“We can’t disclose those figures I’m afraid.”
This was the reply I received to a series of questions from a fellow who should know, Paul Spires, the general manager of Aston Martin Works in Newport-Pagnell, County Buckinghamshire, England.
Situated in the “historic home of Aston Martin” since 1959 – effectively the fifth Aston factory, following earlier stints in London and Middlesex – the AM Works is the keeper of the brand’s historic flame, offering “heritage services” for all late model Aston’s including “heritage upgrades” as well as a menu of other services.
The Works website and company brochures tout Newport-Pagnell as the font of all things AM. “Aston Martin Works is now the largest, best equipped and most knowledgeable heritage restoration center in the world.”
So why can’t the Works general manager “disclose” how many of Aston’s already imposing Virages received the full “Works Service conversion” that resulted in the very rare and lusted-after British muscle car you see here?
Why is Aston Martin unable to divulge how many of the converted cars were right-hand-drive or left-hand-drive or how many were equipped with manual gearboxes?
Three reasons as far as anyone can tell: the plight of Aston Martin in the late 1980s/early 1990s, poor record-keeping and the English penchant for doing rather grand things in convoluted fashion.