1974 Aston Martin V8 Sports Saloon to 'Vantage' Specification Registration no. PBK 724M Chassis no. V8/11166/RCA
With the resurrection of the 'Vantage' name in 1977, Aston Martin enthusiasts everywhere breathed a sigh of relief; previously applied to high-power versions of the DB six-cylinder cars, it had been dormant since the V8's arrival back in 1969. A heavier car than its six-cylinder predecessor, the V8 suffered as emissions legislation became ever more strangulating, leading to concern that Aston Martin's traditional performance image might be lost. The arrival of the Vantage dispelled any such worries.
Propelling Aston's V8 back into the supercar league was a tuned version of the existing 5,340cc engine breathing through a quartet of 48mm Weber carburettors rather than the standard 42mm instruments. Valves and ports were enlarged and the camshafts changed, the end result being an estimated maximum output of around 375-380bhp - in Rolls-Royce fashion the factory chose not to disclose the actual figure, merely claiming that power was 'adequate'.
In 1978 the V8 Vantage earned the title of 'world's fastest accelerating production car' and throughout its life delivered outstanding performance by any standard, accelerating to 60mph in just 5.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 175mph. With such high speeds attainable, aerodynamic refinements were called for. Thus the Vantage gained a deep front 'chin' spoiler, blanked off front grille and a boot lid spoiler, the latter being bolted on to the earliest cars and later integrated into the bodywork. There were commensurate improvements to the suspension, brakes, and tyres.
In 1986 an optional upgraded 'X-pack' engine with 432bhp on tap was made available, the engine number suffix changing from 'V' to 'X'. As the mechanical specification progressed so did the coachwork, with wheel arches flaring to accommodate wider rims, increasing the overall width by 2", and 16"-diameter wheels being introduced. Unlike the V8 saloon, which reverted to fuel injection in 1986, the V8 Vantage kept its 48IDF Weber carburettors to the end of production in December 1989, by which time 361 cars had been built.
Originally a standard V8 sports saloon, chassis number '11166' was purchased by the current vendor in 1987 from previous owner, the late George Sears, a well-known member of the AMOC's Kent branch. Signed by George Sears and the current vendor, documents on file records the circumstances of the sale, which included George taking back the Aston in 1987 to rebuild the engine to Vantage specification: cams, valves, pistons, and 48mm Weber carburettors for a maximum power output of around 400bhp. '11166' also has the Vantage-style front/rear spoilers and bonnet complete with correct lights, etc.
'PBK 724M' was in regular use from 1988 to 1998, being mainly kept in dry dehumidified storage thereafter, and has seen relatively little use since a full body restoration carried out by Chiltern Aston Centre in 2015. The related bills are on file together with others from Aston Martin Lagonda and Aston Service Dorset relating to for previous works. The car also comes with an old V5 document, old/current V5C Registration Certificates, SORN paperwork, fresh MoT, and a quantity of expired MoT certificates dating back to the 1980s.