1979 Aston Martin V8
Year of manufacture1979
1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante
Chassis no. V8C0L15040
Engine no. V540/5040/LFM
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-liter 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 engine, the DBS V8 could reach 160km/h in under 14 seconds, running on to a top speed of 250km/h, 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 most exclusive being the Volante Convertible. Introduced in response to customer demand 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 top 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 top down, the Volante's 240km/h 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 MOTORCAR OFFERED
According to copies of Aston Martin's factory build records, this elegant V8 Volante was hand built at Aston Martin's Newport Pagnell plant during the fall of 1978 and is titled as 1979. The car received the final inspections in January 1979, and then shipped from the UK to its destination, the US. The car was equipped with left-hand-drive steering and the desirable 5-speed manual transmission. It was finished in Cambridge Blue over a Natural coloured leather interior, Onslow brown carpeting, just as it appears today. It was the 40th V8 Volante built and as such an early example it received the elegant chrome bumpers, neatly fitted tightly to the Volante body. It is believed that only a maximum of 10 of these 40 early cars were fitted with the desirable manual transmission.
The car's first owner was a FedEx executive and from the 1990s until 2016 the car was retained by Aston Martin enthusiast Mr. Jack Miller of Pittsburg, PA, who would display the beautiful V8 Volante at various Aston Martin gatherings. The car's extensive history and maintenance file includes much service work performed during Mr. Miller's ownership, including the installment of a new exhaust by renowned Aston Martin shop Steel Wings and a rebuilt braking system.
Today this well restored Aston Martin on a highly original basis shows less than 25,000 miles on the odometer, a figure that is indeed believed to be original and can be traced in the history file. Acquired by the vendor in 2017 the car was imported to Europe where restoration work for a total of approximately CHF100,000 was carried out on mechanicals, the body and paint, new trim and was recently fitted with a new convertible top in dark blue, with the work done to exacting factory standards. A solid and very well cared for car, close inspection of the V8 reveals many original finishes throughout. Complete with jack and tools, an owner's handbook with an original warranty booklet and a history file containing correspondence with Aston Martin and copies of the factory build records, this fine V8 Volante must be considered well-pedigreed. The car is EU duty paid and comes with its US title and EU duty paid import certificate. Bonhams recommends close inspection of this fine example of a true drophead V8 'British Bulldog'.