1974 Aston Martin V8 Series 3 Automatic Sports Saloon Registration no. 6898 ET Chassis no. V8/11198/RCAC Engine no. V540/1198
With an estimated 345bhp available from its 5,340cc, four-cam motor, the Aston Martin DBS V8 could reach 100mph in under 14 seconds and exceed 160mph, a staggering performance even today and one which fully justified the claim that it was the fastest production car in the world. Although always intended to house the new Tadek Marek-designed V8, the DBS first appeared with the 4.0-litre six of the concurrently produced DB6. Styled in-house by Bill Towns, the four-seater DBS employed a platform-type chassis with independent suspension all round: wishbone and coil-spring at the front, De Dion with Watts linkage at the rear. Bigger and more luxuriously appointed than the DB6, the heavier DBS disappointed some by virtue of its slightly reduced performance but there were no complaints when the V8 arrived in 1969.
The acquisition of Aston Martin by Company Developments in 1972 brought with it a change of name for the V8-engined cars: out went 'DBS V8', in came 'AM V8'. This new Series 2 was readily distinguishable by its restyled front which now featured two instead of four headlamps and recalled the looks of the earlier DB six-cylinder sports cars. Electronic ignition and air conditioning were now standard. Introduced in 1973, the Series 3 employed a quartet of Weber 42 DCNF carburettors instead of the previous Bosch mechanical fuel injection, the change bringing with it increased torque and necessitating a larger bonnet bulge. Despite the switch, fuel economy improved slightly while performance remained unchanged, and even in automatic transmission form the V8 could reach 100mph in around 15 seconds and better 145mph flat-out.
Summarising its 1973 road test of a V8 automatic, Autocar magazine revealed that the new version of the V8 Aston engine with four Weber carburettors and automatic transmission had proved nearly as quick as its manual-transmission, fuel-injected predecessor and fractionally more economical, concluding that it was: 'A well-equipped car with magnificent stride for long journeys.'
Testing a Series 3 in November 1973, Autosport's John Bolster observed that even a short drive proved that the luxurious Aston was, above all, still a sports car: 'It has the sheer cornering power of light competition cars, with the responsive steering of the best vintage marques. In spite of its weight, it has acceleration which is outstanding among even among the world's most exotic speed models.'
This automatic transmission Aston Martin V8 has been restored over the course of the last ten years and comes with bills testifying to the many thousands of pounds spent. Finished in blue with matching leather interior, it has the rare electric sunroof and boasts excellent chrome and new wheels and tyres. The car is offered with aforementioned bills, MoT to August 2106 and a V5C registration document.