With an 836-horsepower V12, a six-speed manual transmission, and an ultramodern all-carbon chassis clothed in a high-downforce retro body, everything about the Aston Martin Victor feels deliberate. Orchestrated. Actually, it was built out of a bunch of spare parts Aston Martin forgot it had lying around.
I get excited when I find a couple bucks in the pocket of a coat I haven’t worn in a few months, or maybe a roll of film in a camera I hadn’t used in a while. Aston Martin realizes it has an entire carbon chassis sitting and waiting for a reunion with a high-strung V12. Somewhat different kind of experience.
Aston recently let journalists drive the Victor, a multi-million dollar one-off built for an unnamed client. Well, not built for the client, exactly. Thanks to this first drive done up by MotorTrend, we know that Aston realized it had enough spares to build a one-off, then it went looking to find a buyer. From MotorTrend:
Very few people on earth get telephone calls like this one from Aston Martin: “We’re thinking of doing a one-off car and wondered if you might be interested?” And yet, according to Simon Lane, director of Q and special projects for Aston, that’s the (paraphrased) question asked of the eventual owner of the wicked Victor supercar.
Apparently, Aston found it still had a low-mileage carbon-fiber monocoque and V-12 engine from a One-77 prototype (that’s the 77-unit jaw-dropper that made its debut more than a decade ago), and the brand’s Q division thought it’d be a shame to just leave it in storage. So ideas began to percolate.
First, the “lightly used” structure was sent back to its original supplier, Multimatic, to be restored to as-new specification. Likewise, Aston Martin’s engine partner, Cosworth, stripped the V-12 back to the block before rebuilding it. The resulting new and uniquely specified 12-cylinder improved on the One-77's quite adequate 750 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque to an even beastlier 836 hp and 614 lb-ft. It retains its 7.3-liter displacement and natural aspiration, but now the engine mates to a proper six-speed manual transmission instead of the One-77's six-speed automatic unit (with paddle shifters).
Top Gear also drove the car, and clarified just how many of these One-77-related cars are around:
Underneath it’s mostly Vulcan, which in turn was mostly One-77, Aston’s first million pound hypercar. 77 of those were made, plus 24 Vulcans, meaning this is the 102nd – and last – car built on those underpinnings.
You should read the MT story in full, as it describes what it’s like having to wheel a one-of-one Aston with more downforce than a GT4 car around a track you’ve never driven. Just after it rained. On tires wide enough to flatten a pizza. With sun turning the track into a mirror. That’s not my idea of a good time, but it does at least come across as a memorable one.