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Lot 347: Aston Martin V8 Series 4 7.0-Litre Sports Saloon

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (30 April 2012)

Shortly after reorganisation under new ownership as AML (1975) Ltd, Aston Martin resumed development of its highly successful V8. A host of improvements was to be incorporated in the forthcoming Series 4, scheduled for introduction in October 1978. Built from then until 1986, these cars are generally known by the factory's 'Oscar India' soubriquet, standing for 'October Introduction'. The most obvious differences were a restyled bonnet and boot-mounted spoiler, while the cabin received a redesigned dashboard and centre console, and the headlining became leather rather than cloth. There were, of course, countless other improvements, most notably to the air conditioning and to the shock absorber settings. Autocar magazine found much to commend in the 'Oscar India' tested in October 1978, reckoning that this latest example from the Newport Pagnell factory stood out as the best-built and most competently finished car it have ever known Aston Martin produce. 'It sets new standards of excellence for the company. In the past there has always been a slightly niggly feeling that one was paying an awful lot of money for a car of rather indifferent trim standards, in which the fabulous performance was not matched by the way the car was put together. Not so any more - the car is a delight, whether to drive, to travel in, or simply to look at.' Chassis number '12327' is the 1981 London Motorfair show car. An automatic transmission model, the V8 comes with its original Aston Martin Lagonda Warranty Card made out to Mr H Spack. The wonderfully comprehensive history file contains records of extensive works carried out over the years, dating back to November 1999 when the Aston was owned by a Mr G Blake who had bought it from Mark Starling of Putney, Southwest London. During Mr Blake's ownership the car had much work carried out by Portfield Sports & Classics Ltd, Aston specialists in Chichester. The Aston was serviced in April 2001 at AMWS and again in April 2002, on this occasion by Hardwoods of Chichester, who installed a new torque converter. In November 2002 the car was re-sprayed by A C Coachworks of Chichester at a cost of 10,000. Michael Gauntlett bought the Aston in 2006 and had Ian Mason Aston Martin Services of London carry out servicing works including fitting new UJs, bushes, etc. Mr Gauntlett sold the car to Mr D Fenton or Cheltenham in 2007 when Ian Mason carried out extensive works, including a full mechanical rebuild, at a cost of 55,000. A further 21,500 was spent at AMWS to re-trim the car, re-veneer the interior woodwork, install new carpets, etc. In February 2008 the engine was converted to 7.0-litre specification by renowned marque specialists R S Williams Ltd, the electrics being rewired at the same time. The total cost was 37,000. A service was carried out and new wheel bearings installed by RSW in August 2008. In October 2010 the car was acquired by Richard Gauntlett who had it serviced by RSW (for 3,400). RSW then prepared the car for sale in October 2010, there being a related bill on file for 26,000. Refurbishment carried out at this time included a re-spray, new sills, electrical works, etc. The Aston was purchased by the current vendor in December 2010. '12327' is finished in green with green-piped parchment leather interior, the latter featuring a Nardi steering wheel and Becker Grand Prix stereo system with iPod connection. A Tracker is fitted also. On a recent test the Aston drove without fault, showing a superb turn of speed backed up by positive brakes. Kept in professional storage and rarely used, '12327' presents superbly and represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a 'skinny body' V8, restored and upgraded with highly desirable RSW modifications. Quite simply stunning, the car comes with restoration invoices, current MoT/tax, Swansea V5C registration document and a most comprehensive history file.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, The Royal Airforce Museum, London, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number347
Estimate£80000-£100000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1981
Condition rating1
Registration numberNTH 365X
Mileage-
Chassis numberV8SOR12327
Engine numberV/580/2327/S
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2