This impossibly rare, and impossibly perfect Aston Martin is a documented two-owner from new vehicle and the 38th of just 40 completed. It is “showroom new” with full history and records from new. The original owner was His Royal Highness Abdul Aziz Al Thani, third in line to the Thrown of Qatar and the vehicle registration was in his name via the Embassy of Qatar, Paris, France.
In March 1999, Aston Martin announced that 40 special versions of the Vantage – the Vantage Le Mans – would be built to celebrate the factory’s famous victory at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race in 1959, when Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby took the chequered flag first in ‘DBR1/2’. The basis of what was at that time the fastest Aston Martin ever was the standard Vantage. Although at a glance similar to the standard Vantage, the Le Mans could be distinguished by its front wing side vents – recalling those of the DBR1 racer – ducted bonnet, ‘nostril’ front grille and improved high-downforce air dam, while at the rear the spoiler was revised to incorporate the high-intensity and reversing lights. The Le Mans received unique five-spoke magnesium alloy wheels, while beneath the skin its chassis boasted the kind of extensive re-engineering required to cope with the massive increase in performance. The Le Mans interior was specially reconfigured in the sporting idiom, boasting perforated, competition-style pedals, an oversize tachometer, aluminum gearlever knob, ‘button’ starter and brushed metal paneling instead of the traditional wood veneers, while the Wilton carpeting featured embossed ‘Aston Martin’ emblems.
For the Vantage, Aston Martin engineers developed a blown version of the proven 5,340cc V8 engine, twin mechanically driven Eaton superchargers being preferred to turbo-chargers on the grounds of superior throttle response. Apart from its stupendous initial maximum output of 550bhp, remarkable enough in itself, the engine is monstrously torquey, producing 550lb/ft at 4,000rpm, a figure that makes even the mighty Chrysler Viper V10’s 450lb/ft seem puny by way of comparison. For those who found 550bhp insufficient, there was the Works Service-developed ‘V600’ package that brought with it an additional 50 horsepower. This particular Le Mans V600 was so completed new, one of just a handful completed to this rare specification.