I’m Not Mad About This 60s-Themed DB9 Re-Skin

A UK-based engineering firm will transform your DB9 into a 60s-themed throwback

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A photo of the Vantare GT, which adds 1960s styling to an Aston Martin DB9
The Vantare GT was inspired by 1960s Aston martins
Photo: British Automotive Engineering

Should any cars be exempt from the work of coachbuilders? If there is a definitive list, I think I’d like to make a case for the Aston Martin DB9 to be added.

Sure, tweaking the design of this sleek grand tourer can offer a nice option for millionaires looking to get their hands on something a touch rarer than the off-the-shelf variant. But is it a car that can really be improved by aftermarket alterations? Well, this coachbuilt 1960s-inspired DB9 is out to prove that it can be.

Design houses like Zagato have pumped out some stunning twists on other Aston Martins over the years, but even its attempt on the classic lines of the DB9 left me pining for the original.

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Now, a British engineering outfit, creatively called British Automotive Engineering (BAE), has got its hands on the Aston Martin DB9 and wants to change the way it looks.

An overhead photo of the Vantare GT showing its retro styling
From above, the Vantare GT looks like a retro Aston Martin
Photo: British Automotive Engineering
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For a cool $375,000, BAE will strip the DB9 of its Ian Callum and Henrik Fisker-penned bodywork, replacing it with bespoke panels inspired by Aston Martin’s 1960s cars.

Gone are the elegant lines of the original DB9. Instead, the Vantare GT is packed with cues from the DB5.

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Up front, the brand’s signature grille is flanked by chrome-rimmed headlamps and a hood scoop that is straight out of the vintage Aston spares catalogue.

From the side, the retro cues continue along the bottom half of the car, while the roof retains the low angle from the DB9. I think this is my favorite view of the Vantare GT as it shows the point where old and new collide, displaying the influence of both designs.

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The DB5's gills also make an appearance behind the Vantare GT’s front wheels, and are elongated along the doors to better fit the proportions of the car.

The wheels themselves are one of the many custom flourishes found on the Vantare GT. The 20-inch, milled wheels were inspired by the spoked design of the ‘60s and can fit high performance tires to keep the car planted on the road.

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The Vantare GT has three tail lights
The tail lights on the Vantare GT mimic those found on classic Aston Martins
Photo: British Automotive Engineering

At the rear, there’s further retro cues as the tail lights mimic the three-tiered style found on Astons of old. The classic blinkers also bookend a boot that follows the DB5s lines to a tee.

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It’s an eye-catching design, and one that’s sure to appeal to many people with sizable checkbooks. But when aftermarket alterations are all about adding value, is the Vantare GT greater than the sum of its parts? I admire the craft behind the car, and some of the its details are stunning. But I think once again, I’ll stick to stock.

With 10 of the cars up for grabs, what do you think? Can you see yourself lining up to test out the creation?