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Aston Martin Vanquish: Buying guide and review (2001-2007)

Aston Martin Vanquish: Buying guide and review (2001-2007) Classic and Performance Car
Damnably seductive, the original Vanquish. It’s a car with vivid performance, a tremendous warmth of character and a rousing delivery that grips you from the moment you press that big red starter button and never lets you go. As when new, its charisma more than compensates for its few failings, and cements its place as one of the great Aston Martins. With early examples available for as little as £50,000, they are horribly tempting.
This was the last extensively hand-built Aston and the last to come from the old Newport Pagnell works, which to some makes it the last ‘real’ Aston. Not that it’s a dinosaur. In many respects it was also the first of the new-era Astons. The first to be launched under the stewardship of Dr Ulrich Bez, and the first to be built around a structure of extruded, bonded aluminium and advanced composites. 
Another break with tradition was the automated six-speed manual gearbox, which did away with a clutch pedal and introduced paddles for the first time on an Aston, side-stepping the notoriously heavyweight manual gearshifts of previous flagship models.
And then there was the 460bhp 5.9-litre V12, a Cosworth-led evolution of the engine that had first seen service in the DB7 Vantage. It endowed the Vanquish with suitably vivid performance – 0-60 in under 5sec, a top speed of around 190mph and a rousing soundtrack to match – while the stiff platform and beautifully controlled suspension gave the Vanquish a light-on-its-toes demeanour that was a revelation after the previous supercharged Vantage flagship. And all clothed in a body of undeniable muscularity and ‘presence’, Ian Callum’s first clean-sheet Aston design.
Which one to buy?
Any Vanquish is a desirable package, but the biggest choice you have to make is early or late model. The model evolved over the years, and the character of a launch spec Vanquish is considerably different to a last of the line Vanquish S. 
A really worthwhile option to seek out is the Sports Dynamic Pack, available from 2003. This added uprated suspension and brakes, but the Vanquish S, introduced in 2004 (from chassis 1506), incorporated these as standard. Along with the handling upgrades, a new aero package, improved gearshift and a power increase to 520bhp completed the package.
Towards the end of Vanquish production, Aston Martin Works Service was sanctioned to develop a manual gearshift conversion. Almost 70 cars have been converted so far – although a well set-up automated car is a delight in itself.
The Linn audio system that replaced the original Alpine hi-fi for the 2003 model year is desirable, as is full leather (some Vanquishes have Alcantara centre panels on the seats), while 2+2s are slightly more sought-after. 007-spec Tungsten paint adds value; conversely, dark blues and greens are not so saleable.
Performance and specs
Engine V12, 5935cc 
Power 460bhp @ 6500rpm 
Torque 400lb ft @ 5000rpm
Transmission Six-speed automated manual
0-60mph 5.0sec 
Top speed 190mph 
Dimensions and weight
Wheelbase 2690mm
Length 4665mm
Width 1923mm
Height 1318mm
Kerb weight 1820kg
Common problems
A well-kept Vanquish should present with undamaged bodywork, a clean, unmarked interior and a well-populated service file – although it’s unrealistic to expect that low-mileage cars will have been religiously serviced every six months, you should still expect to see stamps and invoices for annual work. You’re unlikely to be inspecting the quality of restoration work, although few Vanquishes are still in original hands.
• A full service history by reputable specialists is the first box in need of ticking. Ideally Vanquishes should be serviced every six months or 7500 miles; if a car’s had anything less than an annual service it should certainly put you on your guard

• The good news is that the V12 engine is very strong, and serious faults are rare. The most common problem is with the coil packs, which suffer both from heat damage and occasionally from water ingress causing shorting. Any misfiring points to problems.

• Potentially the most serious issue is oil consumption caused by the engine ingesting its own oil vapour because the reed-type valves in the breather system have stuck open. A low oil level could eventually lead to starved big end bearings at the back of the engine. So look inside the air filter for a heavy oil deposit; anything more than a light misting could spell trouble.

• Don’t be put off by the automated manual – properly set up and driven with a little sensitivity, it’s a decent system. The Magnetti Marelli hardware sits on the back of the transaxle, providing electro-hydraulic actuation of the gearchanges.

• Early cars had analogue gear position sensors, which can wear, which is when you can get problems. Later cars (chassis 600 onwards) had magnetic sensors, which are much more robust. Most early cars have had them retro-fitted when the clutch has been replaced. The shift has benefited from software updates over the years, too.

• Unsurprisingly, clutch wear varies hugely depending on driving style. Clutches can last as few as 15,000 miles or as many as 40,000. On the test drive you’re looking for a nice crisp pull-away and a crisp change, with no slip, no untoward noises and no serious vibrations. A whistling sound as you pull away suggests spigot shaft bearing wear, which is a £2000 repair; £5000 if the shaft needs replacing too.

