Retrospect: 1986-1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

British hand-crafted excellence…

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Aston Martin creates some of the most beautiful automobiles in the world. They become even more so as they mature. One such timeless beauty is the V8 Vantage Volante. The V8 Vantage is considered the first British supercar. It was the brand’s hottest offering for two decades. The AM V8 Vantage Volante is a sensual drop top with a thirst for performance. The V8 Vantage Volante convertible was built from 1986 until 1989. An available power upgrade includes the 580 X-Pack engine (Works Service Conversion).

Vantage V8 1

This is the first British supercar…the Aston Martin V8 Vantage

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The V8 Vantage Volante personifies the European idea of grand tourer. So transformed is the automotive world today. Styling trends come and go…but the beauty of an Aston Martin is timeless. A classic Aston Martin can be more intriguing than a brand new model. They are like your favorite leather jacket that mellows as it ages gracefully, every line, crease, or wrinkle adds character to that jacket…same with an Aston Martin…every mile it is driven, it becomes even more distinctive…

Aston Martin used the name “Vantage” on previous models to denote high-performance. It was a separate model for 1978 as the AM V8 Vantage. Cosmetic changes include the closed-off power-dome hood, closed-off grille with high intensity fog lamps, contoured spoiler on the front valance, and a distinctive spoiler integrated into the rear deck lid. The Vantage is the quintessential bad-boy’s toy. Back then, this was a new breed…ferocious and wild.

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XP 6

The ferocious 580 X-Pack creates a rare automotive experience very few enthusiasts will ever know. The alloy 5.3 litre 16-valve 327 CID V8 engine is given an adrenaline rush. The DOHC V8 is fitted with four Weber 481DF3/150 carburetors and a ZF 5-speed manual gearbox (Euro-spec).

The X-Pack big-bore magic includes high-performance camshafts, increased compression ratio, larger inlet valves, new manifolds, Cosworth pistons and Nimrod racing heads. A deep-throaty, free-flow straight-through exhaust system intensifies the experience. The X-Pack was available originally for 1986 through 1989 model years. The 580 X-Pack is as quick as a Ferrari Daytona!

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The 580 X-Pack engine cranks 432 hp @ 6,200 rpm with 536 Nm of peak torque @ 5,100 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 11.5 seconds, 0-120 mph in 17.1 seconds, and 0-150 mph in 37.7 seconds. It does the ¼ mile @ 108 mph in 13.3 seconds. Its top speed is a respectable 163 mph.

The epochal Aston Martin legend of high-performance such as the classic Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante remains among the finest hand-crafted automobiles in the world. The Aston Martin V8’s are among the fastest, most elegant, and longest running production model series ever built in the history of the brand.

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V8 Volante

The AM V8 Volante convertible was introduced in 1978. It was equipped with a power, fully lined convertible top. The frame is stronger than that of the hardtop. They are built with a lower center of gravity. The Series 4, 375 hp Oscar India spec versions were introduced to round out the performance portfolio.

The “Oscar India” specification was introduced in October 1978 at the Birmingham International Motor Show. Visually, the former scoop on the bonnet gave way to a closed “power bulge”, while a spoiler was integrated into the tail. Most Oscar India cars were equipped with a Chrysler Torqueflite three-speed automatic transmission, and wood trim was fitted for the first time since the  DB 2 of the 1950s. Just 352 Oscar India models were built from 1978 through 1985.

V8 Volante 6

V8 Volante 5

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The Series Five V8 Vantage Volante convertible was introduced in 1986 at the New York International Auto Show and was built until 1989. They have an aggressively, muscular physique. The low-slung wind-cheating design inherits Aston Martin beauty, it will challenge the years gracefully. The AM V8 Vantage Volante convertible showcased an integrated rear deck lid spoiler, a deeper front spoiler, wider wheel arches, and extended side skirts.

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POW 1

For the 1987 model year, HRH Prince Charles of Wales ordered a new V8 Vantage Volante. He made a few minor requests to refine his to look understated and sophisticated without the wide wheel arches, front air dam, and side skirts. It retained the open mesh front grille and power bulge on the bonnet. A discreetly sculpted spoiler is attached to the front valence. This style became known as the “Prince of Wales” (POW) specification, with another 21 built at the factory.

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Five additional “Cosmetic” versions of the Prince of Wales style were built to U.S. specifications. They were equipped with the less powerful fuel injected engines along with impact absorbing front and rear bumpers. The POW versions are the most highly sought out of all 1970s – 1980s V8 models. This was actually the humble beginning of the elite “Q” by Aston Martin bespoke commissioning service. The AM V8 Vantage Volante looks as good today as it did when it left the assembly hall. Beauty is tradition with Aston Martin.

POW 4

POW 6

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POW 5

US spec 1

U.S. specification with front and rear impact absorbing bumpers

US spec 2

US spec 4

US spec 3

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The V8 Vantage Volante rides on an independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar. The rear uses a de Dion axle with Watt linkage trailing arms. Power rack and pinion steering and the integrity of four-wheel power disc brakes aided its overall operation. Its 102.7” wheelbase and 74.4” width gives it nimble, and quick, response packaged within a 183.7” overall length.

A5 4

V8 Vantage 1

1972-1989 AM V8 1

1972-1989 AM V8

1972-1989 AM V8 2

1972-1989 AM V8 5

The Aston Martin V8 has been one of the best-selling series in the history of the brand. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage has the honor of being the first British supercar. It is the Vantage V8 Volante that personifies the European idea of gran turismo. The 5.3 litre V8 engine with the 580 X-Pack transformation cranks 432 hp with a top speed exceeding 163 mph. This is raw power…raw, naturally aspirated power, not computer enhanced euphoria…or merely an excellent power to weight ratio…it flexes its muscles without the ‘roids’ of the industry (turbos and superchargers etc.) getting in the way.

1972-1989 AM V8 6

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“Vantage” is a mononym used by Aston Martin to define high-performance; it became a model series. The V8 Vantage Volante built from 1986 until 1989, is one of the most seductive GT’s Aston Martin has ever built. It successfully synthesizes performance and luxury without sacrificing either –

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Aston Martin is looking to the future. They set forth a “Second Century” plan aligning their vision for growth into the 21st century. It promises exciting and highly desirable new luxury sports cars as well as new power train technology. This is the largest investment plan in their 102 year history. It is a comprehensive plan for their growth and development taking the brand into a new direction. Aston Martin’s goal is to replace every model in the current line with the addition of three all-new models by the end of the decade.

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Aston Martin Vulcan supercar

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Taraf 3

Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf super saloon

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Taraf 1

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Photos and specifications courtesy Aston Martin Media Club

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Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante is NotoriousLuxury © 2017

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