Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 | Spotted

Credit where it’s due, Aston Martin has persisted with the manual gearbox when many thought it would not. Currently, that’s most visible in the spectacular Valour, but notably there was also a clutch available for a period in the Vantage, even though the AMG V8 was never designed for a third pedal. The significant reengineering to make it happen ought to be appreciated by enthusiasts. Even if, hand on heart, it didn’t take long to realise the whole package was designed around the auto ‘box. Still, some less-than-perfect manual Aston Martins must be better than none at all, right?

Back when automatics were nowhere near as good as nowadays, the manual was always the gearbox to have in cars like the V8 Vantage you see here. That’s now reflected in values. And if you’ll excuse a slightly personal missive for a minute, here’s why an N430 in particular is well worth seeking out.


Almost a decade ago, the racier, lipstickier V8 Vantage was your correspondent’s first Aston Martin launch, and first manual Aston experience as well. Following the N24 weekend (the N-badged Astons always celebrated the Nurburgring), it was a hugely exciting opportunity for a young whippersnapper car hack. I’d grown up seeing various different Vantages, vividly recalled that V12 segment on Top Gear, and worried that the old stager had been built up to highly. I could only be disappointed, surely. The truth was anything but.

Even having been fortunate to drive a few similar V8Vs since, the N430 really stands out as a good’un. This was the first time the 436hp, ‘S’ spec of the 4.7 V8 had been offered with a manual, and it was a match made in heaven. The gearbox still wasn’t the sweetest shifting around, especially with the lever not in easy reach, but being able to dictate gearchanges however you wished in a compact V8 Aston with proper power was a real privilege. I was smitten all those years ago and remain so now.

The N430 arrived at an odd time, of course, with the V8 Vantage very much in its dotage. The F-Type Coupe was the hot new thing, offering more power for similar cash. This was still the time of the last few V8 R8s, too, and the naturally aspirated 991 with a manual gearbox. Looking back, it was a great time for sports cars. And the N430, despite its age (perhaps because of it, as Aston had had a long time to refine it) offered up a drive that felt both old school and capable at the same time. There was feel and engagement in abundance (the hydraulic steering was a real highlight), alongside proper performance as well. If you worked for it. On those brilliant roads around the Nurburgring, a crap interior really didn’t matter.


The N430 has been on my radar almost ever since, and we’re spoilt for choice on PH currently. The colourways were nothing if not distinctive for this special edition, and almost all of them are currently for sale: silver with white, green with yellow, black with silver, white with red, and the car you see here, Mariana Blue with red graphics pack over Argento leather. It looks an absolute treat.

With three owners since 2014, this Vantage is yet to cover 12,000 miles. However, it’s been doted on in that time, with a full Aston history and not a blemish to be seen on the CC100-inspired wheels. Back then the N430 felt like a sports car for the ages, with its fairly simple recipe of snarling N/A V8, manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive and gorgeous styling, time has only strengthened that impression. Maybe £60k is a lot given the relatively small step up in performance over a standard 4.7 V8, but certain Astons will always feel a little bit more special than the sum of their parts. For me, the N430 is definitely one of those cars. Whoever gets it next, enjoy every second.


Engine: 4,735cc V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differential
Power (hp): 436@7,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 361@5,000rpm
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
Top speed: 190mph
MPG: 20.5 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 321g/km
Year registered: 2014
Recorded mileage: 11,383
Price new: £89,995 (before options)
Yours for: £59,950

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