Forum Chat #52 – Buying a v8 Vantage on a tight budget?

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Welcome to BamfordRose and its forum chat time. This week it’s about buying V8, typically it’s going to be a 4.3 2005, on a limited budget. Before we get into that, please go and check out what we’re doing on Instagram at the moment in the months of October, November, December, we have some competitions and some giveaways and we feature pictures and stories on Instagram that we don’t picture anywhere else on our social media. Links in the bio.

Okay. So, I saw this comment on a Facebook group where someone has got a fairly set budget between 25-28K looking for a 4.3. Maybe this chap is savvy anyway and he’s done this, but my advice to anybody that is purchasing a car of that age on a set budget is separate to that set budget, identify a kitty probably about 5K where you’re going to use that for service and repairs and you could tap into that immediately.

I just want to give the example of a 4.3 V8 Vantage that a year ago was in here for service and has recently been sold. Looks like a cracking car on the exterior details up, polishes up really well and the interior is real clean and nice too. So, on the surface looking at what you can see, you’d be really happy to buy this car. But lurking on the underneath was some repair and attention that the previous owner didn’t do. And separate to the funds that were available to buy the car with, if you didn’t have a kitty set aside then that could see you off the road whilst you saved to repair the car.

This particular car had a front cover timing chain oil leak which needed repair. Typical cost of that, because its engine removal, would be 3000 pounds. Its clutch on the sport shift transmission was worn out, upgraded clutch, 3600 pounds. Complete set of brakes, front and rear, 1500 pounds. Dampers had gone soft enough to detract from driving pleasure, 2000 pounds, set of dampers. All four lower arms were worn, wishbone bushes typically that would be 1500 pounds. Air conditioning system had some issues, the compressor, condenser 750 pounds. Four tyres, 1000 pounds. That’s a shade over 13000 pounds of repairs that car needs.

The air conditioning, suspension arms and dampers could be deferred. They’re not going to stop the car going from A to B. They’re not going to cause a breakdown. It’s not safety critical, but a set of tyres, set brakes, clutch and flywheel and the engine leak all need doing immediately, which is around about 9-10K’s worth of repairs as soon as you start driving the car.

Now there are some fantastic condition 4.3 V8 Vantage out there, which have been meticulously maintained and represent great buys in the used car market. But equally, there are a lot of cars out there which are harboring big repair bills. This is because you’ll typically find that an owner keeps the car for a short period of time, knows that they’re going to sell the car either by another Aston or they’ve ticked the box of owning a sports car and the money will be used for something else. They want to sell the car at pretty much what they bought the car for and in that interim period of using it, they don’t really want to pay for any repairs.

A pre-purchase inspection would stop you from buying one of those cars but any 4.3 with over 50K on the clock would have to be treated with caution and a lot of these wear and tear items and breakages would need to be factored into the purchase price. If the maintenance cost was like this car where it’s a significant sum, you know, over 13000 pounds, you need to be very careful that that figure added to your purchase price doesn’t put you all up over the cost of what it would have taken to get into the seat of a 4.7.

However, on face value, the list of faults with this car for the age of mileage is not anything untoward every single car from any automaker is going to suffer the wear and tear that this car has. The labour charge from any decent efficient garage to install all of that kit isn’t going to break the bank either. What’s causing the problem here is the astronomical price of Aston Martin’s after sales and spare parts.

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