After 4 months of waiting, Project Blue Wave is finally complete and we are proud to say we have turned it up a few notches in the Aston world with this masterpiece. While the Aston brand may not be for everyone, we feel that the few elements we tweaked on our project car just made this very exotic, breathtaking.
We felt that despite the fact that the Vantage hasn’t changed chassis in the past 7 years, small tweaks would make all the difference. We approached the project from three angles: Performance, Elegance and Presence. While the Aston Vantage V8 is far from a race car, and far from being considered a fast exotic, its design is very visually appealing so our goal remained to improve performance, without sacrificing the elegance or class that the car commands. Here is a breakdown of Project Blue Wave.
Performance: We reached out to Velocity AP for all of our engine components. We wanted to increase performance and sound while retaining driveability. We went with the Power Upgrade Kit they sell which consists of their new Headers, 200 Cell Cats, Sport Exhaust and a set of air filters, that was all brought together with a ECU tune. The results are a 4.3L Vantage that outruns a 2011 Vantage S, without mentioning one of the most incredible sounding engines we have yet heard. There hasn’t been one person that has not immediately fallen in love with the roar of our car. We added a set of H&R springs for that perfect stance.
Wheels and Tires: We wanted to keep the car as close to OEM looking as possible. We decided on a concave monoblock wheel for less weight and fender filling visuals. Since our car is Monaco Blue, it only made sense that we look for a gunmetal wheel. We immediately fell in love with the tinted brushed finish of Modulare Wheels. We contacted Peter over at Wheel Experts who set us up with a very aggressive version of their B30 Monoblocks in tinted brushed gunmetal. With an 11″ rear and a set of beefy Michelin Pilot Sports, we truly filled up our fenders.
Interior: One of the reasons we love Aston Martin is because the interior is world class compared to other exotic cars. We appreciate the attention to details and color combinations especially our ivory interior coupled with piano wood. We did, however, feel that on the earlier model cars like our own, there is a bigger amount of gray like on the inner door handles and center console. We thought of doing carbon fiber but the mixture of carbon and piano wood would take away from the elegance. We opted to simply upgrade our handles and door sills to piano black, giving the interior a few tweaks that made a big difference. We also upgraded to floor mats to add ivory tubing and carry the white theme over the navy carpet by reaching out to Andrew at exotiCARe.
Exterior: While the appearance of our Aston was far from outdated, it was still getting overplayed and so it only made sense that we stole elements from the new 2013 Vantage V12 S to bring our car to the same level as a more modern day exotic. A set of OEM V12 Side Skirts coupled with a gloss black roof, and N400 rear diffuser took care of just that. While the color combo of our car did bring our Aston out of its blended shell, we still needed to break the blue and gray elements with a bright color. We chose to add some orange on our calipers and strut braces under the hood (which remain visible through the front grill). We went with the pearl orange used on the Lamborghini Murcielago and created a contrast like none other.
All in all, our project car has probably turned into one of today’s most beautiful and usable exotic cars on the market under $100K. This also being our second Aston Martin V8 Vantage V8, we are pretty certain that we can now write a whole book on what to look for in an Aston martin when considering one. Look for our upcoming Vantage buyer’s guide next week.
A big thank you to all that helped bring this project to life. Peter @ Modulare Wheels, Stuart @ Velocity AP, Chris @ Superior Auto, Luis @ Exotic Service Inc, Pasqual @ Baricua Auto body, Andrew @ ExotiCARe and finally Jason Stewart Photography for his amazing photography.