1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante Image
from Classic to Modern
The larger 2+2 DBS sports car was introduced in late 1967 and was intended to the successor of the DB6 even though, for the next three years, the two models would be produced alongside each other.
It was powered by the same straight six, 4 litre, Vantage engine as used in the DB6.
However, two years later, and following persistent demand from the market, a 5.4 litre, V8 engine replaced the 4 litre unit.
The new model was designated the Aston Martin DBS V8 and was identified by its squared-off grille containing four headlights, and was available as a two door coupe and convertible.
By 1972, a total of 787 DBS's and 4,021 DBS V8's were produced.
In early 1972, since the six cylinder DBS had been phased out, the DBS V8 was renamed the Aston Martin V8 Series 1 sports car and, together with the Vantage variant, became the flagship model until it was replaced in 1989 the Virage.
Between 1972 and mid 1973, the front section was slightly restyled with the addition of a mesh grille and two quartz headlights in place of the original four units, and the replacement of the earlier triple carburettors with Bosch fuel injection.
A total of 288 of these Series 2 cars, now referred to as the AM V8 sports car, were finally built.
For reasons best known to Aston Martin, the Bosch fuel injection was replaced by four twin choke Weber carburettors in 1973, which required the addition of a larger air scoop on the bonnet to allow for the increased size of this unit.
The engine now developed an increased 350 bhp at 5000 rpm, and 400 ft/lbs of torque at 4000 rpm.
Fitted with a ZF five speed manual gearbox, and a 9:1 compression, it produced a top speed of 145 mph, with 0-60 mph in 6.2 secs.
With the introduction of emission control regulations in the US, output had fallen to 288 bhp by 1976.
However, in order to compensate for this huge reduction, a Stage 1 engine was offered in 1977, with modified camshafts and exhaust system, which duly raised output to 305 bhp.
Production of the Series 3 ended in late 1978 when 967 units had been built.
Technical Data DBS Vantage DBS V8 AM V8 S3
Production 1969-1972 1969-1972 1973-1978
Engine, cc 3995 5341 5341
Cylinders, bhp 6, 325 8, 315 8, 350
Torque ft/lbs 290 400 400
Top Speed mph 143 160 145
0-60 mph, secs 6.5 5.9 6.2
0-100 mph, secs 15.2 - 13.1
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs 14.8 14.1 13.8
1974 Aston Martin V8
Introduced in October 1978, this variant was fitted with a rear spoiler, and the distinctive, large air scoop on the bonnet was replace with a barely perceptible power bulge.
Most were fitted with Chrysler three speed automatic transmission. However, owing to US emission controls, output steadily declined until, by the early 1980's,
it was down to 245 bhp. When production ended in 1985, only 352 units of the Series 4 variant were produced.
The Series 1 Volante convertible was launched in mid 1978, and weighed 70 kg more than the coupe variant. A total of 656 units were built.
1985 Aston Martin V8
1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante
In January 1986, this variant featured a return to Bosch fuel injection and the removal of the previously necessary power bulge.
When production ended in 1989, 405 coupes and 245 Series 2 Volantes had been built.
1988 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Typical competitors of the Aston Martin V8 included the following sports cars: Ferrari 365 GT4 BB, Lamborghini Urraco, Maserati Bora, Porsche 911 Turbo
Ferrari Lambo Maserati Porsche
Technical Data AM V8 S3 365 GT4 Urraco Bora 911 Turbo
Production 1973-1978 1973-76 1972-7 1971-79 1975-89
Engine, cc 5341 4387 2995 4715 3290
Cylinders, bhp 8, 350 12, 360 8, 250 8, 310 6, 300
Torque ft/lbs 400 312 197 340 305
Top Speed mph 145 175 158 165 160
0-60 mph, secs 6.2 6.3 7.5 6.5 5.3
0-100 mph, secs 13.1 13.0 17.5 14.9 12.4
Standing 1/4, secs 13.8 - 15.5 14.6 13.4
A typical range of values of a mid 1970's Aston Martin V8 was $35,000/£22,000 for a high mileage example to $120,000/£75,000 for a truly exceptional sports car.
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