Rare Rides: A Custom Aston Martin V8 Shooting Brake From 1998

Ever wondered what a bespoke shooting brake might look like if its donor vehicle were a long-wheelbase convertible? Wonder no more, for today’s Rare Ride is just such a vehicle, and is also an Aston Martin.

The car which would become Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage model began with the (relatively) lower performance Virage, which debuted in 1989. That chunky coupe was the subject of a Rare Rides already, so we won’t dwell on those beginnings today.

As Virage production wound down in 1995, the upmarket V8 Vantage model had been on sale for two years. Wearing very similar styling to the Virage, the Vantage was in fact very different underneath. When Aston Martin finished its modifications to the Virage, the Vantage shared only roof and doors with its predecessor. Other changes included a wider, lower stance, and a new rear suspension setup. The interior gained its own revisions, boasting new electronics that were surely the pinnacle of reliability.

But the most significant Vantage changes were found in the engine bay. Sharing a 5.3-liter V8 with the Virage, the Vantage had the added benefit of dual superchargers. Power increased from a prior figure of 330 to 550. Torque was present in abundance, amounting to 555 lb-ft. Suitably enlivened, the heavy cruiser rocketed from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.

Production was slow, and between 1993 and 2000 the automaker built just 280 Vantage examples. Among that number, Aston Martin began building a long-wheelbase Volante (convertible) version in 1998. Length was increased by 20 millimeters as the Vantage was reworked to contain all the relative cabriolet accoutrements. Just 63 rolled from the factory, and one of those became today’s shooting brake.

The project began in 2003. Aston Martin commissioned designer Andrew McGeachy and tasked him with creating a shooting brake from a Volante. After the new body was conceived, it was built in Switzerland by Roos Engineering. No expense was spared, and the ad copy indicates over 8,000 hours were spent on the very special vehicle.

Engineers reinforced the chassis to carry the extra weight of the revised body. Luxurious, suede-coated seats fold to increase cargo room, and there’s a pass-through in the rear seat for longer cargo. Rear-seat passengers will not be without fresh air in the shooting brake, as the rear windows roll down. All of it is finished in beautiful detail, and with reminders of the era intact. Check that Taurus steering wheel, should any doubt exist.

Currently located in Switzerland, this very special one-off Aston is only priced on request.

[Images: seller]

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