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For decades, the royal family’s car collection has been the subject of oohs and ahhs. The Palace has fleets of rare and ultra-luxe vehicles worth millions. Rolls Royce and Aston Martin models are common here.

As such, the Palace policy is never to sell or exchange official gifts. According to The Guardian, however, in 1995, King Charles decided to run a gifted Aston Martin through Sotheby’s, earning £110,000 from the auction for his charity, the Prince’s Trust.

King Charles driving his gifted green Aston Martin V8 convertible with his body guard in 1988
King Charles with his gifted 1987 Aston Martin V8 in 1988 | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The car was a formal present from the emir of Bahrain. The 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage convertible was driven publicly by Charles in the days leading up to the auction.

Personal cars are hard to pin down since, by and large, vehicles are obtained, stored, and maintained by the crown in sovereign right. While the Royal Palace hasn’t commented on which vehicles the family drives are owned individually, leased, or under the crown’s sovereign right, this one might cross the line.

1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante Specs and Feaures

A green 1987 Aston Martin Vantage Volante convertible parked at a right front angle
1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante convertible | Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Aston Martin is known as prime British automotive luxury and engineering. Famed for its James Bond relations, the V8 Vantage appeared in 1987’s “The Living Daylights” starring Timothy Dalton. The V8 is the longest-running model in the automaker’s lineup.

Spec1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
Production166 units
Body style2-Door convertible 
Engine309 hp DOHC V8
Transmission5-speed manual
SuspensionIndependent, coil springs, upper/lower control arms
Brakes4-wheel hydraulic disc
Passenger seating4

The Guardian couldn’t get an answer from Buckingham Palace about whether Charles’s Aston Martin fell under official royal gifts. Perhaps, in this case, no answer is louder than a “no.”

Source: RM Sotheby’s