1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante £175,000
Having been well cared for and with all the right upgrades, this looks and runs exactly the way it should, says Russ Smith
You want to see plenty of paperwork for an Aston Martin and this car’s bulging history folder is about three inches thick. It’s stuffed with bills for work carried out by AM specialists right up to a recent service where the seats were also repadded and recoloured. The file also details major expenditure in 2011, after the last of the car’s five owners bought it, including replacing the original autobox with a later Aston’s six-speed manual and fitting AP Racing brakes. At the same time the speedo (reading 44,000 miles) was changed; the new one now reads around 34,000.
The car presents very well with immaculate Tourmaline Blue paint, even panel fit and flawless flanks. The chrome is good too, with just some wear to the driver’s door button and peeling from one of the fuel fillers, but that’s hidden under a flap. The hood has recently been replaced and has a well-fitting cover.
The GKN alloys are unmarked, having obviously been refurbished not long ago. They wear matching Avon Turbosteel tyres with good tread and no sidewall cracking. The underside looks good, with plenty of shiny bolt heads, new bushes (some polyurethane) and gleaming dampers. There’s no sign of corrosion anywhere.
The engine bay is tidy, but if you demand show standard there’s room for detail improvements. Plenty of shiny clips and bolts – always a good sign – and it has a set of 10mm race-spec HT leads that almost match the seat piping. No leaks were evident and fluids were clean and to level.
There’s nothing to fault with the recent seat refurbishment, but the leather on the obviously original steering wheel is starting to lose its colour and some of the stitching is coming apart. Wood veneers are mostly good, but there’s a crack in the lacquer on the passenger door and it’s a little dull around the electric window switches. Those windows, by the way, slide up and down smoothly and without hesitation. If you want to be really picky, there’s some corrosion on the cigarette lighter and some of the switches are fading a bit, but the carpets are good and the overall impression is of a car that’s been used but looked after.
The tatty original ignition key adds a bit of character, but if it bothers you there’s a new-looking spare as well. The engine responds instantly and shows a healthy 80psi at 3000rpm, dropping to 25psi at idle. Water temp settled at 75 degrees. The engine pulls strongly and smoothly though you do get the odd pop from the carburettors on the over-run, but that just makes it sound racey. That six-speed gearbox has a precise and short-throw shift and is a massive improvement over the auto in most Volantes. I don’t imagine anyone will care that it isn’t original.
The asking price is quite stiff for a Volante, but you’ll need to search far and wide for one in better condition.
Seats were repadded and recoloured at the time of the last service.
The engine bay is clean and tidy, albeit not quite concours.