Three-pedal Aston Martins won't be affordable forever.
Aston Martin made a promise to enthusiasts to always keep at least one manual transmission in its lineup. As of this writing, the DB11 and new Vantage are only available with an eight-speed automatic. Aston Martin says a manual is on the way for the Vantage, but so far it has not kept its promise. Even without a third pedal, the new Vantage and DB11 are huge improvements over their predecessors. These new Astons may be great, but we believe now is the perfect time to buy an older model.
There are plenty of cheaper alternatives to buying a brand-new Aston Martin, but we think buying a used one is the best option. We have seen V8 Vantage prices plummet, so they can now be picked up for less than a well-optioned BMW. The V8 Vantage is a great car, but we had our sights set on something a little more special. We wanted to know how much it would cost to buy a used Aston Martin with a V12 engine and a manual transmission. These cars may not be as affordable as a used V8 Vantage, but we think they are still good value. We found three used Aston Martin models that will soon become collectible: the DBS, DB9, and V12 Vantage.
Aston Martin introduced the DBS in 2008 as a replacement to the Vanquish S. The car lasted until 2012, when in perfect symmetry it was replaced by a new Vanquish. The DBS was the faster, sportier version of the DB9, but still retained a high level of comfort as a grand touring car. The 5.9-liter V12 produced 510 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque going out to the rear wheels. There was a optional six-speed automatic, but true enthusiasts ordered the car with the six-speed manual. There was also a convertible version for people who loved to soak in the sun. We think the coupe will be the more valuable collector car, especially with the six-speed manual.
We found a few used DBS models with fairly low mileage. The most expensive model we found is currently being sold for around $130,000, while the cheapest model is a more modest $98,000. Even the cheaper model only has 35,000 miles on it, but it does have some tacky aftermarket wheels. If that is still too expensive, we also found a slightly older DB9 with a manual transmission. The car we found only has 23,000 miles on it and is now for sale for just under $61,000. The DB9 isn't as fast or as sharp as the DBS, but the 5.9-liter V12 produced 450 hp and the car was still an incredibly competent grand tourer.
The DB9 and DBS were fantastic GT cars, but some people may want the feeling of a more hardcore sports car. Luckily, the V12 Vantage is also reasonably depreciated. Most of the cars are priced above $100,000, but we managed to find a 2011 V12 Vantage Carbon Black Edition for less than $95,000. The V12 Vantage borrowed the engine from the DBS, which still produced 510 hp. While the DBS was tuned to be a GT car, the Vantage had a shorter wheelbase which made it feel more like a sports car. The Carbon Black Edition is exactly what it sounds like, an Obsidian Black paint job with tons of carbon fiber options.
We have seen manual Ferrari models skyrocket in value in recent years. If manual transmissions keep dying off, we have no doubt that cars like the DBS, DB9, and V12 Vantage will eventually become high-value collector cars. The value on these cars should increase over time, so we'd buy one now while they are still reasonably affordable.