• The standard brakes aren’t up to track-work but are fine for anything but the most extreme road driving. Cross drillings should be cleaned as part of a service; if they’re blocked it can lead to corrosion, particularly on the inner face.

• look for bubbling at the edges of the aluminium body panels, the first signs of electrolytic corrosion, which if it develops will eventually necessitate a respray. 

• Also check the front wing strakes – they’re cast on some cars and also prone to bubbling (replacements cost around £300 each).

• The single biggest problem with the Vanquish, though, is its steel front subframe. Water gets trapped between undertray and frame, causing rust. If it’s extensive it may require replacement (£5000-plus). So remove the tray and check. 

• Also check the small steel bracket at the end of each sill. Corrosion here can spread through the mounting bolts and cause electrolytic reaction in the tub itself. The carbonfibre crash structure front and rear is visible underneath so check for signs of damage, though it is repairable.
Model history
1998: Project Vantage show car previews the Vanquish at the New York Auto Show 
2001: Production V12 Vanquish launched, minutely changed in every detail over the show car 
2003: Vanquich SDP (Sports Dynamic Pack) offered 
2004: Vanquish S launched (from chassis no 1506); more power, improves chassis and aerodynamics 
2007: Production ceases at Newport Pagnell after 2593 Vanquishes built in total, including final 40 Ultimate Edition cars
Owners clubs, forums and websites
• www.astonmartinworks.com
• www.nicholasmee.co.uk
• www.amoc.org 
• www.amocna.org
Summary and prices
This was (and remains) a car of strong character, great style and effortless (200mph!) performance, with a unique place in history as the last of the artisan Astons – and prices seem set to continue rising. Fancy a Vanquish? Better act quick.
Well-cared-for examples are creeping up in value. Expect to pay from £55,000 upwards for a well-maintained early Vanquish today. Values are just starting to move ahead, and early cars are starting to sell for between £60,000 and £75,000, while a nice S is £100,000 and an Ultimate Edition [the run-out model, just 50 made] is way beyond that. Predictably, mileage, service history and condition count most, but specification also plays a part.
Words: Peter Tomalin/Vantage magazine
Last updated: 26th Jan 2016
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Aston Martin Vanquish
84950 209000 GBP

    £169,999 £169,999

    Type: Used Year: 2007 Make: ASTON MARTIN Model: VANQUISH Trim: S 2+2 Auto Body: Coupe Trans: Automatic Mileage: 5528 Engine Size: Ext Color: Onyx Black

    • Mileage: 5528 mi
    For sale
    £169,999 £169,999
    Kahn Automobiles
    01270869747 View contact number
  • Aston Martin Aston Martin Vanquish Volante Carbon Edition |

    £139,850 £139,850

    Specification MAKE Aston Martin MODEL Aston Martin Vanquish Volante Carbon Edition COLOUR Carbon Black YEAR 2015/15 MILEAGE 12300 DESCRIPTION We are delighted to be able to offer for sale this exceptional One Owner Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. Finished in Carbon Black with Obsidian Black leather with Silver Stitch. STANDARD EQUIPMENT Anti Locking Brakes, Driver and Passenger Airbags, Climate Control, Electric Windows, DAB Radio, Front and Rear Parking Sensors with Rear Parking Camera, Electrically Adjustable Memory Front Seats, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Heated Front Seats, Electrically Adjustable Exterior Mirrors, Wind Deflector, Carbon Fibre Wing Mirror Covers, Tyre Pressure Monitor, Bang and Olufsen Sound System, Bi-Xenon Headlights, Satellite Navigation System, Bluetooth Telephone Connectivity, i-Pod Connection, Adjustable Steering Column, OPTIONAL EXTRAS One 77 Full Leather Steering Wheel, 2 + 2 Seating Arrangement, Machined Carbon Fibre Wings Badge, Ventilated Front Seats, 20" Ten Spoke Gloss Black Alloy Wheels, Black Brake Calipers, Carbon Paddles, Embroidered Headrests. TRANSMISSION Touchtronic III ENGINE CAPACITY 5935 STANDARD POWER (BHP) 568 EMISSIONS (CO 2 ) 298 PRICE £

    • Mileage: 139850 mi
    For sale
    £139,850 £139,850

    €105,000(£0) €105,000(£0)

