1976 ASTON MARTIN V8 Saloon Series 3View vehicle description
The Aston Martins that followed on from the DB6 were very obviously from the pen of a different designer.
They took their aesthetic cues from the design zeitgeist of the 60s and 70s, not the 40s and 50s. They also tipped an unapologetic and undisguised nod to America’s muscle cars – the Ford Mustang in particular.
After the DB6 came the DBS, still with a six-cylinder engine and patiently awaiting the arrival of a V8 that promised to give the car the grunt to go with the grace.
The V8 proved to be well worth waiting for. It was a proper muscle car and one that owed its squat, steroidal stance and sleekly aggressive profile to the design pen of Aston’s William Towns.
The engine was designed by Polish émigré Tadek Marek, a man whose inimitable engineering imprint stretches from the DBR2 racing car engine, through the redesign of Aston’s venerable, Bentley-derived straight-six, to the development of the 5.3-litre V8 for the DBS V8 in 1969.
Several iterations later, this fabulous powerplant only reluctantly retired once it had motored into the new millennium, bulked up to 600bhp, and propelled the Vantage 600 to speeds reputedly in excess of 200mph.
The Aston Martin V8 Series 2 was the first of the line to be known simply as the V8 (its predecessor, the DBS V8, was effectively the Aston Martin V8 Series 1, although it never bore that moniker).
Weber carburettors were reinstated for the Series 3 in 1973, and the cars were identifiable by the larger bonnet scoops designed to accommodate them.
Series 3 V8s could reach 60mph in 5.7 seconds with a manual gearbox, and although performance was somewhat neutered by emissions regulations in 1976, cars with the following year’s engine enhancements were back up to 305bhp.
The last Series 3 cars were produced in October 1978, by which time a total of 967 Series 3 V8s had rolled off the production line at Newport Pagnell.
Every car took around 1,200 man-hours to build and each was every bit as handmade as a Savile Row suit.
The Aston Martin V8 may have had more than enough testosterone to compete with the Mustangs, Chargers and Corvettes of its trans-Atlantic cousins, but it did so with all the unmistakably British pedigree and class of a St. James’ gentleman’s club.
This motor car is being sold as part of an overseas collection. It has been imported under the Bonhams temporary admission customs bond and is therefore subject to the lower rate 5% import tax if the car is to remain in the UK & purchased by a private individual. The 5% is calculated on the final selling price. For example, if the car sells for £40,000, then £2,000 is added, making the total amount payable of £42,000. A company buying the car will have to pay VAT on the hammer, as well as duty + VAT.
The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, and proof that HMRC fees are paid. If the car is subsequently exported abroad within 30 days then these fees are refundable.
Lastly, there will be a nominal administration fee of £250 for processing the NOVA application, and payable direct to the shipping company. A completed and processed NOVA will provide you formal proof that all duties & taxes are paid in UK and thus allow you to register the vehicle with the DVLA
In common with the majority of cars in this collection, this vehicle has been on static display for a number of years and there is no history available beyond that displayed in our photography section.
We have not started or driven the car so cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality. It will require recommissioning prior to road use and is sold ‘as seen’.
It is available for view and inspection at our HQ near Abingdon and we will be delighted to show the car to you and/or your appointed engineer.
In common with many cars from the vendor’s collection, this 1976 LHD auto Aston Martin V8 Series 3 (VIN: V8/J1528/L) comes to us with no service records and very history.
We believe it was imported new to the Japanese dealership of Chubu Yashima Auto on 8.11.76, at which time it was described as having a ‘Cricket White’ exterior and a ‘Natural’ interior.
You may be wondering why someone in Japan (a RHD country) would import a new LHD Aston made in the UK (also a RHD country, obviously).
Well, it’s not unusual for Japanese buyers to specify their prestigious foreign imports in LHD configuration because it accentuates the exotic, rarefied, special status of their purchase and makes its ‘foreignness’ even more conspicuous.
This car entered the vendor’s collection of static display cars in 2013.
Today, this car is resplendent in its current black livery (with a thin yellow and red stripe running along its flanks) and brown leather upholstery.
It’s spent most of its life in a country where salt is thrown over the shoulders of sumo wrestlers, not chucked all over the roads with reckless abandon like it is in the UK.
It appears to be in very good condition, inside, outside and underneath, as befits a car that’s spend a decade with its feet up on display in a warm, dry collection and has Japanese provenance before that.
All of this comes with the proviso that we haven’t tried to start or drive the car (it will need recommissioning), and can therefore only concern ourselves with its cosmetic condition.
This car has just 28,060 kms on its odometer.
On the Outside
The paintwork is very good all over with only the odd stone chip here and there.
There are some light, swirly scratches here and there, but these would probably yield to the attentions of a good machine polish.
The badging, lights and lenses are all good.
The panels are straight, true and broadly free of dinks, dents and dimples.
The shut lines are consistent and tight, although the door closure on the passenger side is a little stiff at present and the handle needs a good tug to get the door open.
The rubber trim around the windows is cracked and perished in places.
The original GKN wheels are in good condition but could be further improved by refurbishment.
The chrome is largely free of any foxing or pitting.
.There are some cracks and splits in the front valance.
On the Inside
The good news continues on the inside, where the interior seems to us to be authentic, original and very well preserved.
The brown leather front seats are comfortable, supportive and functional. They have an attractive patina and are only lightly creased.
The rear seats are in excellent condition.
The carpets and mats are very good, as are the door cards.
The headlining, although intact and undamaged, looks a little tired and in need of a clean.
The dashboard, glove compartment and instrument binnacle all appear to be untroubled by use or the passage of time.
Although we can’t vouch for the functionality of any knobs, dials, switches, levers or buttons, most of the fixtures and fittings - including the steering wheel and handbrake - are in decent condition. The leather on the gear selector is a little worn and frayed.
The boot is in equally fine fettle.
Lifting up the carpets here or elsewhere on this car reveals nothing to worry about as far as we can see.
In general, the undersides appear well preserved, with all structural and mechanical parts apparently in possession of the required amount of engineering integrity.
We’ve seen nothing more than standard superficial rust on one or two components, which suggests that the wax/bitumen coating has done its job.
Clearly, though, you’ll want to see for yourself and reach your own conclusions.
The engine bay is clean, dry and everything appears to be in its designated place.
Currently, this car has neither an MoT certificate nor a V5. It must be registered in the country of your choice and you will need to contact the appropriate vehicle licensing agency for instructions on how to do this. Any paperwork shown in the gallery is a facsimile and in no way constitutes any kind of licensing or registration certification.
If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.
What We Think
We haven’t started or driven the car so our understanding of it is somewhat limited.
That said, we know it’s been kept warm and dry on static display for several years, we know it was in the care of Japanese owners for decades (which is usually a good thing, in our experience), and we know what the evidence before our eyes suggests.
Namely, that this is a very good example of an Aston Martin V8 Series 3 – provided, of course, that the engine and mechanicals prove to be as impressive as the car’s cosmetic condition.
We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of £40,000 - £60,000, plus Bonhams bond payment and £250 NOVA fee.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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