Aston Martin's "Q" customization arm is introducing an extremely special (and limited) Vantage Roadster that celebrates the 100th birthday of the A3. No, not the compact Audi but Aston Martin's third-ever sports car (Chassis No. 3, A3, get it?) and the oldest surviving Aston sports car, period.
Rolling out of Aston's Abingdon Road factory in London all the way back in 1921, the A3 was the third prototype out of five the company built before building production models and was apparently used extensively by co-founder Lionel Martin himself. Instead of some rock-n-roll V8 or V12 that you'd find in a modern Aston, the A3 was powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder making just 11 horsepower. Clad in what was considered a "streamlined racing body" back then, the O.G. Aston took first place at the 1922 Essex Motor Club Kop Hill Climb before lapping the Brooklands circuit at 84.5 mph the following year, an impressive speed for its time.
In 2002, it was generously donated at an auction to the people who manage the Aston Martin museum in South Oxfordshire, who then called on the services of pre-war Aston specialist Ecurie Bertelli to restore it.
In commemoration of this car's centenary, the special-spec Vantage mimics the A3 with a black-mesh, aluminum-framed grille wearing the old Aston Martin badge, especially cool hand-polished panels aft of the front fenders that feature a saddle leather strap and "No 3" engravings, bronze brake calipers, and lightweight 20-inch black wheels.
On the inside, micro-perforated, fluted seats feature Chestnut Tan stitching while the center console is accented with Chestnut Tan leather and some beautiful brass climate control knobs.
Sadly, this surprisingly awesome special edition Vantage Roadster is limited to just three examples. Appropriate, I guess, for a car that celebrates the firm's third-ever car.
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