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Showroom Location: 1145 Park Avenue • Emeryville, California 94608 USA

1979 Aston Martin Series I AMV8 Vantage

One of just 42 Series I Vantage `Fliptail`/`Black dash` cars built!

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Exterior Color Dark Metallic Blue
Interior Color Cream Leather and Blue Carpet
Mileage 12158 Miles
Engine DOHC V8
Transmission 6 Speed, (comes with org. 5 Speed)
Status Sold
Stock FJ513


1979 Aston Martin V8 `Fliptail` Vantage
s/n V8/11900/LCAV engine no. V/540/1900/LFM
Kentucky Blue with Magnolia Leather Interior with Dark Blue Piping

Upon its introduction in 1977, the V8 Vantage created quite a stir. Though it was a large and luxurious grand tourer, it was also was the quickest-accelerating car you could buy at the time! The British have always been known for creating cars that embody a disarming combination of sophistication and healthy performance, and perhaps no other car embodies that better than the Aston Martin`s V8 Vantage. Like all contemporary Astons, the Vantage was built to incredibly high standards and is extremely plush. Each body is subtly different because it was built entirely by hand by craftsmen using old-world techniques. The interior features acres of Connolly leather and Wilton carpets, and all fittings and work are done to the highest standards. Yet, the Vantage also features an all alloy quad cam V-8 with no fewer than four 48mm two-barrel Weber carburetors, and a host of functional and attractive aerodynamic aids. Compared to the standard version of this engine, the Vantage version also has larger valves, increased compression ratio, and revised cam profiling. A larger exhaust system was also fitted, and the suspension reworked to cope with the increased power. While Aston Martin never disclosed the output, contemporary journalists estimated that the engine made as much as 475hp (likely optimistic; true output is probably in the low 400`s), and Road & Track`s contemporary tests revealed 0-60 times that were between .6 and 1.0 seconds faster than the contemporary Porsche Turbo, Ferrari Boxer, and the Lamborghini Countach, despite the fact that the Aston tests were conducted in wet conditions!

This particular car is an absolutely stunning example and extremely rare. One of just 11 US market `Cosmetic Vantage` cars built (these cars featured full Vantage specification except for the engine, for smog reasons), this car was subsequently upgraded to full European Vantage specification like most `Cosmetic Vantages` have been. Between 2002 and 2004, the car was completely disassembled and comprehensively restored, and there is much photographic documentation. The work was done to extremely high standards and the result is nothing short of stunning. There are receipts for $101,949.54, not including the initial cost of the car. During the restoration, the engine was completely rebuilt from the bottom up, to Vantage specs, and the car was also fitted with a 6-speed transmission by Steel Wings, an extremely well-regarded Aston Martin specialist in New Jersey. The car was sent to New Jersey from California expressly to have this work carried out, and the original 5-speed unit comes crated with the car. During the engine rebuild, the pistons were replaced and the carburetors, camshafts, and valves replaced with the correct Vantage items. Ceramic coated tubular headers were fitted, along with a catalysed full 3-inch stainless steel exhaust system. The engine was then dyno-tested and tuned before being reinstalled in the car. All ancillaries were rebuilt as well including the ignition system and water pump, and a new gear reduction starter. The suspension was also significantly upgraded with heavy duty sway bars with custom mounts, and custom higher rate springs with adjustable coilover setup. All remaining suspension such as bushings and ball joints were completely overhauled or replaced, and the braking system dismantled and completely rebuilt, from the booster to the calipers. Slotted rotors and Kevlar pads were employed to upgrade the already remarkable brakes. The car was also repainted to high standards, at which time, the front spoiler was competently and subtly modified to have an even deeper front lip. Consequently, this car`s appearance is even more aggressive than the already insistent styling of the standard Vantage. The interior was also retrimmed, and the instruments rebuilt by North Hollywood Speedometer (and the odometer zeroed so that mileage indicated is since the restoration), and various electrical fixes performed to ensure that everything works, from the electric mirrors to the windscreen washer system to the air conditioning system.

