With Aston not having produced an all-new car in two decades by this point, the Virage — which succeeded the long-lived V8 featured Aston Martin V8 below — needed to be a completely new car. As such, the model received a new body, chassis, cabin, suspension and braking system along with a heavily revised engine.
With a two-tonne kerb weight, dimensions to trouble a regular-size parking space, and a punchy 330bhp 5.4-litre V8, the Virage was a dyed-in-the-wool British muscle car.
Besides being capable of 0-60mph in 6.8sec, the Virage was also comfortable and refined.
Originally the Virage cost £125,000, but now you can pick one up for as little as £20,000. A car at that price will be far from concours condition, but it should be usable and have around 60,000 miles on the clock.
Besides the usual checks, look carefully for any evidence of corrosion or crash damage. Elsewhere, it’s important to check the condition of the Virage’s 32-valve V8.
£35k: Aston Martin V8 Vantage (2005-present)
The V8 Vantage, which was launched in 2005, has played the biggest part in the revival of the Aston Martin brand over the past decade.
Early models came with a 4.3-litre V8 that produced 376bhp and 302lb ft, allowing the Vantage to sprint from 0-62mph in 5.0sec and on to a top speed of 175mph.
Regardless of which variant you choose, the Vantage has a lot going for it. Its build quality is good, it’s a manageable size, it withstands daily use without issue and it’s a capable performer that’s rewarding to drive.
There are only a few downsides. Some may find the steering a little numb, while the ride quality can occasionally be on the poor side.
An early 4.3-litre car, from around 2006, should set you back approximately £35,000, with mileages in this price bracket ranging from 30,000 to 50,000. Full Aston Martin service history is desirable, but services from reputable specialists are acceptable.
£50k: Aston Martin V8 (1968-1989)
If you’re looking for a more prestigious Aston Martin, you could consider one of the classic V8 models.
Production began in 1968 and, with a series of revisions along the way, ran until 1989. Much like the Virage that succeeded them, the V8s — which were initially called DBS V8s — were big, heavy, fast and impressive. Power came from Aston’s 5.3-litre V8, while transmission options comprised three-speed automatic or
five-speed manual gearboxes.
Around £50,000 should net you an immaculate example of a V8 Series II, dating from the early 1970s, with around 60,000 miles on the clock.
Find a good example and you’ll have an exclusive and imperious Aston Martin. The most important thing with V8s is to look at the service record. The hand-built coupé will deteriorate quickly if not used or maintained properly.
The cars are very durable mechanically, but be mindful that early cars with Bosch mechanical fuel injection can be temperamental. Besides corrosion and crash damage, other areas to inspect include the steering column, propshaft and rear subframe.
£80k: Aston Martin Rapide (2010-present)
The Rapide was the first four-door production Aston since the advanced but troubled 1974 Lagonda.
Besides retaining Aston’s familiar styling, the Rapide has just enough space to make it a genuine four-seater. It also has a comfortable cabin and a supple ride. Contrary to what you might expect of a five-metre saloon, the Rapide retains the key trait of being an excellent driver’s car, too. A 470bhp 5.9-litre V12 propels it from 0-62mph in 5.2sec.
At its launch in 2010, the Rapide commanded a hefty £139,950 price, almost £45,000 more than a Porsche Panamera Turbo. But depreciation has taken its toll and you can now get two or three-year-old cars for around £80k.
Mileages at this age will be in the 10,000 to 20,000 range, so the cars should have suffered minimal wear.
£100k: Aston Martin DB6 (1965-1971)
Values of classic DB models have been rising for years, with six-figure price tags now the norm. The thoroughbred DB6 coupé is one of the few DB models to remain near the lower end of that price range. Spend enough time at auctions, or searching through the classifieds, and you should be able to find a serviceable example for around £100,000.
Production began in 1965, with the aim of delivering a car that combined the best in luxury and refinement with the ultimate in performance. To that end, a 325bhp 4.0-litre straight six helped to propel the apparently stately Aston from 0-60mph in 6.5sec during Autocar’s original road test.
More notably, the DB6 reached a measured top speed of 148mph. With its comfortable cabin and myriad neat practical touches, the Aston was the ideal option for those who needed to travel far and fast.
Buying a DB6 is by no means a casual undertaking, however. Repairing any damage or wear will be an expensive and potentially lengthy process, but it will be money spent on an appreciating asset.
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