1976 ASTON MARTIN V8 SaloonView 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.
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.
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’.
This Series 3 V8 was built in 1976 and registered in January 1977.
Only 967 Series 3 V8s were ever made.
As far as we can tell, when new it had Ascot Grey paint with a ‘Cosmic Fire’ finish and blue interior trim.
Today, it is a vibrant metallic blue colour, with cream leather upholstery and beige carpets.
The car was bought for the vendor’s collection in, we believe, 2012/13, and has spent the intervening years as part of a static display.
This low mileage (see History Highlights for more information), original, dry-stored example appears to us to be in very decent overall condition.
It looks good, inside and out, and presents very handsomely from every angle.
On the Outside
We don’t know when the car was resprayed in its current shade, but it was described as being blue on its 1999 V5.
In general, the paintwork has held up pretty well over the years and much of it still has a decent depth of shine and lustre to it.
The shut lines are consistent, even and tight. The doors slam home with the reassuringly heavy thud of a hand-built car.
The panels are largely free of any dinks, dents, warps, folds, creases or dimples.
Aside from a spot of foxing here and there, the chrome work is good, as are the GKN wheels, which have only a few marks to show for their 46 years of life.
The badging is good – and includes Union flag badges on the car’s flanks.
The sunroof (which we imagine might well be an aftermarket feature) fits snugly and tilts as intended, but there is the beginning of some bubbling where it meets the roof and, in general, it looks a bit rough around the edges.
There is also some bubbling at the base of the windscreen. There is some rust visible at the ends of the sills where they meet the wheel arches.
There are a couple of smudges to the paintwork on the section below the bonnet near the Aston Martin badge. These look as if they might capitulate if threatened with a damp cloth.
There are various stone chips in the usual places, around the headlights and on the front valance, but no more than you’d expect to find on a low mileage car that’s spent its recent life indoors.
On the Inside
The interior condition is entirely consistent with its exterior counterpart. In other words, it’s really pretty good but a bit dusty in places and in need of some basic TLC.
The leather upholstery has some light creasing in places, particularly on the driver’s seat, but could be partly restored to its former glory with the application of some soap, warm water and a little elbow grease. It could be fully restored if taken to be re-Connollised.
The front seats are supportive and comfortable, the rear seats look untroubled by either time or use.
The door cards are in good condition. The carpets and mats would thank their next owner for a deep clean. The carpet behind the front seats shows some signs of marking and discolouration.
The headlining is a tad baggy in places but isn’t ripped or damaged. The sun visors have turned a little dusty inside where the foam has hardened over the years.
The top of the dashboard is a little loose but is otherwise fine.
There is some cracking to the paint inside the door jambs and there is some superficial rust in evidence at the interior junctions of the door card, window and bodywork on both sides.
The rubber trim around the inside of the windows, particularly at the rear, has cracked and perished in places.
The gear selector, centre console, steering wheel and instruments are all in decent condition. The handbrake gaiter has worked itself slightly baggy.
The boot (and the spare wheel) is in good condition, too. Lifting up the carpets here or elsewhere on this car reveals a superficial bloom of rust dust here and there, but nothing to raise any alarms.
We can’t make any claims about the functionality of the electrics as we haven’t been able to start the vehicle.
In general, the undersides seem to be well preserved, although there is some corrosion in evidence.
We can’t say if this is currently an issue for the car’s structural and mechanical integrity.
The engine bay is clean, dry and doesn’t look like it’s been in use for at least a decade (it hasn’t).
We have turned the engine by hand, so we can attest that it is not seized.
This car, first registered in the UK on 1.1.1977, had 10,547 miles on the clock in 2006.
On 21.4.2011 it was registered in Malta.
When the car was last issued an MoT certificate on 4.5.2010, its mileage was 13,749.
On the 8.5.2012, it was bought by a Swiss gentleman and shipped to the UK. The document recording this transaction says that the car’s then mileage was 37,000.
Today, the odometer reads 14,713 miles.
Clearly, at least one of these recorded mileages is incorrect (we suspect that the 37,000 reading is the anomaly), but we have no way of knowing for certain. Either way, given that the car has not moved for a decade, it’s safe to assume that the mileage is low.
The car doesn’t come with a service history, an MoT certificate or a current V5.
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
With the proviso that we can’t vouch for the car’s mechanical and electrical status, we can provide a positive report on what we’ve seen of the vehicle cosmetically and aesthetically.
We think this is a very good-looking car - the non-original colour is, we believe, particularly striking and attractive.
Although there may be a question mark over the exact mileage, we’re confident that it is low no matter how you choose to measure it.
If the car proves to be dynamically and functionally as strong as it is in terms of looks and apparent condition, then this promises to be a very good example of Aston’s iconic, and quintessentially British, V8 muscle car.
We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of £40,000 - £50,000 plus Bonhams bond payment and £250 application NOVA fee.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, 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, please remember we have a network of suppliers we work with regularly including finance and storage companies, 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 the vehicles 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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