The original V8 Vantage may not be the most famous car in Aston Martin’s lexicon, but it’s coming back in a big way. Hailed as the U.K.’s “first true supercar” (by the marque itself), the British version of American muscle starred in the James Bond film The Living Daylights and, as of Sunday, is officially back in the franchise.
Only 458 versions of the first model were made between 1977 and 1990, which makes it a rare find. But an even rarer variant, one of only 11 made for the U.S., just hit the market: a 1979 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Flip-Tail Coupe.
The limited-edition car is being offered by Daniel Schmitt & Co., the same collector car dealer that’s selling Enzo Ferrari’s personal car, with an asking price just under $310K. There’s a discounted “buy it now” price of $270K, but you really shouldn’t be buying Aston Martins the same way you impulse buy vintage clothes on eBay.
As the name suggests, what makes the Flip-Tail unique is the rear end, which was designed to reduce lift and drag. And that’s not just a cosmetic fix — in its debut form, the V8 Vantage stunned with a top speed of 170 MPH, close to 400 HP and a 0-60 MPH time of 5.3 seconds. Only 42 molded Flip-Tails were made worldwide (as opposed to earlier bolt-on models), but the engines in the 11 left-hand drive models made for the U.S. were toned down to meet emissions regulations at the time. Thankfully, this V8 Vantage has been fixed and “tuned to Euro specifications,” according to the listing.
Despite being such a rare model, RM Sotheby’s actually auctioned off another two of the 11 within the last year, one at last August’s Monterey and one at Amelia Island. Both models’ engines had also been switched back over to the higher original performance specs, and the estimated selling price was $300K to $350K for each.
But we’ll take the Aztec Gold paint job and brown leather interior of Schmitt’s model any day. Something about a classic Aston in “Storm Red” doesn’t sit quite right.
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