This ultra-rare Aston Martin V8 Shooting Brake is expected to sell for $453,000 at auction.
Aston Martin recently hosted a rather noisy housewarming party at its new factory, featuring a glorious gathering of cars from its 104-year history. While some of its most iconic cars such as the DB5 and vicious Vulcan made star appearances, it was surprising to see some of its unloved oddities invited to the party like the Lagonda and Cygnet. There was one forgotten rarity that didn't feature, however: the Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Wagon. It started life as a sporty 1996 V8 Coupe before Aston Martin converted it into a practical shooting brake.
Only three were made, one of which is heading to the Bonhams' Aston Martin Works auction in the UK. It may sound unusual for a company associated with some of the most iconic sports cars in the world, but Aston Martin has a brief history of shooting brakes - coachbuilder Harold Radford commissioned seven DB6s and the three Virages also got the shooting brake treatment. Powered by the Coupe's naturally-aspirated, 5.3-liter V8 engine producing 330 horsepower which was rebuilt in 1999, the car was converted into a wagon by Aston Martin between September 1996 and December 1997. The example for sale is one of two left-hand drive models commissioned by two Swiss brothers in 1996.
It's most obvious design feature is its ungainly extended roofline, but it also comes equipped with modern creature comforts including a fitted humidor and satellite navigation. Finished in British Racing Green, it's been maintained by Aston Martin Works under its current ownership and was extensively refurbished in the last two to three years, so you can be assured it's in immaculate condition. There are only around 13,000 miles on the clock, but it's only done 800 in the last seven years. The original Swiss owner handed it over to a French art collector, before its current owner cherished it as part of a "significant private collection of Aston Martins."
Being such a rare and obscure car from Aston Martin's history means the V8 Sportsman is expected to fetch between 300,000 GBP ($386,000) and 350,000 GBP ($453,000) when it goes under the hammer on May 13. Granted, it's far from being the most elegant Aston Martin ever built, but we'd rather have this than most modern SUVs, wagons and crossovers.