    A FUTURE CLASSIC, VAT EXAMPLE (VAT DEDUCTIBLE FOR COMPANIES) Brand Aston Martin Type Vanquish 5.9 V12 Color Black Interior Brown Year of build 2004 Price € 105.000,- Incl. Vat 2004 ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH 5.9 V12 The Vanquish is yet another ‘James Bond’ Aston Martin, having featured in ‘Die Another Day’ starring Pierce Brosnan as the eponymous secret agent Hand-crafted aluminum body panels and leather interior 200mph+ performance The official Aston Martin website calls the 2001-2007 Vanquish/Vanquish S series, “a car beloved by modern day enthusiasts and also heritage collectors alike.” This model is now becoming both collectable and recognized as a serious future classic as well as a fabulous car to drive and enjoy Beautifully presented in a great colour combination VAT example (VAT deductible for companies) An entirely new Aston Martin for the 21st Century, the Vanquish debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2001, with deliveries commencing a few months later. The Vanquish took over from the Vantage V8, the Newport Pagnell factory undergoing an extensive multi-million pound refurbishment to accommodate it, gaining a new assembly line, paint shop, rolling road and water test facil

    • Year: 2004
    For sale
    €105,000(£0) €105,000(£0)
  • Aston Martin Vanquish 'S' 2 + 2 - newly reduced

    £115,000 £115,000

    Chassis Number: SCFAC143X5B 501710 Engine Number: AM06/10074 UK Registration Number: LF 05 GSV Date of first reg: 22nd March 2005 Exterior colour: Black Hood: Interior colour: Charcoal Current Odometer reading: 39,500 Mileage Warranty: Steering: Right Transmission: Semi-Auto Options: Heated seats,Heated windscreen,2 + 2 Specification,Air conditioning,Power assisted steering,Electric windows,Sequential 6 speed transmission, switchable Sports Exhaust Background Background: The Vanquish had a controversial birth. It had been given a big build up in time for its UK debut at the 2000 Birmingham Motor Show, but it created more headlines by not appearing at the NEC. It was reported that Dr Ulrich Bez, the Chief Executive of Aston Martin, was unhappy with the fact that the Vanquish was using dashboard air vents from a Ford Ka. Despite the quality of the parts, he was not prepared for a £164,000 flagship supercar to share parts quite so obviously with a £7,000 shopping special. It reflects Aston Martin’s approach to the Vanquish – it was a flagship model designed to compete with the Ferrari 550 Maranello, a car that Aston Martin forensically examined to understand the quality standards requ

    For sale
    £115,000 £115,000
  • Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe

    £135,000 £135,000

    £135,000 YEAR: 2015 DRIVE SIDE: Right MILEAGE: 7388 TRANSMISSION: 8-Speed Touchtronic 3 Automatic POWER: 568 bhp ENGINE SIZE: 6.0 litre V12 EXTERIOR COLOUR: Ceramic Grey INTERIOR COLOUR: Obsidian Black ACCELERATION: 3.6s (0-60mph) MAX SPEED: 201 mph Standard Features • 1000 W Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system • Adaptive Damping System (ADS) • Alarm and immobiliser • Aluminium, magnesium alloy and carbon fibre composite body • Automatic headlights • Automatic wipers • Black bonnet and side strake meshes • Black hardware pack • Black textured tailpipe • Black vaned grille • Bluetooth® telephone preparation • Boot-mounted umbrella • Carbon Fibre Herringbone centre stack facia • Carbon fibre mirror caps • Carbon fibre side strakes • Cruise control • Dual stage driver and passenger front airbags • Dynamic stability control (DSC) • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) • Emergency brake assist (EBA) • Front and rear parking sensors • Heated rear screen • High Intensity Discharge headlamps (dipped beam) • Infotainment system with capacitive switching • Launch Control • LED rear lamps and side repeaters • Memory seats and exterior mirrors • Powerfold exterior heated mirrors • Satelli

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 7388 mi
    For sale
    £135,000 £135,000
  • ASTON MARTIN Vanquish 2+2 Sports Dynamic Pack

    £84,950 £84,950

    2+2 Seat Configuration Sports Dynamic Pack Upgraded 378mm Brake Disc's with Six Pot Callipers Stiffer Springs Lowering By 5mm With Revised Dampers Steering Upgrade Lightweight Vanquish S Alloys Linn Hifi Upgrade Satellite Navigation Heated Seats Heated Front Screen Powerfold Exterior Mirrors Rear Parking Sensors Clear Start Button Great Service History 1 Of 94 Cars Supplied With Sports Dynamic Pack Wordwide Fantastic Investment Opportunity Beautiful Condition Just Been Serviced. 19' Alloy Wheels ABS Adjustable Steering Column Airbag Alarm Alloy Wheels CD Player Central Door Locking Climate Control Electric Seats Electric Windows Heated front seats Immobiliser Leather Trim On Board Computer Passenger Airbag Power Steering Stereo Tyre Pressure Monitoring System Delivery Available Financing Available Full Service History

    • Year: 2004
    • Mileage: 27500 mi
    For sale
    £84,950 £84,950