1977 Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage Coupe
Chassis no. V8/11719/LCAV
Engine no. V/540/1719/V
Five-speed manual transmission
Rare Series III Vantage spec.
Original Raven Black color
Upgraded to X-Pack specification
Extensive cosmetic and mechanical work
With the resurrection of the 'Vantage' name in 1977, Aston Martin enthusiasts everywhere breathed a sigh of relief; previously applied to high-powered versions of the DB six-cylinder cars, it had been dormant since the V8's arrival back in 1969. A heavier car than its six-cylinder predecessor, the V8 suffered as emissions legislation became ever more strangulating, leading to concern that Aston Martin's traditional performance image might be lost. The arrival of the Vantage dispelled any such worries.
Propelling Aston's V8 back into the supercar league was a tuned version of the existing 5,340cc engine breathing through a quartet of 48mm Weber carburetors rather than the standard 42mm instruments. Valves and ports were enlarged and the camshafts changed, the end result being an estimated maximum output of around 375bhp - in Rolls-Royce fashion the factory chose not to disclose the actual figure, merely claiming that power was 'adequate'. Chassis changes were minimal apart from the adoption of bigger ventilated discs all round and low-profile Pirelli tires. The Vantage was, nevertheless, readily distinguishable from the standard product by virtue of its blocked-off bonnet scoop, blanked air intake, front chin spoiler and lip on the boot lid.
This matching-numbers Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage was built in August 1977, originally painted in sinister Raven Black and is believed to have originally belonged to George Minden from Canada, part of the consortium of owners behind Aston Martin at the time. These Series III Vantages, built in the shadow of the Oil Crisis, were built in tiny quantities and just 38 are thought to have been completed, along with a further batch of eight more delivered to Canada this being one of them.
Given the bespoke nature of these cars it was common for Aston Martin owners to enhance their pride and joy and this early Vantage received the X-Pack upgrade in 1990, with four Weber 48mm carburetors, larger inlet ports and high lift camshafts.
Subsequent owners continued lavishing money on this car in order to maintain it to the highest levels. The motor underwent a complete rebuild in the hands of marque specialists Autosport Designs in 2008 during an extensive fettling program that also included new wheel hubs and bearings and a set of re-finished, original 16-inch Series III wheels.
Sold soon afterwards, the car was repainted in the original color and the interior came in for extensive work, with new Wilton beige wool carpets, new seat cushions and re-trimmed trunk. Both front and rear bumpers were re-chromed at the same time.
The Aston Martin joined the Oldenburg Collection in early 2010 and has been meticulously maintained ever since.
- Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.