By on February 21, 2019

The Rare Rides series is fond of Aston Martin, and has previously featured a Lagonda, Virage, and a bespoke V8 shooting brake. Today we have a look at the closest the brand ever got to making a British Mustang.

It’s a V8 Volante from 1988.

Aston Martin’s V8 was one of the longest-lived offerings for the brand. The cabriolet seen here debuted in its original form in 1969, lasting for a full 20 years before the aforementioned Virage replaced it.

The V8 was born of the requests of loyal Aston Martin customers. While the company was a fan of the traditional straight-six, by the Sixties the need for cylinders numbering eight was great. Aston contracted with engine builder Tadek Marek for a 5.3-liter mill, but the engine was not ready until 1967. The new engine was then dropped into the DBS to create the DBS V8, which went on sale for 1969.

But the DBS V8 name was not an enduring one. After a 1972 restyle, Aston dropped the DBS name, with the model becoming known simply as V8. These early examples later became known as Series 2. Again, the model was not long for the world. Series 2 was produced only from May of 1972 through July of 1973, for a total of 288 cars. More changes were in order.

Series 3 took over in the latter half of 1973, as carburetors took the place of the former Bosch fuel injection. Aston Martin had issues with the Bosch system, and it was easier to attach some Weber carburetors to bring the engine into U.S. emissions compliance.

Series 4 arrived late in 1978, as wood trim appeared in the cabin and the scoop on the hood became a power bulge. With an emphasis on luxury, most Series 4 cars were fitted with a British favorite — the three-speed Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic.

The final evolution of the V8 was Series 5, which debuted at the New York International Auto Show in January of 1986. Modernized carburetors took the place of the old ones, and their compact size meant the power bulge went away almost entirely. Series 5 saw 405 coupes produced, plus 216 Volantes. By 1989, the Virage was ready and the V8 was very, very old.

Today’s Rare Ride is a stunning Volante from 1988, decked out in green and peanut butter. With 39,000 on the odometer, it asks a reasonable $249,995 on eBay. A paltry sum for a very rare British muscle car.

[Images: seller]

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22 Comments on “Rare Rides: A Mustang-y Aston Martin V8 Volante From 1988...”


  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Beautiful car!

    The 1977 version was road tested in the April 1977 Car & Driver. This was a car I had never heard of before that (I was 12), but I thought it looked great–Mustangy–and it was QUICK for it’s day–a Corvette that looks cool with room for four.

    Well, it was a little pricey. But I liked it more than the Z28 and Trans Am that were on the cover.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I see two fuel rails, and port injectors, on this car. This is a Weber-Marelli system. It looks like the original eBay ad ended February 8th with no sale, and it’s been re-listed. The ad also says it’s RHD. Oops.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Points deducted for the location of the handbrake.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I was in high school in 1988. I worked with a guy whose parents had one of these that was a Series 1/4. The Volante was introduced in 1978, at which point the hardtop was starting its forth series, making the Volante series 1 the same specification as an AM V8 series 4. Being a big car enthusiast, and having read PJ O’Rourke’s review of the car, I was interested. Sadly, their Volante never ran long enough for me to get a ride in it.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    beautiful car, but man that’s a rich price,I think I’d rather have a Lister XJ-s

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      An Aston-Martin like this is a car made by people who didn’t know how to make a car but tried everything they could to make the best car possible with no concern for expense. A Jaguar was a car made by people who didn’t know how to make a car that works and lasts and they built the car to a price with all of their focus on things that superficial people notice. I’d rather have a David Brown era Aston Martin, but I’m happier having neither Aston nor Jaguar. There is something very wrong with a world where these things are increasing in value. Disposable luxury is the only kind of luxury that matters today. These cars weren’t meant to be disposable luxury, but they failed to work as real luxury.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        But they are a work of art. And the value of art is often subjective. And Aston-Martin did employ some very skilled craftsmen at Newport-Pagnell.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Do you see a work of art? I see a 1960’s design tarted up with 1980’s drug dealer trimmings. This car was never meant to have a snow plow or basket-weave fake knock-offs.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Having been in the Newport-Pagnell plant, I understand the skill and craftsmanship that went into the leather interior and woodwork.
            The paintwork as well.

            There was no moving assembly line.

            Yes they employed some true artisans, and that interior is indeed a work of art.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I came to post what Todd said, which is strange enough on its own, but yes, the fact that this car was on sale new in 1988 is pretty sad. At least the Alfa Spyder was fairly inexpensive if it was crazy old.

          • 0 avatar
            Roberto Esponja

            ToddAtlasF1, thanks for sparing me the typing. Totally in agreement with you.

  • avatar
    TheDutchGun

    Definitely a looker, but prefer the hardtop from The living daylights.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    haha this platform was so long running I bet it spanned 3 different 007s

  • avatar
    jatz

    Now *that”s* BRG.

    No mustard, thenk yew.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    The sharp crease on the back trunk would grow uncomfortable on the hands after pushing only a short distance. A probable consistent use-case of this fine machine worth considering before purchase.

  • avatar
    brn

    Gorgeous interior. Confusing exterior.

  • avatar

    Nice car, wrong wheels.

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