10/21
  • thompso•••• £41,000 24/10/21
  • jason.b•••• £40,000 24/10/21
  • andrew•••• £39,250 24/10/21
  • jason.b•••• £39,000 24/10/21

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