The Aston Martin V8 was Aston Martin’s successor to the DB6 and the result of their pursuit to create a larger and more contemporary car. Built from 1969 to 1989, it underwent five design changes, dubbed Series 1-5, with each example being handbuilt and requiring 1,200 man-hours each to complete.
The Series 3, built from 1973 to 1978 with a one-year hiatus in 1975, saw a return to Weber carburetors from the Bosch fuel injection system used in previous models. The hood was taller to accommodate the quad twin-choke (two-barrel) Weber carbs, which helped it produce a swift 310 hp and a 6.1 second 0-60 mph time with an automatic transmission or 5.7 with a manual. Emissions regulations for the 1976 model year dropped hp to 288, which brought about the introduction of a more powerful “Stage 1” engine in 1977 that helped the horsepower figures back up to 305 hp thanks to the use of new camshafts and an exhaust system.
Only 967 examples of the Aston Martin V8 Series 3 were produced. This particular example, Chassis # V811379LCA, is one such Series III equipped with a 5.3 liter V8 and backed by a rare ZF five-speed manual transmission. It began its life in November of 1974 when it sold new in Illinois at Newport Pagnell Works to a Mr. Searle. It was originally finished in Cornish Gold (a very light metallic gold with a slightly green hue) over a black leather interior. It came equipped with 15″ alloy wheels, fog lights, air conditioning, power windows, and a Blaupunkt Seattle cassette radio. This Aston was lovingly driven by the first owner until 1981, when it was sold to its second owner, a Mr. John Miller, who later moved to Pennsylvania. The second owner, a member of the Aston Martin Owners Club, transferred ownership to his son in 1994 who continued to own and meticulously maintain the car until 2020, when he sold it via a dealership to its current owner. This Aston was thus part of the same family from 1981 to 2020, during which time it was given the light green metallic paint job it wears today. Some of the notable services performed shortly before its sale include a new rack and pinion, brake fluid reservoir, ballast resistor, and a power steering unit.
In 2021, it was purchased by the third owner, who gave it a refresh in 2022 that included new spark plugs, wires, a fuel filter, an oil temperature sending unit, a clutch slave cylinder, tires, seat padding, defroster vent seals, door pin switches, ball joint gaiters, a refinishing of the valve covers, replacement door frame weatherstripping, a number of new gaskets, dent repairs in the floorboards, and touch up paint work in the engine bay. The factory 15″ GKN alloy wheels were wrapped in 255/60 Cooper Cobra Radial G/T tires that same year, with a matching spare wheel and tire mounted under the trunk floor.
This astonishingly rare Aston Martin currently presents with just over 35,504 miles, which we believe to be the actual mileage (the title corroborates this by stating “Actual Mileage”). Approximately 3,000 miles have been added under current ownership. It is an extremely low-mile and numbers-matching example of one of the most distinctive Aston Martin designs that has been kept beautifully near-original across its three owners. The healthy V8 also puts out ample horsepower and torque that will allow you to use all of the 200 mph speedometer and 7k-rpm redline tachometer. Such a rare find will be a blessing in any collection, whether it be a seasoned Aston Martin collection, a British motoring enthusiast, or any combination of the two. The new owner will receive the original owner’s manual, tool kit, a CB radio, copies of the original build sheet and bill of sale, and 67 pages of service records ranging from 1981 to 2020.
Body And Paint
The body of this example is very tidy, with great shut gaps, and is straight down the sides. We estimate the paint to be over 25 years old, but it still possesses an excellent shine with good depth and minimal blemishes. The paint is consistent all the way around the car. There are a number of minor blemishes that can be found upon closer inspection, which is to be expected based on the age of the paint and vehicle. Namely, peppering on the front nose area, some minor bubbling on the passenger and driver-side A-pillar bottoms, two larger chips on the quarter panel right above the driver's side taillight, and a faint three-inch scratch on the passenger rear quarter. Photos of these blemishes can be found in the gallery. In pulling up the carpet inside the car, there is some surface oxidation that has developed over the years, likely from moisture being trapped. It is only surface deep and could be cleaned up if the next owner so chooses. Overall, the paint and body are in excellent driver quality condition.
