The Valiant: An Aston Martin V8 Vantage Restomod for the Track
Though it has built continuation replicas of famous models, Aston Martin hasn’t featured too heavily in the restomod scene. Especially in the sportier parts of restomodding, like Gunther Werks’ 993-based 400R. Which makes sense, given that even the brand’s 911 competitor, the V8 Vantage, was more GT than a sports car. But one Nurburgring instructor is aiming to change that with his Aston Martin V8 Vantage restomod.
The Aston Martin V8 Valiant build details
Technically, Ali Robertson’s 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage is too new to be considered a classic. However, as Road & Track explains, Robertson’s ‘Valiant’ does keep with the restomod ethos. Namely, rebuilding an older car to be better-than-new from essentially the ground up. It doesn’t hurt that the British carmaker’s cars echo their forebears in terms of looking classic.
Robertson didn’t go quite so far as to strip the V8 Vantage down to the bare metal. However, the interior has been updated, with a custom half roll cage, hand-stitched Alcantara, and a real carbon-fiber center console. It has a new steering wheel, and Aston Martin Racing reproduction sport seats built onto Recaro bases. That way, he can fit proper racing harnesses. And to save some additional weight, the standard battery gets replaced by a lighter lithium-ion one.
The Valiant still uses the original Aston Martin V8 Vantage’s 380-hp 4.3-liter V8 and 6-speed semi-automatic transmission. But the suspension and tires are all new.
The Valiant rides on custom-built Ohlins suspension, with components taken from the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 race car. The standard brakes have been replaced with larger racing-spec ones. The standard tires Robertson offers are Pirelli P Zeros. But, for the dedicated track-goer, the Valiant can be fitted with Ohlins TTX suspension and Dunlop Direzza semi-slick tires.
What’s the V8 Vantage Valiant like to drive?
Originally, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage gave up a measure of sportiness compared to the contemporary 911. But it was arguably the better car to take on long-distance drives. Robertson’s Valiant, though, makes the Vantage into a proper race contender.
Driving the Valiant on the Nurburgring, R&T calls the car’s grip “legendary,” comparing it to a modern 911 GT3 RS. And yet, for how well the Aston Martin V8 Vantage restomod handles, it still rides very comfortably. The car already had 50:50 weight distribution and a limited-slip rear differential. But the suspension and tires elevate those positive traits to new levels. And with the V8 Vantage’s steering, you never lose confidence in the car.
“It’s a beautifully balanced package,” R&T reports, one that equals Aston Martin’s factory cars. High praise for a one-person show.
Pricing and availability
Robertson hasn’t released pricing for his Aston Martin V8 Vantage builds. Suffice to say, it’s likely in the ‘if you have to ask’ range. However, the 2007-based car R&T drove is actually his 3rd build.
Interestingly enough, for not much more than the average cost of a road-going V8 Vantage, you could buy a factory-prepped racing version. V8 Vantage GT4s do occasionally appear for sale at auction sites. A 2013 example sold on Bring a Trailer in 2019 for $58,000. Meanwhile, the average V8 Vantage sells for around $40,000 on BaT.
And the GT4 was a proper race car. It had magnesium wheels, adjustable suspension, a full carbon-fiber aerodynamics package, and Recaro racing seats. The anti-roll bars were stiffer, and the bodywork included brake cooling ducts. And inside was a full racing roll cage and fire-suppression system.
If that’s a bit too hard-core, consider the Aston Martin V8 Vantage S. Released in 2011, it came with an upgraded version of the then-standard 4.7-liter V8, Car and Driver reports. In addition to making 430 hp and 361 lb-ft, it also offered an upgraded 7-speed semi-automatic. Plus, the S had stiffer springs, larger brakes, retuned traction control, and a carbon-fiber rear diffuser, Motor Trend reports. These cars do carry a slight premium over the standard model, but it’s still possible to find ones for $45,000-$60,000.
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