Believe it or not, the two V8 Sportsmans out there with their stacked headlights are both factory cars, built by the Aston Martin works team between September 1996 and December 1997. They were special ordered by two brothers in Switzerland, with both cars leaving the factory as standard LHD V8 Coupés in July, only to get homologated before making a trip back to the factory for an extensive chop job.
The finished Sportsmans came in British Racing Green with matching upholstery and carpets, and tons on walnut in the interior, as well as 32-valve 5.3 V8s tuned to produce 350 horsepower. But here's where it gets a bit blurry.
Bonhams, the auction house estimating at their upcoming Aston sale claims that this is one of three cars, with two being built for the brothers with stacked taillights, and a third leaving Aston Martin with an inline setup. The problem is that I've never heard of a third Sportsman, and unless they send me a picture of it, I must assume that they are thinking of this instead, the 1999 Aston Martin V8 V600 Shooting Brake by Roos Engineering. That has the inline layout, and it's a very easy mistake to make.
Roos Engineering is an Aston specialist in Switzerland, and they built the also Vantage-based V600 Shooting Brake as a one-off for a German customer. According to , they spent 1800 hours on their version. Several key modifications included an entirely new roof, chassis strengthening and the new rear door, all done by hand. They also relocated the fuel tank to underneath the body, fabricated several interior panels and upgraded the rear seats to a foldable design. Needless to say, the entire upholstery and carpets were redone to keep that factory look.
Being twin-supercharged to pack over 600 horsepower, the Roos car was also a whole lot faster than any of the two (?) Aston Martin Sportsmans making their rounds in Switzerland.