Gaydon, 5 September 2007. The first car to cover the entire length of the newly - completed Asian Highway – 10,000 miles from Tokyo to London – will be sold by Aston Martin to raise funds for road safety initiatives by UNICEF China. Bonhams will auction the 2005 Aston Martin V8 Vantage coupe at its annual Olympia sale on 3 December 2007.
Driven by two fearless Britons, Richard Meredith and Phil Colley, the V8 Vantage – prepared and loaned to them by Aston Martin – completed the 49-day epic journey on 14 August 2007, having travelled through 18 countries, raising awareness and much-needed funds for children’s road safety campaigns in developing countries.
Featuring in Project 30,000 in 2006 where 30 employees drove 30,000 miles in 30 days to celebrate Aston Martin’s 30,000th production vehicle, the V8 Vantage continued its endurance testing accumulating 100,000 miles before embarking on this marathon expedition.
The V8 Vantage proved a model of reliability and performed faultlessly throughout the trip. Prepared at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, with minor modifications such as strengthened sump guard and raised suspension to deal with the often gruelling conditions, the production car completed the task without missing a beat.
Richard Meredith and Phil Colley overcame oppressive heat, challenging bureaucracy, inhospitable terrain and petrol supply problems to arrive in Trafalgar Square, London, on 14 August exactly as planned, to enter the record books for their achievement. They undertook the challenge, which was titled ‘Driving Home Road Safety 2007’, with the support of the United Nations, UNICEF and the FIA Foundation.
Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ulrich Bez said “This car symbolises Aston Martin’s commitment to highlighting Road Safety issues across the world. We are a growing global company and as such have a responsibility to promote responsible road use.”
With all proceeds going to UNICEF China to be used for road safety initiatives, the car will be offered for sale by Bonhams at no reserve and it is estimated to sell for £50,000 – £60,000.