To Aston Martin enthusiasts, the name “Vantage” refers to models that have been ordered with an uprated engine – an option that began with the DB2. However, when the V8 Vantage was unveiled in 1977, the Vantage name was being used differently – as a distinct model, separate from the V8 Saloon that had come before it.
Although the first 16 cars were built with the same bodywork as the V8 Saloon, some aerodynamic elements such as a front air dam, grille blanking plate (which provided better cooling at high speed), and a “fliptail” rear end were added to reduce lift and drag. On these cars, the fliptail was bolted on after the body was built – leading these first cars to be named ‘Bolt-On’ Vantages. After these 16, however, production changed, and the remaining cars were made with an integrated tail. These integrated or ‘Molded Fliptail’ Vantages proved highly desirable due to a smoother look and more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Beginning in 1978, the V8 Vantage was available to the U.S. market; however, due to emissions regulations, the engines on these 11 examples were required to be low compression and lead free. Fitted with the LFM engine, these V8s are commonly referred to as ‘Cosmetic Vantages’ due to their downrated engines. One of these extremely rare Fliptail Cosmetic V8 Vantages is on offer here.
Its original numbers-matching engine has been uprated to the higher performance 400-hp European-specification (the same rating as it would have left the factory as a full-specification V8 Vantage) by Aston Engineering. Chassis 11901 remains in its original and classic color specification of Storm Red with a Natural interior. Well known in Aston Martin circles in the U.S., this car is believed to have had only three owners since new. Each owner has taken excellent care of the V8 Vantage, maintaining its originality regardless of cost.
Recently the subject of a full engine-out detailing and full mechanical service with a new clutch, suspension, and braking systems fitted, this Aston Martin V8 Vantage ‘Fliptail’ is one of the rarest V8s available and is sure to impress its next custodian.