ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE (1977-1989)
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a British grand tourer. It was hailed at its 1977 presentation as “Britain’s First Supercar” (often nicknamed “British Muscle car”) for its 170 mph top speed. Its engine was taken from the Lagonda, yet it utilized superior camshafts, expanded compression ratio, bigger valve channels and larger carburettors mounted on new manifolds resulting in greater power output. Straight-line acceleration was the best of the day, with 0–60 mph in 5.3 seconds which was 1/10th of a second faster than the Ferrari Daytona.
The first edition was equipped with four 48IDF2/100 Weber carburettors resulted in 390 bhp at 5800 rpm and 550 Nm at 4500 rpm, and subtle details, such as a blanked bonnet vent and larger rear spoiler.
Series 2 was released in early 1986. With, perhaps the most observable design highlight being the closed hood bulge as opposed to the open scoop found on the ordinary V8. The grille zone was closed off, with driving lights embedded and a lip spoiler added to the bootlid. The 1986–1989 580 ‘X-Pack’ was a further overhaul, with Cosworth cylinders and Nimrod racing-spec heads upping power to 403 hp. A ‘Big Bore’ aftermarket was available, with 50 mm carbs (rather than 48 mm) and straight-through fumes framework further increasing output to 432 hp. In the event that this wasn’t enough, a 450 hp 6.3-litre adaptation was also available from Aston Martin. In the end 304 ‘series 2’ Vantage cars were produced – including 131 X-Packs – and 192 Volantes.
A Vantage Volante convertible was later produced between 1986 and 1989. Featuring a significantly more profound front spoiler than fitted to the Vantage, enlarged wheel arches, and broadened side skirts. The Vantage Volante additionally had a larger rear spoiler than the standard Volante. Altogether, 192 Vantage Volantes were produced, with the last ones leaving the factory in December 1989. In 1987 Charles, Prince of Wales received his V8 Vantage Volante, yet at his request without the bulkier wheel arches, front air dam or broadened side skirts. This spec became known as the ‘Sovereign of Wales Spec’ produced only 26 times.