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Virage Reputation

6508 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Boxer
Why are Virages so unpopular ? Do they have a host of design problems ?

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Yes, they are one of the worst Aston Martins on the market. They were $220 new and now go for low $40s
Any idea why ?

We could a professional information here...
My dad bought an ex-PoW Volante convertible and took it back after a couple of days, it was horrific to drive. I know you shouldn't expect a sports car, but it was like driving a house.
At teh time the Virage was developed, Aston was operating on a shoe stirng budget. Therefore the car was never properly sorted.

The unfortunate thing is, it is a British hand built car, being built by a company with no money or resources, at the time up for sale. Every ones hart was in the car and it was a big step forward for Aston but uncontrolled.
Great topic. I owned a 1991 British Racing Green Virage for about three years. It was owned originally by George Roberts, of KKR. I found it listed in AutoWeek for $45k in 2003 with 9900 miles and was surprised I could buy such a rare car for that price. They only made a few hundred of them.

I don't think the styling was particularly unique, as it looked like a Chevy Cavalier of that time if you squinted. I bought it anyway, to experience what it was like to drive such a unique piece of automotive history.
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The Virage was a hard car to service. Parts were always hard to find, a down side of a rare car. And it had early computerized diagnostics, which meant everytime an indicator light would come on, the service shop didn't know what it meant b/c the factory didn't seem to document the issues when only building a couple hundred cars. So that was a thorn in my side...and the various indicators would often pop on.

The strangest thing about the car was the reaction it drew from people. The most common reaction was, "what kind of car is that?" Not, "What Aston Martin model is it?" or "That's a beautiful car." It was always a quizzical look, as if I had an Allard, Morgan or a Caterham that no one could recognize. It always struck me as funny how people seems to think it was a kit car or something odd.
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The Virage was a rather dull car to drive as well. Certainly not sporty in nature, yet not entirely coddled with luxury either, like say, a Bentley. The exhaust was quiet and muted in nature. The steering was non-remarkable. It was clearly aimed to be a grand touring car with comfortable seats, even in the back. It had lots of torque which was always pleasant.

The other funny thing about the Virage was the size of the trip computer - a sign of it's development in the late '80s on a parts bin budget. It had an entire component spanning the width of the center dash dedicated to the mpg, avg speed, etc. with buttons for each function to toggle on the display. We're talking a trip computer that was 3' tall by 12' wide! That was high tech at the time, I guess! Pretty funny.
Would you buy one again?

I'm a push over for cool and unique cars, so yes, I probably would buy one again. I don't think the car would be high on my priority list, but it had understated class and unexpected power. Aston came our with a modified Virage that was visually more masculine; that would probably be the Virage I'd try next.

Mine was very low miles, it had averaged under 1,000 miles per year. When I started driving it fairly regularly, it when through the typical phase that required a lot of maintenance, as everything (rubber gaskets, etc) that had atrophied during 12 years of limited use needed replaced. It was pretty annoying, but to be expected.

I sold the car for the very same price as I paid about three years later. When I was driving to meet the buyer to sign papers and swap payment in exchange for the car, the check engine light came on during my 30 mile drive. The timing of that was rather frustrating.

It took a little explaining to the owner that it had truly just come on and that it wasn't a sign that the world was ending. Luckily for me, he was a Virage "collector" and already had one as well as having a close friend who had two, so he was about as understanding as anyone could be. He was apparently trying to corner the market!

Too bad I don't recall his name, or he could chime in on this thread. Who knows, maybe he is on this forum!
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It sounds a bit like my experience with a Ferrari F355. Engaging but fragile.

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