1979 Aston Martin V8
Year of manufacture1979
Number of seats2
1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante
Registration no. UUJ 634
Chassis no. V8COR15077
'It's not by any means the world's most expensive drophead in production (the Corniche costs an extra £23,000) nor is it quite the quickest, though a Porsche Cabrio would have to be very well driven to get away from it, but the Aston Martin Volante is perhaps the greatest. It is a true sports car which is also luxuriously comfortable.' - Fast Lane.
Aston Martin had always intended the DBS to house its new V8 engine, but production difficulties meant that the car first appeared with the DB6's 4.0-litre six. Bigger and more luxuriously appointed than the DB6, the heavyweight DBS disappointed some by virtue of its slightly reduced performance, but there were no complaints when the V8 finally arrived in 1969. With an estimated 315bhp available from its 5,340cc four-cam motor, the DBS V8 could reach 100mph in under 14 seconds, running on to a top speed of 160mph, a staggering performance in those days and one which fully justified the claim that it was the fastest production car in the world.
After Aston Martin's acquisition by Company Developments in 1972, production resumed with the Series 2, now known as the 'Aston Martin V8' and distinguishable by a restyled front end recalling the looks of earlier Astons. The most successful Aston Martin ever, the V8 survived the changes of ownership and financial upheavals of the 1970s, enjoying a record-breaking production run lasting from 1969 to 1988, with 2,919 cars sold.
Described by former Aston Martin Chairman Victor Gauntlett as, 'a stylish thoroughbred, beautifully built, luxurious, fast and immensely safe,' the V8 was built in several variants, one of the more exclusive being the Volante. Introduced in response to customers' demands for such a car, the Volante first appeared in June 1978. Arguably the ultimate in soft-top luxury, the newcomer boasted a lined, power-operated hood which, when erected, endowed the walnut embellished interior with all the solidity and refinement associated with the saloon version. Although its open-car aerodynamics meant that top speed suffered with the hood down, the Volante's 140mph maximum nevertheless ranked it among the world's fastest convertibles. V8 Volante and Vantage Volante chassis numbers ran from '15001' to '15849', a total of 849 cars.
The 77th V8 Volante completed, chassis number '15077' was first registered (to a dealer) on 30th May 1979 before being purchased on 30th July of that year by its first owner, Mrs J Clark of London. On 6th February 1984 ownership was transferred to Mrs Clark's husband's company.
Messrs Hines kept the Aston until 15th December 1986 when they sold it to Mr N H Taylor of Middlesex. At this time the Volante was still finished in its original black. On 7th February 2014, N H Taylor sold the car to Mr G Banks of Guildford. The present owner acquired the Aston from Mr Banks through dealer Parkhurst Automobiles Limited, Surrey.
There is no service history prior to 12th June 1986 but it is complete from then onwards. Until 1998 the Volante was mainly maintained by H W Motors Limited (Aston Martin and Lagonda distributors). At some point, the car must have been damaged, as can be seen from the restoration estimate provided by Aston Martin Heritage specialists R S Williams in April 1998. Between April and July 1998 the Volante was restored by R S Williams, the exterior colour being changed to the present Buckingham Green in the process (see MoT certificate dated 1st August 1998). R S Williams maintained the car during the remainder of Mr Taylor's ownership (up to 2014). Since then the present owner had major services carried out by R S Williams and Aston Service London (Desmond J Smail). Invoices relating to R S Williams' restoration are on file and the car also comes with an old-style logbook, current MoT, and a V5 Registration Certificate. A non-functioning electric hood mechanism (the hood must be operated manually) is the only notified fault.