1997 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Special Series I

When the Sultan of Brunei and his brother Prince Jeffri were buying any and everything they wanted, their automotive collection was grouping together the best cars from every performance brand. This included several custom built Aston Martins like this V8 Vantage Special Series I built by the Special Projects Group in Newport Pagnell.

Taking almost all it’s cues from the classic DB4 Zagato, these modern interpretations were sketched out specifically for the Sultan. They mimic the 1961 racecar which was sent to Turin and bodied by specialist coachbuilder Zagato. They fitted a lightweight aluminum body and created the ultimate DB4. Only 19 of these cars were made and each share the title of the most expensive Aston Martin.

Aston Martin works, who were debating a continuation series of DB4 Zagatos, decided to fit a similar design onto their V8 Vantage V600 platform. In doing so they had Zagato design the four seat supercar into a smaller and lighter two seat affair. Along with it came the 600 bhp V600 engine, a new suspension package and the ZF 5-Speed transmission.

A grey test mule was built up at the Aston Works and used to windtest the car at the MIRA wind tunnel. It laid out the basic formula for three more cars which were also built at Newport Pagnell: #70505 – Black, #70506 – Titanium Grey and #70507 – Red which was eventually painted black.

The Special Series I was followed up by a second design which was far less retrograde and more forward thinking. These were built around the same time in 1997/8 and again three copies were made.

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
engineAluminum Alloy V8
positionFront Longitudinal
aspirationTwin Superchargers
valvetrainDOHC, 4 Valves per Cyl
fuel feedBosch Mulit-Point Injection
displacement5340 cc / 325.9 in³
bore100 mm / 3.94 in
stroke85 mm / 3.35 in
compression8.2:1
power447.4 kw / 600.0 bhp @ 6200 rpm
specific output112.36 bhp per litre
bhp/weight314.96 bhp per tonne
torque813.49 nm / 600.0 ft lbs @ 4400 rpm
body / frameAluminum Body over Steel Structure
driven wheelsRWD w/LSD
wheel typeDymag Magnesium Alloy
front tires285/45 ZR 18 Goodyear Eagle GS-D
rear tires285/45 ZR 18 Goodyear Eagle GS-D
front brakesDiscs w/6-Piston AP Racing Calipers
rear brakesDiscs w/6-Piston AP Racing Calipers
front wheelsF 45.7 x 25.4 cm / 18 x 10 in
rear wheelsR 45.7 x 25.4 cm / 18 x 10 in
f suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Upgraded Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspensionDeDio-Type Axle w/Watts Linkage, Upgraded Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight1905 kg / 4200 lbs
length4745 mm / 186.8 in
width1944 mm / 76.5 in
height1320 mm / 52.0 in
transmissionZF 5-Speed Manual
top speed~300 kph / -1.0 mph
0 – 60 mph~4.4 seconds