The Rare Rides series is fond of Aston Martin, and has previously featured a Lagonda, Virage, and a bespoke V8 shooting brake. Today we have a look at the closest the brand ever got to making a British Mustang.
It’s a V8 Volante from 1988.
Aston Martin’s V8 was one of the longest-lived offerings for the brand. The cabriolet seen here debuted in its original form in 1969, lasting for a full 20 years before the aforementioned Virage replaced it.
The V8 was born of the requests of loyal Aston Martin customers. While the company was a fan of the traditional straight-six, by the Sixties the need for cylinders numbering eight was great. Aston contracted with engine builder Tadek Marek for a 5.3-liter mill, but the engine was not ready until 1967. The new engine was then dropped into the DBS to create the DBS V8, which went on sale for 1969.
But the DBS V8 name was not an enduring one. After a 1972 restyle, Aston dropped the DBS name, with the model becoming known simply as V8. These early examples later became known as Series 2. Again, the model was not long for the world. Series 2 was produced only from May of 1972 through July of 1973, for a total of 288 cars. More changes were in order.
Series 3 took over in the latter half of 1973, as carburetors took the place of the former Bosch fuel injection. Aston Martin had issues with the Bosch system, and it was easier to attach some Weber carburetors to bring the engine into U.S. emissions compliance.
Series 4 arrived late in 1978, as wood trim appeared in the cabin and the scoop on the hood became a power bulge. With an emphasis on luxury, most Series 4 cars were fitted with a British favorite — the three-speed Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic.
The final evolution of the V8 was Series 5, which debuted at the New York International Auto Show in January of 1986. Modernized carburetors took the place of the old ones, and their compact size meant the power bulge went away almost entirely. Series 5 saw 405 coupes produced, plus 216 Volantes. By 1989, the Virage was ready and the V8 was very, very old.
Today’s Rare Ride is a stunning Volante from 1988, decked out in green and peanut butter. With 39,000 on the odometer, it asks a reasonable $249,995 on eBay. A paltry sum for a very rare British muscle car.