Aston Martin’s Q division has built a unique Vantage Roadster to commemorate the brand’s oldest car in existence, the A3. The limited-run model, called the ‘A3’ Vantage Roadster, adopts a number of bespoke design details inspired by the 100-year-old car, and just three examples will be made.
The original A3 was created as a prototype in 1921, and as the name suggests, was the third Aston Martin ever built. And despite putting out just 8kW, a slippery racing body allowed it to claim many light-car speed records – it even lapped the famous, banked Brooklands circuit at an impressive 135.98km/h average speed.
The A3 is currently part of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust collection, and it remains faithful to its original factory specification thanks to a thorough, sympathetic restoration. The car turns 100 years old this year, and the new ‘A3’ Vantage Roadster has arrived to commemorate this milestone.
Mechanically, the ‘A3’ Vantage Roadster is identical to the standard car, so it still features a 375kW 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The limited-run model does, however, feature a number of exclusive design touches.
Aston’s Q division chose black exterior paint and flashes of hand-polished aluminium in a similar vein to the original A3, which also made use of dark paint and bare aluminium panels. Ecurie Bertelli – a renowned specialist in pre-war Astons – was enlisted to finish the aluminium details of the car, which include a new grille surround and wing panels.
There are also finer nostalgic touches, such as Aston Martin heritage badging, a square mesh grille and a saddle leather bonnet strap, that draw from the 1921 model. Bronze-coloured brake callipers also feature.
Inside, the architecture of the cabin is unchanged, but there is more classic badging, including an embossed heritage logo on the centre console, and a copper-coloured embroidered Aston Martin script between the seats.
The seats themselves are micro-perforated, fluted items, with Chestnut Tan leather accents. However, the most striking additions are new rotary dials on the dashboard, which have been specially cast from brass for a vintage look.
Orders are now open for the ‘A3’ Vantage Roadster, but pricing is unknown. Given that the car is limited to three examples, a substantial premium over the standard Vantage can be expected.