Upon the completion of the restoration, the car was enthusiastically and extensively used. It was shown at Ford`s 100th anniversary exposition, and was also extensively featured in The Discovery Channel`s Ultimate Cars television program. The car was also used in the 2006 film Lies and Alibis, where it appeared approximately six times. There is an album containing photo documentation from the restoration and all of these outings, and copies of the program and the DVD are included with the car. There are also several magazine articles and books about V8 Vantages in general included along with the car, as well as a car cover. Of course, all the records are included as well.

Cosmetically, this car is a beautiful example that has seen much care and restorative work. The body panels fit properly and are up to Aston Martin`s high original standards of construction, and the paint is very high quality with some light wear only. It is on the whole excellent, especially in its stunning dark blue metallic hue. There are almost no chips or scratches, and no visible corrosion. There is a small stress crack at the base of the left windscreen pillar, and a handful of other very small blemishes. The chrome is in good condition with only some light pitting and hazing, except for on the front bumper where it is like new. The spoiler is free from chipping that usually comes with regular use, reflecting the low mileage since it was repainted. The lights and glass are all excellent, with some light road wear to the Cibié driving lamps, but almost no wear to the Hella flat-face headlamps. The rubber is very good throughout, and wheels have been fully polished by Al Reed, who is famous for his excellent work on Porsche Fuchs.

The interior is in very nice condition as well, with light wear only. There is a great deal of light-colored leather, which in addition to covering the seats, also covers the centre console, door panels, and roof pillars. It shows only evidence of light use and is otherwise very nice. The carpets are high-quality dark blue wool and are in fine condition and the dashboard is excellent with no shrinkage or discoloration evident. The air conditioning is freezing and the Jaeger clock works perfectly. The remaining gauges are Smiths items and are in good functional and cosmetic condition. The headliner and visors are plush tan wool and are unmarked. There is a recent Clarion CD player fitted with satellite radio capability, hard-wired ipod connection in the glovebox, and upgraded components. The back seats are surprisingly spacious, with enough space for an average-sized man.

The engine compartment is extremely clean and more than sufficient for a car that actually gets driven. It appears to be largely stock, except for the fitment of MSD electronic ignition. The trunk is upholstered in durable loop carpeting and is well trimmed and quite possibly original.

The underside is in excellent condition. It is entirely solid and shows much evidence of careful and tasteful mechanical upgrades and maintenance. The exhaust system is a custom fully stainless dual three-inch system that has been entirely mandrel bent to preserve uniform pipe diameter (and thus exhaust gas velocity) even in curves. There are two pairs of mufflers fitted, along with two catalytic converters, which routinely allow the car to pass California smog, most recently in July of 2007.

Though the car is extremely appealing, both on paper and physically, the driving experience is truly outstanding. The car is heavy, but is so balanced and well-suspended that it is a joy to operate not merely in a straight line, but also through corners. Combined with the handling are genuinely confidence-inspiring brakes, and of course, a great deal of power. The engine noise is not intrusive at all, especially when the engine is lightly loaded, but on more generous throttle applications, it makes noise that amply reflects the quad cam V8 architecture of the engine (and the Webers), and is definitely grin-inducing. Indeed much of the way about how the car drives is grin-inducing. From the noise to the slight lunacy of such a heavy and luxurious car stopping, going and cornering so well, the car is deceptive and downright fun.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire an outstanding example of one of these very rare cars. This is a fully sorted car, both mechanically and cosmetically. The updates were done in a no-expense spared fashion, and are truly one of a kind. The color combination is gorgeous, and everything about the car speaks to the level of attention that was paid to it, and the quality of the result. The car feels whole and right, a difficult to quantify quality that is extremely hard to come by in any type of car.

The car comes with the manual, a file of records, copies of the television program and movie, several books and magazines, and an album containing photographs of the car`s restoration and its exploits. There are also four spare wheels (finished in white) with tires, the original carburetors and intake manifold, and the uninstalled crated 5-speed transmission. 

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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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