Glass And Trim
The glass throughout appears to be all original, with factory Triplex insignias on every piece, including the windshield. As expected, the windshield does have some stone peppering. The rear window has a few very minor faint scratches, but the rest of the windows on the passenger and driver's side are clean with no major scratches or chips. The headlights are correct Cibie units, and the Lucas fog lamps are original, as are the taillights with nice patina and no cracks.
The rubber trim is all there, but some pieces are a bit dry and cracked, such as the trim around the rear quarter windows. The chrome trim is in excellent condition, with minor scratches and light pitting. We believe the chrome is all original and remarkably clean.
The wheels have certainly been redone at some point and look extremely nice. Upon close inspection on one knee, one can see some light scratches, minor delamination, and one more noticeable area of curb rash on the driver's side rear wheel. All four tires are Cooper Cobra GT Radials that were installed in 2022 and have plenty of tread life.
Overall this Aston Martin V8 presents in excellent driver quality condition and as such has some imperfections that come along with it. The paint remains in great condition but has some imperfections. Some of the rubber trim shows its age in the form of cracking and dryness, and there is some minor surface oxidation beginning to form on the metal in the front footwells.
Seats And Surfaces
The interior exudes originality from the finely distributed patina on the seats to the smell of old Connolly leather, we believe the interior is all original, even the carpets. The top of the dash is excellent, as is the rear parcel shelf. The rear seats show a similar patina and the gauges are clean and clear, with only light pitting around the chrome surrounds. The pedals, steering wheel, and driver’s seat bolster all indicate wear consistent with the mileage displayed on the odometer. The carpeting is original and very nice though the driver’s side mat is torn where the driver would rest their right heel. The headliner is excellent as well. The sun visors are original but are puffy.
Functionality And Accessories
All the major components seem to work, such as windows, lights, blower motor, and turn signals, but we did not try every single interior mechanism. The gauges read correctly, with the exception of the gas gauge, which appears to be slightly off.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay is very tidy and correct, as expected from a well care for and serviced example. There are no obvious issues or blatantly incorrect pieces. It is highly original in the engine bay.
The trunk area is very nice, tidy, and original. The interior trunk light works as well.
The underside is highly original and very nice compared to other examples on the market. Factory undercoating is present, the original exhaust is tidy save for some surface rusting, and the suspension components, although dirty, do appear to have been serviced over the years. On the various areas of the underside where undercoating has chipped off, one can see the factory red-oxide primer underneath. Very neat. We could not find any areas of previous rust repair.
The big British V8 engine starts with ease and settles in a melodic idle as the temperature of the engine begins to climb. Out on the road, it makes fantastic power with smooth acceleration showing no stumbles or misses. It keeps up easily with modern traffic, sounds fantastic, and is truly a joy to drive.
The transmission shifts smoothly and holds power well. The clutch takeup feels great, with nice feedback.
Brakes And Suspension
The brakes on the car feel appropriate to the era. They do not provide modern levels of stopping power, but they bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop with no binding or pulling. The pedal feel is spot on. The suspension feels compliant and solid. It is most certainly tailored a bit more towards the comfort side of the ride, as when you enter turns, you feel the softness of it. However, it provides great road hold and feedback with no odd noises or behaviors.
The tires are a newer set of Cooper Cobra Radial G/T put on the car in 2022. They have solid side walls, good color, and plenty of tread depth left to them.
The Aston Martin V8 was certainly spot-on for the brand in the time period. With its muscular looks and powerful v8 engine, it blended in perfectly with the automotive landscape in the 1970s. Its spacious but well-appointed cabin, lends itself beautifully to its Grand Touring nature and the addition of the ZF 5-Speed transmission provides an extra level of enjoyment and engagement when the roads become twisty. Aston Martin, as a company, are experts at creating timeless vehicles, and the V8 certainly falls into this category too. It is extremely useable in modern life, and its fantastic looks and low production numbers ensure its collectibility moving into the future.