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 its 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.