5,340cc DOHC V8 Engine
Electronic Fuel Injection
315bhp at 6,250rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Factory, left-hand drive cosmetic-Vantage spec example
*Delivered new to New York
*12,434 miles from new
*Documented by a copies of factory records and a clean CARFAX
THE ASTON MARTIN V8
Launched in January 1986, the Aston Martin V8 Series 5 adopted the latest Vantage specification, engine excepted, the following year and thus boasted the Vantage's revised bodywork and 16" wheels. Fuel injection was re-introduced on the Series 5, this time a Weber system rather than the earlier Bosch. Power output of the standard car was now quoted as 305bhp, and even in automatic transmission form the V8 could reach 100mph in around 15 seconds and better 145mph flat-out. Summarizing its 1973 road test of a V8 automatic, Autocar magazine concluded: 'A well-equipped car with magnificent stride for long journeys,' while Performance Car, also testing a V8 Auto in 1978, reckoned Aston Martin: 'have set out - it has been so for years - to make a car of character, with a chassis of conventional but exceptional ability and manners, with enough performance from its hand-built engine to stand most comparisons and the prestige of English bespoke coachbuilding.'
Under the restrictions of the USA DOT/EPA it was challenging for Aston Martin to sell full blown Vantages to the US market, with the result that they compromised the standard specification by fitting electronic fuel injection to the standard 585bhp V8 unit. Very few Vantage Saloons were exported to the USA, with some sources suggest that as few as a Baker's Dozen of them all told.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
This timeless and beautiful V8 Vantage was delivered new to the USA as confirmed by a copy of its factory 'Car Record Card', through Aston Martin Lagonda North America. On that card, it is described very much as it can be seen today, finished in Winchester Blue paintwork, with Beige leather upholstery, and most importantly, its engine suffix 'LFM' endorses that it was built as a manual transmission car from new. Ordered in July 1986, its final sign-off came in November when landed in the USA.
According to the CARFAX on file, it was first tested for the road on November 2, 1986, in Brooklyn, New York. Further history is charted on that same document, with a move to West Coast in 1997, and inspection at 9,611 miles in Yorba Linda, California. Over the course of the next 6 years, further periodic inspections show mileage accrual up to 12,375 on December 12, 2003. Today the car displays an additional 59 miles on its odometer, at 12,434.
When inspected at the time of catalogue photography, the Vantage appears to be an almost time-capsule example in extremely good condition and consistent with the mileage stated. A small anomaly noted on the under-hood chassis plate is that it lists 'LFA' suffix, but this must be erroneous since the bellhousing is correctly stamped 'LFM' for manual, and with the corresponding abbreviated chassis number. Bonhams has not attempted to run the Aston, but when fitted with a battery it was found to be in good electrical order, with the windows and many of the electrics operational, suggesting that a return to the road would be straightforward. Attempts to calls a stockbroker to buy junk bonds over the period-correct car phone have not proven successful.
Equipped with BBS wheels, sunroof, black finish Nardi steering wheel and clearly converted to the more appealing visual of chrome bumpers at some point, this striking example really does have great specification and would surely provide its next owner the ultimate in 80s Aston glamour and performance.