1976 Aston Martin V8
Chassis No. V8/11436/LCA
Engine No. V/540/1436/LFM
It is rare that the most significant owner in an automobile's history is not the first, but such is the case with this 1976 Aston Martin V8 Series III. A U.S.-specification, left-hand-drive model, it is identified on its Aston Martin Dorset build sheet as having been finished in Ascot Grey over Burgundy leather, and sold by the famous Philadelphia dealership Algar to Dr. Michael Odzer of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, in April 1977. Three years later, it was resold to Greek shipping heir Peter Livanos. This was Mr. Livanos's first Aston Martin, introducing the 22-year-old, already a keen automobile enthusiast, to a brand with which he would become intimately involved. Partly spurred by his experiences behind the wheel of this car, he became part owner of the Aston Martin company in 1983, and would retain his ownership for four years.
Purchased by Mr. Livanos in 1980 from Aston Martin Lagonda, Inc., the car was sold to its second owner with "Vantage Trim" as optional equipment that included front and rear spoilers, air dam "blanking cover", driving lights, and Pirelli tires. The car retains its original numbers matching engine when compared with its Aston Martin build sheet on file. Additionally, and most likely during Mr. Livanos' ownership this V8 received upgraded intake parts, most notably four larger Weber 48 IDF carburetors, replacing the smaller 42mm units.
Mr. Livanos eventually sold his Aston Martin to Jeffrey Chernick, who in turn sold it to investment banker Grey Solomon in 1989; Mr. Solomon exhibited the car that year at the Aston Martin Owners Club Concours at Monterey, California. In 1993 he sold the Aston Martin to the late, noted enthusiast, Ed Henning of Charleston, South Carolina. Known for his passionate collecting and comprehensive preparation of his automobiles, Mr. Henning undertook a complete cosmetic restoration of both body and interior, including fitment of correct Connolly leather upholstery as well as installation of a Pioneer stereo with CD player and power antenna, four-point racing belts, and an upgraded air conditioning compressor. It is assumed that during this period of restoration the interior configuration was revised to the later design, introduced in 1978, with the addition of a walnut-veneer dashboard and different gauge surrounds. A smaller-diameter steering wheel eases a full-sized driver's path in and out, while a map light and makeup mirror are both provided within the glove box.
Following Mr. Henning's passing, his Aston was acquired in 2004 by Jim Taylor, and has thus remained in his ownership for eighteen years. It remains in excellent overall condition and has recorded 25,582 miles as of the time of cataloging. Accompanying is a history file documenting the car's early ownerships and extensive maintenance performed during both Mr. Henning's and Mr. Taylor's care, as well as a jack, tool roll, and an instruction book.
With a five-speed manual transmission and four-wheel disc brakes, as well as all the expected interior comforts, it is both a terrific-looking automobile and a superb highway performer – and boasts truly exceptional provenance, as the personal automotive muse of one of the most significant figures in modern Aston Martin history.