This is a unique one-off with an interesting and well documented history. Originally registered BU04EOV on 1st March 2004, it was retained by AML as the Press Demonstrator for the SDP variant, of which just 94 were built at NP before the introduction of the “S” model. It featured in "Autocar", "Evo", "Auto Hebdo" (French) and "Car" magazines, after which it was retained at NP and used to develop various changes for the S, including suspension, steering, floating discs and new calipers plus redesigned seats, door cards and grille (all of which appeared on the S) and 9 spoke wheels and a VH-Style pop-up satnav screen which did not. The latter was found to foul on the insulation for the aircon when the screen went up.
After it was no longer required, and with 10,978 miles showing on its odometer, it was fitted with a new gearbox, clutch and magnetic sensors and sold to its first private owner on 29th November 2004. I purchased it in April 2011 from the liquidators of its 2nd owner, a film producer who was responsible for the film “Keeping Mum” with Rowan Atkinson, and the “Sharpe” TV series with Sean Bean. Regrettably, he then decided to take money from investors for new film projects, but spent the money on fancy houses and cars instead, and eventually the law caught up with him in Brighton court.
The liquidators were storing it in a sorry state in a barn in the middle of a muddy field in Kent, and only knew it was an AM, but not the model or its significance and history, so I purchased it in April 2011 and have been working steadily on bringing it back to orignal condition but retaining the patina of the work carried out at NP, culminating (so far) in 2nd place on 90.5 points at the AMOC 2019 Autumn Concours.
All of the photos were taken by me this morning, except the “Wildcard” one taken by pro photographer Andy Morgan for the “Inbetweener” feature in Issue 20 of Vantage magazine, Winter 2017. Andy got the shot by hanging out the back of an estate car and driving round me. From the blurred wheels it looks like I’m doing 100MPH but it was just 20 or so…… and they say the camera never lies!
Andrew Frankel penned the article and had originally driven the same car for Autocar 13 years earlier when new. The biggest compliment he could pay me was when he told me it felt “totally authentic” and not at all old or tired. This made all the time and effort worth it.