Who knew His Royal Highness preferred to row his own gears?
Want to feel like royalty when you're driving? Then you'll probably want a British luxury automobile, the kind favored by royalty not only in the UK, but around the world. Something like, say, a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley, or an Aston Martin. This one should do the trick.
It's a 1994 Aston Martin Virage Volante, and it doesn't just look like it's fit for a prince – it was actually made for one. And not just any prince, either: it "belonged" to Charles, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and heir to the throne of England and over a dozen other Commonwealth countries.
The Virage was one of the most luxurious models in the V8 lineup that Aston Martin made from the 1970s until the turn of the millennium, and was a natural choice for His Royal Highness to replace the V8 Volante he had in the 1980s. While the Virage came standard with a 5.3-liter V8, this Volante was converted to 6.3 liters, giving it 456 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. It also benefited from an upgraded suspension, brakes, and exhaust. But for the Prince of Wales, Aston left off the wide-body upgrade in favor of the more suitably elegant standard fenders.
It was painted in Special British Racing Green, with a green Everflex roof, Mushroom leather upholstery, black leather dashboard, and green carpets. It was also fitted with a police radio and a leather-trimmed compartment in the armrest to carry sugar cubes for the polo ponies. And to his credit, Charles opted for the five-speed manual instead of the standard automatic.
Though it was built for and driven by the prince until 2008, the car technically remained the property of the manufacturer, which sold it in 2012 to its current owner, who in turn is putting it up for auction. Bonhams expects it will sell for about £250,000 (~$325k) when the gavel drops in London on December 7.