1975 ASTON MARTIN V8 Series 3View vehicle description
The last of the hand-built Aston Martins (each one took in excess of 1,200 man-hours to build) the redesigned Series 3 marked a move from Bosch fuel-injection to quad twin-choke 42mm Weber carburettors in order to meet forthcoming US legislation.
Visually distinguished from the earlier cars by an enlarged air intake, an elongated bonnet scoop, and an altered rear window base panel, it continued to utilize a traditional steel chassis.
Suspended via independent double-wishbone front suspension and a Watts linkage-located de Dion rear axle, the driver twirls the steering wheel via power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.
Four-wheel disc brakes bring it to a halt without issue, which is just as well given the thundering 5340cc, 280bhp, V8 engine under the bonnet - and yet, even that wasn’t enough; while the earlier V8 cars had developed 310bhp, the loss of 30bhp in the emasculated Federal-spec versions couldn’t be tolerated: Aston Man drank Brut by the bucket and shaved with a chainsaw – and a sub-300bhp luxury grand tourer was an affront to the masculinity of a nation that played rugby sans the OTT padding the Yanks seem to feel is necessary…
Enter 'Stage 1' camshafts and an exhaust system developed for the V8 Vantage, old school engineering tweaks that restored power to a smidgeon over 300bhp. Equilibrium was restored.
The 2+2 interior was also revised gaining better seats and more logical switchgear, presumably in the name of advanced knicker elastic snapping when his latest conquest was snuggled up next to him…
The discreet dark blue coachwork gives this Aston Martin V8 series 3 an understated look we love – understated, that is, apart from the thumping great bonnet scoop, heavily cowled headlamps, massive alloy wheels, and that achingly beautiful rear end.
And yet, while it’s easy to get carried away by what is one of the great automotive designs of the 20th century, this one’s charms are way more than skin deep. It’s MoT’d until next April, which should give you some reassurance. It’s also believed to be a ‘matching numbers’ car too, which is also comforting.
We understand that the past two owners have run the Aston as a part of a classic car club, a role that might have seen it being driven by lots of different folk but also means it was scrupulously serviced because reliability is everything when its sole role is fulfilling lifelong dreams.
In the care of the vendor since 2012, he describes as “a user rather than a show car”, a description we’d agree with. That’s not damning with faint praise either, just the pragmatic assessment of someone who knows his stuff.
Best of all, we’ve sold more of these than anyone else worldwide (yup, that’s a fact!) and we think it’s better than most we see. In a world full of project cars, this one is registered and MoT’d, and starts and drives well.
On the Outside
The coachwork is pretty good for a car that been so regularly used over the years. Of course, the lines lend themselves to superlatives anyway but the condition is good too, with tight and consistent shutlines and panel gaps, ripple-free flanks that speak of careful parking, and an overall sheen that reflects well on its previous keepers.
The car’s history shows a colour change, so it’s had a respray in the past and this is nothing to worry about as long as it’s been done well. This one is holding up as well, so you can probably have confidence in the skill and conscientiousness of the bodyshop that did it.
The chromework is good too, albeit slightly pitted. But, as we’re about to mention in the next section, this is an honest to goodness example of a nigh-on half-century-old car, so a little wear and tear is to be expected and is probably preferable to one that’s had its faults cheaply hidden or disguised in the hope of snagging a gullible buyer.
The 15-inch (yup, only 15 inches!) Aston Martin Lagonda alloy wheels are in fine fettle and - and I know you’re ahead of me here - they’re fitted with matching Pirelli P4000 SuperTouring tyres, including the spare.
We’ve seen more than a few older Aston Martins wearing cheap, mis-matched rubber, something that sends a shudder through us; after all, if an owner has skimped on the tyres, what else have they ignored or bodged on the cheap?
Which is supported by the overall condition of this particular because, aside from the odd stonechip, spider web crack (#229) and scuff mark, the bodywork looks good and there really isn’t much to worry about because we can only see the odd rust spot to deal with, most notably on the offside rear pillar (slide #66), the trailing edge of the roof (#76), base of the windscreen (#231), and the nearside rear wing (#78 and #125).
A set of what are believed to be the correct spotlights for the model are included.
On the Inside
The Aston’s interior is utterly wonderful. A place for gentlefolk to waft themselves at warp speed across continents while listening to the light programme and gossiping about life in the village.
The front seats are low and wide, while the rear is heavily sculpted and intimate. The dashboard gives you all the information you need and in the clearest way possible. And while the switchgear might look haphazard, you can identify the switch you need by feel alone; try than on your modern touchscreen.
There’s a heft to the controls too, and a precision that says everything you need to know about Aston Martin’s heritage engineering. I mean, just take a look at the handbrake lever in slide number 141 and tell me I’m wrong.
So, the interior is as glorious as the exterior, if a little more worn. But, this is a car that’s almost 50 years old, so it – like us – needs a helping hand now and then.
Not that it’s that bad, because it isn’t. The seats are still shapely and comfortable and if you got the rips in the front seats repaired the rest of the interior would only be nicely patinated, which is a look we like: Old money v. new, etc.
Or, to put it another way, would you rather date Helen Mirren/George Clooney or Katie Price/Dean Gaffney?
The engine bay is filled with the sort of engineering that Brunel would recognize, which is a compliment. In a time when you need a laptop to sort out even the most trifling of problems, this is a car you can work on with nothing more than a decent tool kit and some nous.
This year’s MoT tester did comment on some rust within 30cm of a mounting. We’ve taken a long, hard look at the photos and can’t see anything that concerns us, so it might just be a pedantic MoT tester rather than anything to worry about. Plus, it is only an advisory at this stage and there’s also a power-steering and an oil leak to contend with.
Recent work, aside from the usual servicing, included having a charging issue sorted out and the rectification of a loose fuel pump electrical connection.
The car’s history file includes a bunch of old MoTs plus a wedge of old invoices and bills for work and parts over the years. There are too many to photo really so if you’d like to see them please contact us to make an appointment. We’d be delighted to show you around the car too and might even pop the kettle on if you ask nicely.
NB: the vendor is honest enough to admit the car was partially waterlogged when the storage unit it was in flooded. He says the car wasn’t damaged and was properly dried out and had its fluids changed but he wanted to be upfront about it.
It also has two sets of keys.
What We Think
The V8 is bursting with character, power and that indefinable quality that separates the great from the good, making this hand-built Aston Martin reminiscent of a time when being built in Britain was something to be proud of.
And this is an especially nice example; with a decent service history and good coachwork, the interior work it needs could be seen as an opportunity for the new owner to add value as and when funds allow for its refurbishment.
With all that in mind, the guide price of between £40,000 and £60,000 still represents good value. Yes, it’s a hefty chunk of cash but we’d be surprised if you weren’t pleasantly surprised at how little it’s cost you when you sell in a few years’ time; with a limited supply and an increasing awareness of just how good they are, demand can only increase, especially now interest rates on your savings are still so pitiful …
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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