After the sale of Aston Martin to ‘Company Developments’ in January 1972, work started on a comprehensive facelift of DBS V8, the main visual cue being the adoption of single headlamps and a revised front grille. Known as AMV8, the car retained the Bosch mechanical fuel injection system until August 1973, when four twin choke Weber carburettors were fitted, a bigger bonnet bulge to clear the carburettor air box, and a re-designed fuel tank to allow more luggage space.
After another change of ownership in 1975, AMV8 continued unchanged until 1977, when detailed engine modifications were announced as the “Stage 1” tune. Among other things, the exhaust system was revised to improve engine breathing. 1978 saw another evolutionary landmark with the unveiling of the “Oscar India” AMV8, the car now sporting burr walnut trim, a blanked off bonnet scoop and a revised boot lid and rear wings to create a sculpted spoiler.
An Evolutionary Landmark
1978 also saw the introduction of a much awaited Volante convertible, with a power operated fully lined hood. The V8 evolved over its long production life, more engine modifications being introduced in 1980 with the “580 series”, BBS wheels replacing the GKN alloys in 1983, and in 1985 the adoption of Weber Marelli fuel injection. These “585” engined cars were notable for their flat bonnet line and were the final development of the model.
The Brass Plate
The Aston Martin V8 engine was first run in anger in 5.0 litre form at the 1967 Le Mans 24 hours, installed in two Lola T70’s run by Team Surtees. Sadly the engines did not last long but the lessons learned from this failure ensured that major revisions were incorporated into the forthcoming production unit.
The result was a powerful V8 that was possibly over engineered but with the benefit of being rugged and reliable if maintained correctly. From around 1978, each engine proudly carried a brass plate with the name of the engine builder. Pictured above at AMOC Brands Hatch in 1983 is one of the original Lola Aston Martins pursued by the heavily modified AMV8 of David Ellis.
DOHC V8, 5340 cc, 432 bhp @ 6000 rpm 395 lbs-ft @ 5100 rpm
Front: Telescopic shock absorbers Rear: Telescopic shock absorbers
4700 x 1830 x 1330 mm (Saloon), 4700 x 1830 x 1370 mm (Volante)
146 mph (Saloon), 140 mph (Volante)
ZF Five-speed manual gearbox or Chrysler 3-speed automatic transmission
Twin servo assisted brakes with front and rear ventilated discs
1818 kg (Saloon), 1860kg (Volante)
0 - 60 mph:
6.6 sec (Saloon), 7.7 sec (Volante)