With Aston Martin saying that they are going to replace their DB9, the news got me thinking about Aston’s last big bruiser, the Virage.
The Virage was one of the last cars before Ford made the brand a member of Ford’s Premium Automotive group. It also was one of the last cars produced the way all Aston’s that era were, by highly skilled blokes….. Not machines.
That in a way set the tone for the Virage, a last hurrah for the big bruising V8 Aston Martins, the last of an era when Britain was still confident in giving the Germans a bloody nose.
In the looks side of things, the Virage was not beautiful as per say, instead it grabs your attention with its brashness and aggression, the design is still similar to today’s Astons, however they have become softer and more flowing. Underneath the handmade and designed by John Hefferman and Ken Greenley bodywork, the Virage was (like most Astons now) based on past models. The Virage’s underpinnings were simply a shrunken Lagonda chassis, they were going to design an all new chassis, however time and financial constraints did not allow for this.
Now I have seen several Virages in numerous collections and they are brilliant things to look at, however nothing prepares you for the joy of seeing one of them on the road, which I have, it was in Berlin, left hand drive, pale blue, oatmeal leather and burr walnut interior. Amazing. Then the owner fired her up, now the Virage got even more amazing.
More amazing because I could hear that Callaway developed 5.3 litre naturally aspirated V8 roar and spit fuel through its exhausts without a care in the world. The owner smugly replies to a now interested crowd around his car, “it normally does that, nothing to worry about” his English was good and he loved his Aston.
That’s the thing about Aston Martins, even in this environmentally conscience world we now live in, everyone loves an Aston, even if its single handle destroying the earth.
So the image is great, its comfortable, suitably fast (it can hit 155 mph) and its an Aston. Tempted, you should be.
By Cameron Gibson