1988 Aston Martin V8 Volante ($160,000)
Photography by Cooper Naitove
Written by Andrew Golseth
- Location: New York, New York
- Chassis: SCFCV81C6JTL15604
- Engine: 5.3-Liter V8
- Transmission: Three-Speed Automatic
- Mileage: 54,XXX Miles
- Color: Kensington Silver | Grey Leather
1 OF 245: ASTON MARTIN’S FIRST V8 CONVERTIBLE
After years of customer demand, Aston Martin finally planned to add a V8-powered model to its lineup. The all-new chassis was ready by 1967 but due to engineering setbacks, Tadek Marek’s all new aluminum V8 wasn’t ready, so the first two years (1967-1969) of the DBS Vantage were fitted with the leftover DB6 predecessor’s powertrains—the tried and true straight-six.
By 1969, Marek’s eight-cylinder was ready and subsequently replaced the DBS Vantage’s six-pot, appropriately renaming the model the DBS V8 in the process. By 1972 the “DBS” nomenclature was dropped and the model continued on simply badged as the “V8.” After further customer feedback, a convertible version of the V8 was made available in 1978.
Dubbed the V8 Volante, the convertible grand tourer proved to be so much more popular than the fixed roof model that coupe production was only made upon order. The AM V8 saw a number of aesthetic and mechanical alterations throughout it’s near-20-year production cycle, most notably a more compact fuel injection delivery system over the earlier bulbous carburetors meant the large hood scoop of the early cars was no longer necessary.
Aston Martin had long carried a strong design language from the DB4 through the DB6 models. By the late 1960s, its distinguishable design was getting outdated though, calling for an all-new mold to take shape. The DBS debuted in 1967 and it’s larger but more athletic demeanor made a bold statement.
The DBS evolved into the Series 2 V8, which gained a heavily revised front fascia, hood, lights, and various trim. Compared to its DB predecessors, the AM V8’s sharp lines, wider stance, and fastback greenhouse was far more more American muscle-esque than the slim-bodied GTs before it. However, the V8 was sharp, fresh, and packing Aston’s most powerful production engine to date, making it a popular option for enthusiasts looking for a comfortable but capable GT.
This 1988 Aston Martin V8 Volante is a pristine, highly original example that drives as sharp as it looks. Recently repainted in its factory-ordered Kensington Silver metallic paint, this three-decade-old convertible looks as fresh as it did new in 1988. The two-tone grey and black leather interior is said to be all original and has been impressively kept, telling that this car has been pampered with great care over its 54,XXX miles since new.
The car remains unmodified from stock both aesthetically and mechanically, with the sole exception of a modern Alpine CD player. Otherwise, the accident-free car is very original with no rust. Fully documented service records since new are archived and included in the sale, and everything runs and works as Aston Martin intended. Offered by Cooper Classic Cars, this rare Aston Martin V8 is one of just 245 Volante versions produced.
Body – The car has no signs of rust or accident damage. Panel gap is excellent throughout.
Paint – The car was originally ordered in metallic Kensington Silver and was recently professionally resprayed. The fresh paint is free of stone chips or major blemishes and retains a deep, glass-like finish.
Trim and Glass – The original pieces of glass and polished trim are in excellent condition with no pitting or etching.
Wheels – The original BBS mesh wheels show only slight wear in their silver paint and remain free of curb rash—all four center caps are accounted for.
Convertible Top – The black vinyl convertible top is in exceptional condition with great fitment and taut tension when deployed. The roof provides a watertight seal and folds neatly under the button down vinyl cover.
Steering Wheel – The unique two-tone black and grey twin-spoke steering wheel offers excellent grip from the thick leather-wrapped rim, and shows minimal wear with no stains, discoloration, or splits in the seams.
Dashboard & Instrumentation – The black and grey two-tone dash is in equal condition as the steering wheel, and the attractive wood instrument insert and center console baseplate nicely break up the otherwise monochrome cabin. All instruments, including the analog center-dash-mounted clock, and backlighting are fully functional and clean. An Alpine CD player has been installed for modern audio options.
Seats, Trim, & Carpet – The medium grey leather seat covers, door panels, and matching carpeting and floor mats are surprisingly clean given their delicate coloring. Stain and tear free, the all-original cabin is about as perfect as a 30-year-old car can be.
Engine – Under the long bonnet, the original 5,340cc 5.3-liter fuel-injected 380-horsepower V8 remains unmodified from stock and has been routinely serviced since new. Being a Series V model, the fuel-injection delivery setup eliminated the previous iteration’s bulky carburetor/induction system, which ultimately negated the need for the early model’s bulged hood—hence why the Series V have smooth bonnets.
- Original Motor: Yes.
- Engine Number: Available upon request.
- The Drive: The engine promptly fires from cold and idles steadily without hesitation, in large part thanks to the Series V model being fuel-injected (versus the earlier carbureted models). The 5.3-liter V8 growls with great gusto without deafening its driver or passengers, nor is it obnoxiously boastful to pedestrians and fellow motorists—it sounds refined and powerful without being overly noisy.
Transmission – The original automatic gearbox is in place and works as intended with up-to-date servicing documented.
- Original Transmission: Yes.
- Gearbox Number: Available upon request.
- The Drive: The three-speed automatic transmission slots into “Drive” with smooth engagement and accelerates through the gears with no hesitation going up or down the gears. It’s worth noting the V8 Volante was clocked dashing to 60mph from a standstill in just 5.8-seconds—fast in the ‘80s, and still quick today.
Handling – The four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brake drivetrain remains unmodified and has been maintained as systematically as the powertrain. Bushings and shocks have been replaced in order to maintain the original ride quality and performance expected of an Aston Martin.
- The Drive: This Grand Tourer comfortably seats four and has the performance to still thrill enthusiasts today. Steering is tight and nicely weighted with ample feedback for spirited sprints without compromising the kind of ride comfort desired for extended excursions.
Aside from the aftermarket Alpine audio head unit, factory color respray, and driveline consumables (belts, tires, fluids, filters, etcetera), this Volante remains entirely 1988. The car has been mechanically and visually unmodified from stock and maintained with the utmost care and attention. The car looks, smells, feels, and performs as it did when new thanks to meticulous mechanical maintenance and unwavering aesthetic preservation. The interior is entirely original and is in impeccable condition, and the new paint application is likely superior to the factory’s original finish.
Accompanying the sale is the original toolset, spare tire, owner’s manuals, and service records dating back to new.
- Bonhams 2017 – 1989 ASTON MARTIN V8 VOLANTE– $247,500 (w/ premium) – Numbers matching – British Racing Green/Tan with 17,500 miles
- Hemmings 2017– 1985 ASTON MARTIN V8 VOLANTE– $219,500 (asking price) – Numbers matching – Litchfield Black Metallic /Black with 35,000 miles
Brilliantly British – Whether it’s on an extended tour of the country or just a quick jaunt to your local Cars & Coffee, this pristine AM V8 Volante will do nicely. With ample luggage space, room for four, an open roof, and a rumbling V8 under hood, all packaged in a sharp classically proportioned convertible, this British GT offers a lot of style and versatility.
Charming Colors – Kensington Silver is a classic Aston Martin color that works well on every model the marque’s produced. With fresh paint and a complimentary grey, black, and wood-decked interior, this Volante will look the part in every situation, outing, or event.
MEET THE SELLER
This car is for sale by Elliot Cuker of Cooper Classics in New York City. You can get to know him better here.