"The One-77, a sports car of unparalleled beauty with subtle aggression and performance developed in 2008 and 2009 with the goal of eclipsing any previous Aston Martin road car. The most exclusive Aston Martin of the 'Gaydon era', One-77 was limited to 77 unique examples." - Aston Martin.
In keeping with its tradition of producing limited edition, hand crafted exotica for the wealthy aficionado, best exemplified by the DB4 GT Zagato of the 1960s, Aston Martin previewed its proposed One-77 'hypercar' at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. 'Previewed' though, is something of an overstatement, as the car remained part shrouded by a grey pinstripe fabric cover, with only the front right corner on view. To see the full picture, the world had to wait until the Geneva Motor Show the following March when the Aston Martin stand featured a metallic blue mock-up alongside a rolling chassis complete with its entire power train.
The finished One-77 made its official debut in April 2009 at the Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este, held on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, winning the 'Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes'. Designed by Marek Reichman, it was the fastest and most powerful Aston Martin ever built, with a top speed of 220mph, and also the most expensive, carrying a price tag of £1,150,000. The company invited customers to put down a deposit of £200,000 and had no trouble selling all 77 cars, production of which was completed in 2012.
Hailed by its maker as "possibly the world's most desirable automotive art form", the One-77 with its long bonnet and short tail was every inch the classically proportioned Gran Turismo, combing muscular pugnacity and feline grace in equal measure. A two-seater closed coupé, the One-77 featured advanced technology in the form of an immensely rigid and lightweight carbon fibre monocoque chassis, which carried a seamless body traditionally handcrafted in aluminium. Made from a single sheet of aluminium, each front wing was said to take one craftsman three weeks to produce. Evo magazine succinctly summed it up as "a master class on blending low-tech aluminium forming skills with high-tech carbon fibre technology, and it's shockingly beautiful, making it eye-wateringly desirable". Other state-of-the-art features included bi-xenon headlamps with integrated LED side lights and direction indicators, LED rear lamps (fog and reverse), carbon fibre front splitters, carbon fibre rear diffuser, and active aerodynamics with deployable spoiler.
Providing the horsepower needed to breach the magic 200mph barrier was a stretched (to 7.3 litres) version of Aston Martin's existing 48-valve V12 engine. Extensively reworked by Cosworth Engineering, it produced 750bhp and 553lb/ft of torque, and was the world's most powerful normally aspirated road-car engine at the time of the One-77's introduction. Cosworth's extensive re-engineering included fitting dry-sump lubrication, which enabled the V12 to be carried 100mm lower in the One-77's chassis than in that of the DB9. Like the V8 in the One-77's Vantage sister car, the V12 engine was mounted towards the centre of the chassis, well aft of the front axle line in the interests of optimum weight distribution, to which end the six-speed automatic/manual transmission was located at the rear in the form of an integrated transaxle. Power was transmitted to the limited-slip differential by a carbon fibre prop shaft encased in a magnesium alloy torque tube, reaching the road surface via 20" forged alloy wheels - 7-spoke or 10-spoke - shod with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres.
Unusually for a road car, the One-77's all-independent suspension featured pushrod actuation of the adjustable mono-tube dampers, a system more commonly found in modern competition cars. There were double wishbones at all four corners: the front incorporating anti-dive geometry, and the rear anti-squat and anti-lift. The suspension was also electrically adjustable for both ride height and rate change.
The rack and pinion was power assisted, delivering 3.0 turns lock-to-lock, while the steering column was adjustable for both tilt and reach. Braking was supplied by carbon ceramic discs all round, gripped by six-piston callipers at the front, four-piston callipers at the rear. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), and traction control were all incorporated in the interests of controllability and safety.
Releasing the driver's door, which swings out and arcs upwards, the One-77's fortunate owner would be confronted by a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, electrically adjustable lightweight memory seats, and dual-stage driver/passenger front airbags. Other interior features included automatic temperature control, a trip computer, and touch-sensitive map-reading LED lights. Powerfold exterior memory mirrors came as standard, while front/rear parking cameras were an option.
Hypercars though, as their name suggests, are all about performance, and in developing the One-77 Aston Martin ensured that it would be able to stand comparison with the very best of this exalted category. Perhaps tongue-in-cheek, Aston claimed that the car's top speed was '220.007mph', referencing the company's long-standing association with the 'James Bond' movie franchise, while the dash to 100mph (161km/h) was accomplished in around 6.9 seconds, placing the One-77 on a par with rivals such as the Ferrari Enzo and Koenigsegg CCX.
It had been Aston Martin's intention that no car would be offered for assessment by the motoring press, no doubt in the interests of preserving the One-77's mystique; nevertheless, BBC's Top Gear got to try one in Dubai, and Evo magazine drove a privately owned example at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire and on the roads of north Wales. Evo's Harry Metcalfe found that controlling the One-77's 750 horsepower on the challenging - and wet - roads of Snowdonia required all of his concentration: "But boy, does that make this Aston exciting. There's nothing like a car that can spin its wheels in a straight line at beyond motorway speeds to grab your attention."
Number '35' of the 77 built, this EU model has a legend engraved on the door sill stating that it was 'Hand built in England for Theodore N'Guema Obiang Mangue'. Finished in red with red-piped cream interior, the car has covered a mere 1,226km from new and is presented in 'as new' condition. The car is offered with Equatorial Guinea registration papers.
Including Aston Martin's development team, a handful of journalists, the original owners and - perhaps - their family and close friends, probably fewer 200 people have ever experienced what it is like to drive a One-77. Chassis number '35' represents a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join this most select group of individuals.
VAT, Car Tax and Customs Duty at the standard rates will be payable on this Lot if the car remains in Switzerland.
Bonhams is the guarantor of the customs duties and taxes clearance: consequently, this motor car cannot be released to the buyer or his transporter immediately after the sale.
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