1974 Aston Martin V8 Series III ($215,000)
Photography by Alex Whitewall
Written by Andrew Golseth
1974 Aston Martin V8 Series III
- Location: South Kensington, United Kingdom
- Chassis: V8 / 11149 / LCA
- Engine: 5,340 cc 5.3-liter V8
- Transmission: ZF synchromesh five-speed manual
- Mileage: 41,xxx kilometers
- Color: White / black leather
PRICE: $215,000 (£159,950)
Aston Martin’s First V8 Powered Production Car
After decades of perfecting straight-six powered Grand Tourers, Aston Martin finally acknowledged its customers’ demand for a more powerful GT—starting with the DBS in 1967. Unfortunately, due to various setbacks the all-new eight-cylinder was delayed for nearly two years. Finally, by 1969 the new DBS V8 featured the long-awaited Tadek Marek built 5.3-liter, making it the first eight-cylinder Aston Martin production car.
By 1972, the DBS V8 name was dropped for simply “V8” and the straight-six DBS model was discontinued. Commonly referred to as AM V8, the new nomenclature also gained significant visual and mechanical updates to differentiate it from the DBS V8. Most notably, the four-headlight in-grille fascia was revised in favor of just two lamps and a larger more prominently shaped iconic Aston grille—this new face carried virtually unchanged until production ceased in 1989.
Under the bulged hood, the 5.3-liter featured Bosch fuel injection from ‘72 to July ‘73. In August of that year, the Aston V8 flagship was again updated to the Series 3 model. Retroactively, the Series 3 engines were fitted with four twin-choke Weber carburetors instead of the Bosch FI system. Because of the switch back to carbs, the bonnet intake bulge had to be enlarged to clear the airbox.
This new Weber setup produced a stout 310 horsepower that’d pace a naught-to-60 time in just 6.2 seconds and on to a near 150 mph top speed! The Series 3 also featured a smoothed rear deck (lost the louvered section), improved cooling system, reshaped fuel tank for added boot space, new bucket seats, and updated switchgear.
While most American cars and USDM imports struggled to fuse massive impact bumpers and jacked up ride heights on otherwise uncorrupted designs, European spec cars weren’t bother with such rubbish. The AM V8 is essentially an updated DBS, which hit the market in 1967. Designed in-house by William Towns, the DBS was the successor of the DB6—a car that was looking pretty outdated by the late ‘60s.
William Towns was given the order to design a new Grand Tourer that was to be larger, more comfortable, more powerful, and most importantly modern while still retaining Aston Martin trademark design cues. The hard-edged lines of the DBS were far more muscular than it’s processors but donned a number of Aston hallmark design features, such as the single barred fender vents, knock-off spoke wheels, scooped bonnet, and polished bumpers and window trim.
By the time the car was updated to the Series 3, like the example offered here, several visual alterations had been made. Namely, the wires were swapped out for steel disc wheels, the bumpers received thin overriders, the bonnet “power bulge” was extended to the cowl, and the front fascia featured two single headlights separated from the taller center grille.
Where to start with what makes this polar white on black leather 1974 Aston Martin V8 so special? For starters, the car was sold new through Hexagon Classics in 1974, which is where the original owner has returned the car to for sale today—talk about dealer loyalty! Handmade, as all Astons are, this V8 has covered just 41k kilometers (26k miles) since new—which averages just about 1,000 kilometers a year.
To make this all-original low mileage one-owner AM V8 even more rare is it’s drive side configuration, making it one of 124 left-hand-drive Euro-spec AM V8 produced. Sold new to for Switzerland export, this car has been under the care of one owner its entire life. The condition of the car speaks for itself and is as original as can be.
The factory nonmetallic white paint is in exceptional condition given the car’s age. All of the original glass is in place with good seals all around. The brightwork and bumpers are original, complete, and free of any hazing or major imperfections. The complex semi-polished and silver painted center disc wheels are free of curb rash and complete with all four center caps with period-correct Michelin tires.
Inside, the two-plus-two black leather upholstered cabin is in very much the same condition as the body. The driver’s seat and footwell carpeting show minor wear expected from typical use but are free of tears. The dashboard is complete with all original switchgear and fully functioning instrumentation—notice the crack free dash pad.
The four twin-choke 42 mm Weber carbureted 5.3-liter V8 lies in an equally impressive engine compartment. The original plumbing and wiring presents in good order with no leaks or haphazard Jerry-rigged repairs. Simply put, under hood looks like it did when it left the factory: clean and orderly. The engine fires, idles, and revs-out in healthy fashion in unison to the smooth grind-free shifting ZF synchromesh five-speed manual gearbox.
The car’s sole custodian has kept this car unmodified and in tiptop mechanical condition while miraculously preserving the aesthetic condition. The body panel, trim, and wheels are all original as is the interior materials and components. The suspension and brakes have been up-kept and the numbers-matching 5.3-liter V8 and five-speed transmission have been maintained with great care since new. Needless to say, the car is as original a drivable 40-plus-year-old car can be.
- Original body panels, trim, bumpers, wheels, and paint in excellent condition
- Original upholstery, switchgear, and instrumentation
- Minor wear on front seat covers and driver’s side carpet
- Original numbers-matching engine and transmission
- No leaks, squeaks, or unusual noises to note
- Starts, idles, and drives wonderfully
All original body, interior, and powertrain in unmodified state.
Extensive records filed in accompanying binder include owner’s manuals, service invoices, and complete registration documentation dating back to 1974. Original spare, jack, and toolkit included.
1974 – 2016 | Original owner
Here’s another Series III (although a later year model) we documented to get a sense of what owning one is like.
It seems redundant to say this, but this is a very special Aston Martin. The car’s incredible time-capsule-like preservation is proof that when a sole caretaker truly cherishes his prized automobile, age is just a number. The V8 is a stunning entry in Aston Martin’s impressive and lengthy history, but this particular example is more than just a significant piece of motoring antiquity. This AM V8 is a sincere testament of one man’s passion. This passion for preservation, in spite of time’s natural progression of deterioration, is unparalleled to any AM V8 we’ve come across—and likely any you’re bound to find elsewhere.
MEET THE SELLER
This car is for sale by Paul Michaels of Hexagon Classics. You can learn more about them here.
Interested or have questions? Hit the button below to make an offer or inquire with the seller.