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 by Richard Owen
engine Aluminum Alloy V8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Twin Superchargers
valvetrain DOHC, 4 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Bosch Mulit-Point Injection
displacement 5340 cc / 325.9 in³
bore 100 mm / 3.94 in
stroke 85 mm / 3.35 in
compression 8.2:1
power 447.4 kw / 600.0 bhp @ 6200 rpm
specific output 112.36 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 314.96 bhp per tonne
torque 813.49 nm / 600.0 ft lbs @ 4400 rpm
body / frame Aluminum Body over Steel Structure
driven wheels RWD w/LSD
wheel type Dymag Magnesium Alloy
front tires 285/45 ZR 18 Goodyear Eagle GS-D
rear tires 285/45 ZR 18 Goodyear Eagle GS-D
front brakes Discs w/6-Piston AP Racing Calipers
rear brakes Discs w/6-Piston AP Racing Calipers
front wheels F 45.7 x 25.4 cm / 18 x 10 in
rear wheels R 45.7 x 25.4 cm / 18 x 10 in
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Upgraded Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension DeDio-Type Axle w/Watts Linkage, Upgraded Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight 1905 kg / 4200 lbs
length 4745 mm / 186.8 in
width 1944 mm / 76.5 in
height 1320 mm / 52.0 in
transmission ZF 5-Speed Manual
top speed ~300 kph / -1.0 mph
0 – 60 mph ~4.4 seconds