- Chassis # V8/11385/LCA
- Engine # V/540/1385/LFA
- Beautifully And Professionally Completed Restoration
- Engine Upgraded To Vantage Specifications And Equipped With A 5-Speed Manual Transmission
- Finished In Iconic Green Over Tan
- Sale Includes Detailed Restoration Receipts, Service Records, BMIHT Certificate, Factory Jack, Spare, And Original Books
With the iconic DB6 nearing the end of its production run, Aston Martin took to the drawing board to replace it. A more modern, more muscular-looking vehicle, the DBS V8, was launched in 1969, and later renamed “V8” in 1973. At launch, the V8 was host to significant mechanical improvements over its predecessor, including independent suspension and a new V8 motor designed by Tadek Marek. The fuel-injected twin-cam motor, although finicky, impressed, reaching 100mph in 15 seconds with an automatic transmission. When the Series 3 V8 was released in 1973, it was decided to make the switch back to carburetors. Carburation meant the V8 produced over 300HP and, when paired to a ZF 5-Speed transmission, got to 60 in 5.7 seconds. Styling of the V8 included a twin headlight design over the previous DBS’ four headlights, a wire mesh grille, a taller hood scoop to accommodate the Weber carbs, and a bigger, more luxurious interior.
Shortly after the reorganization of the company under new ownership in 1975 as Aston Martin LTD, came the V8 offered here, chassis 11385. It’s said that due to the reorganization, chassis 11385 remained only partially completed, held along the production line at Newport Pagnell. The car was imported via Aston Martin USA in King of Prussia, PA, and delivered in the spring of ‘76 to a customer in Westminster, CA via Hollywood Sports Cars. By the mid-1980s the car migrates eastward, to Virginia, with around 65,000 miles recorded.
Chassis 11385 was discovered in a warehouse in Herndon, Virginia wearing a faded shade of gold paint in the spring of 2008. It was acquired by the present owner who began restoration in the summer. To resuscitate the car, much of the initial work was performed at British & Classic Car Doctors of Upperville, Virginia. Parts were sourced from Puddleduck, Aston Martin Spares Specialists in the UK. As part of the cosmetic restoration, the side markers were deleted, door sills and body panels repaired and the car painted in Connaught Green, a color from the catalog of Morgan Cars.
Upgrades began around 2010 using parts kits supplied and installed by Steel Wings of Ivyland, PA. Air conditioning, brakes, exhaust, and suspension upgrade kits were fitted while the automatic transmission was exchanged for a Steel Wings-built 5-speed manual unit in the winter of 2011. The interior was finished in early 2012 by Gary Maucher of Bucks County, PA. In the summer of 2014, the rear end was rebuilt and upgraded to a 3.54 limited slip. In 2015, a Prince of Wales air dam replaced the Vantage unit. Steel Wings rebuilt and modified the engine to “Vantage Plus” specification in February 2016. The history file and records are both meticulous and extensive, with invoices reflecting all the above-mentioned work along with period documentation and a BMIHT.
The V8 Series 3 lasted until 1978 and in all, just 967 examples were produced. A cultural and cinematic favorite, the V8 is an increasingly appreciated cornerstone of the Aston Martin story. Given the enthusiastic ownership and its regimented servicing, chassis 11385 is ready to be toured, shown, and enjoyed. It should be stated this vehicle is titled as a model year 1975.
body and paint
This Aston Martin has been carefully tended during the restoration with the body and paintwork being no exception. It presents today as a show-worthy example overall with room for very minor improvement should one be critical. The car shows straight panels down the sides, is free of any dents or major blemishes beyond one or two minor items as captured in the photos. The Connaught Green shows beautifully and is very fitting. Some wet sanding and further bonnet/door adjustments would achieve improvement nearing perfection. It is otherwise exemplary of top-notch workmanship and is in condition any owner can be proud of.
glass and trim
The brightwork is all present and in excellent condition having been tended to during the restoration with careful attention to not over-restoring - chrome plating where necessary and simple stainless finish where correct. The only notable exception is the mirrors which do show some signs of age. Otherwise, all rubber components, seals, or trim elements are new and in excellent condition.
The wheels have been expertly restored and complement the car with their two-tone presentation. A very correct look. Though a few center caps do show to be cracked. Wheel lug notes also do show a very minor bit of corrosion on the otherwise brightly chromes surfaces.
seats and surfaces
We can see that the interior has been thoroughly restored to a very high standard. Connolly leather adorns many of the surfaces and is in excellent, nearly new condition. There are no flaws to speak of. Digging deeper we see that all of the interior hardware has also been tended to, replated, or restored as needed. The headliner is also excellent, as are the carpets, center console, dash fascia, dash, etc… The only items worth pointing out are the upgraded modern stereo system and Nardi shift knob. Otherwise, the only item that became obvious during our inspection that can be considered flawed/blemishes is slight wear on some lettering/paint surrounding some knobs/escutcheons as well as the defroster vents. This is however original and adds a welcoming touch of patina.
functionality and accessories
There are quite a few knobs, pulls, switches, and modern accouterments of which all are functioning in this Aston Martin. There is nothing that was not in correct working order during our testing of the various systems on board.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay is a well-balanced mixture of being obviously mechanically restored but within an original setting with original coatings. The parts that do the work are all clean, appearing new, restored, or refurbished as needed for this to be a reliable machine. While other static elements appear original showing signs of use over the years. A welcoming balance to those looking to both show and use this example. It should be noted that the engine bay light is not functioning at the time of our inspection.
The trunk area appears to have received a retrimming with the correct materials. The spare is also refinished to match the other wheels and the jack is also present. It should be noted that the trunk light is not functioning at the time of our inspection.
The underside, besides the mechanical/suspension/braking componentry, appears to be highly original with old undercoating flaking in areas and generally showing signs of use. Highly original with red oxide primer showing in a few places. Overall there is nothing of concern, no corrosion issues of any depth and it presents as a driver-quality underside. Again, perfect for the owner who wishes to use this example and can still get away with being proud of the vehicle at any show.
The engine, having benefited from a comprehensive rebuild by Steel Wings to Vantage Plus specification is impressive through and through. Various upgrades and hidden/internal modifications have brought this Aston Martin into a league of its own in terms of performance. It holds excellent oil pressure and stays cool even when run hard. It idles nicely, makes wonderful power throughout the rev range, and has no needs that we are aware of.
The Steel Wings upgraded 5-speed transmission is the perfect addition to rounding this Aston Martin out as a highly usable example. Clutch operation and shifting feel very tight, modern, and without issue.
brakes and suspension
As to be expected the braking and suspension systems have been tended to match the rest of the restoration. No issues are noted in the operation or functionality of these elements.
Currently fitted with BF Goodrich Radial TA P255/60/R15 (5) the date code however we were unable to interpret and do not know the time of production. The tires have healthy tread life but are not as supple as new tires and it may be wise for the next owner to fit new tires if intending to use this vehicle at the limit.
Despite its size and muscular look, this Aston Martin V8 remains relatively nimble and a delight to drive. The big V8 engine provides plenty of power and a wonderful soundtrack as you row through the gears. In typical Aston Martin fashion, the ride remains supremely comfortable and the cabin is wonderfully appointed with everything one needs within easy reach when behind the wheel. These early V8 cars serve an important role in the transition of the Aston Martin brand and thanks to their stunning design and general ease of use are sure to remain a highly desired and sought-after piece of the brand's history for years to come.