• Vantage Le Mans

600 hp Aston Royal Bruiser for Auction 

The Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans V600 had a massive name and was an amazingly powerful statement.

Evan Williams By: Evan Williams March 2, 2020
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It’s one of the greatest Aston Martin models of all time but you’ve probably never heard of it. The Virage/Vantage/V8 Coupe was built from 1989-2000, though it was never sold here in Canada in any numbers. It was a massive touring coupe, a true range-topper for the company, one of their last truly coachbuilt cars. This one, a last-year-only Vantage Le Mans is even more special. And you could buy it.

The Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans V600 had a massive name and was an amazingly powerful statement. Meant to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the brand’s 1959 win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was more than just a tape and sticker special. For the 40th year, just 40 were built, and the listing says that this car, the 38th built, was one of just 22 made with the steering wheel on the left-hand side.

The Le Mans spec meant new bodywork that included a new front spoiler with massive air intakes to help improve downforce and cooling for the car. The side vents in the fenders were reshaped and just look at the tremendous hood vents.

Those vents were needed to keep the engine cool because there were more than just cosmetic upgrades here. The V600 name refers to the upgrades done to the 5.3L twin-supercharged V8. In this spec, the cars made 600 hp and 600 lb-ft, giving them a top speed of more than 320 km/h. Most Le Mans cars were upgraded to V600 post-works, but this one had it done as new.

Vantage Le Mans

Vantage Le Mans

This extremely green car was ordered by His Excellency Sheikh Abdelaziz bin Khalifa Al Thani, the eldest son of the eighth Emir of Qatar, the listing says, in Aston Martin Racing Green paint with a special-order interior in a trim-to-sample green and magnolia. It also had hand-stitched royal family crests on the rear seats, gear shift, and owner’s manual.

The car was sold to a museum in Japan in 2008, the listing says, having covered just 16,800 km. It currently resides in the U.S., using a Show or Display exemption to get it into the country before the normal 25 year waiting period. Of course, since it’s more than 15 years old now, getting it north of the border should be little trouble.

Aston’s V8 Vantage was a brute of a grand tourer when new, and with 600 hp, it’s quick even by the standards of 20 years on. We’d be happy just to stare at it every day, even in green on green on green. Though we’d be tempted to call up Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell and get a well-needed replacement for that eyesore reminder of Aston’s Ford ownership in front of the driver. The car is for sale at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction this weekend, expected to fetch around half a million.

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