1985 Aston Martin V8
Year of manufacture1985
Mileage46 800 mi / 75 318 km
"You will often find, with high quality motorcars that the mentality of the owner reflects onto his collection; the diversity, the quality and their use. The writer, for example, has known the vender for over ten years and during that time has been let into the ‘inner garage’. This is where he restores and prepares his small but very high-quality collection. This is not a one-make collection but a series of cars that can provide him and his wife the touring capabilities required. These are reliable, beautifully-put-together examples of the very best the marque in question have to offer. Acquired by him in 1991 and showing two former keepers in the registration document, this is an outstandingly original example of this magnificent grand tourer.
Unsurprisingly, it was also the model of choice for the Chairman of the Aston Martin Owners Club and indeed, it was this very car that was featured in the limited edition publication 'Aston Martin, The Complete Car' by Alan Archer, Neil Murray, Ted Cutting and Richard Williams, #75/1500 copies. Photograph(s) of this car and the owner’s credit can be seen on pages 208/209.
On offer, back in 1985, if you wanted something really powerful, you first port of call was Newport Pagnell. This was mainly due to the tuned version of the existing 5,340cc engine, breathing through a quartet of 48mm Weber carburettors resulting in an estimated maximum output of around 375bhp.
It was hailed as ‘Britain’s First Supercar’ for its 170mph top speed. Straight-line performance was staggering with acceleration from 0–60 in 5.3 seconds, one-tenth of a second quicker than the Ferrari Daytona which was its main competitor of the time. This V8 volante is a fully functioning, expertly prepared Aston Martin. Certainly able to live up to its plaudits back in 1985.
Its specification follows the contemporary V8 saloon Series IV (Oscar India) announced shortly after; sharing revised rear body lines with the bonnet sporting a carburettor bulge, burr walnut dashboard and door cappings. The convertible hood is fully lined and power operated. Indeed, it was this exact car Autoglym chose to lead their advertising campaign; the chauffeur fitted out, appropriately, in a Gieves & Hawkes suit.
The original service voucher book notes that the first and second service was carried out at Works Service in Newport Pagnell in May of 1985. Thereafter, service work was shared with other stalwarts of the marque; Ian Mason and Chapman Spooner. Over the years, it has clearly been cherished by various owners making use of skilled Aston-Martin dedicated workshops. Regular service intervals between Newport Pagnell and Chapman Spooner took place up to 26,550 miles and 1988 whereupon the bearings and brakes were rebuilt followed by a carburettor rebuild and tune-up.
Continued correct servicing ensued with consumables supplied as and when required with the air-conditioning was also serviced and various minor electrical issues attended to. In 1992 at 36,819 miles, Ian Mason carried out a gearbox service including seals, plugs, Selecta shaft, gaskets and filters. The following year he cleaned and checked all braking systems, replaced n/s/r shock absorbers and carried out a comprehensive road test.
The next big service took place in 1996, again by Ian Mason, with a differential rebuild and importantly, careful inspection of the sill box sections. Drive belts checked, hubs and bearings re-greased and all brakes and wishbone bushes cleaned and made good. Cylinder heads out and a comprehensive top-end rebuild undertaken including carburettor re-build and comprehensive belt and bearing service. The front suspension was also dismantled including a brake and shock absorber rebuild. These were subsequently prepared and new sections welded in, primed and painted. During the lifetime of this motorcar, it has wanted for nothing and thus presents in superb condition. The mantra being rectification of originality over an overblown restoration.
Byron International, the last word in Aston Martin and whose expertise and stock list is nothing short of immaculate, brokers some of the finest Aston Martins ever to be offered to market. In February 2017, B144 WWT received the Byron treatment; checks on fluids and operation showed a clean bill of health and the car passed its MoT test with flying colours. It was then allowed to be offered to the current owner. What struck everyone in that process was the originality of the car – for example, there were tabs on the seat runners that were on the car when new and normally would not stand the test of time. The vendor loved the originality but decided to strip the car to bare metal nonetheless. It was prepared and painted in the correct factory Forrest Green, the interior still beautiful with tan leather seating and green piping and the carpeting is as plush as you would expect from this superlative example.
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