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Lot 348: Aston Martin V8 Series 1 7.0-Litre Volante Convertible

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (30 April 2012)

This late Series 1 V8 Volante has been restored by renowned marque specialists R S Williams Ltd, the engine being converted to 7.0-litre specification in the process. Based at Cobham, Surrey, Richard Stewart Williams Ltd is one of the most respected of the independent firms specialising in Aston Martins. With over 35 years of engineering and motor racing experience with Aston Martins, R S Williams is synonymous with performance at all levels of motor sport ranging from club and historic racing through to the Aston Martin factory World Sports Car Championship effort including the Le Mans 24 Hours. The company's 7.0 litre engine conversion is offered in three different configurations: automatic specification which concentrates on mid-range torque to suit the automatic gearchange characteristics; manual specification based on a 580X Vantage; and fuel injected specification for ultimate performance, all of which run on unleaded fuel. The package includes upgrades to engine mountings, differential mountings and the differential carrier, while handling and brake upgrades also are available. Popular Classics' Mark Dixon was impressed by its vital statistics: 'Your average Aston Martin V8 of the late seventies puts out roughly 330bhp from its 5.3-litre engine, respectable enough, but not excessive given the weight of the car it has to push around. The RSW 7-litre offers a rather more impressive 510bhp at 5500rpm and, even more importantly, 520lb/ft of torque at 4000rpm. Let's put that into perspective: the figures for Lamborghini's Diablo are 485bhp and 428lb/ft respectively.' When applied to the Volante convertible - already one of the world's fastest soft-tops - the result was a stylish and luxurious 'fresh air' conveyance possessing supercar-slaying performance. Described by former company chairman Victor Gauntlett as, 'a stylish thoroughbred, beautifully built, luxurious, fast and immensely safe,' the V8-engined Aston Martin was built in several variants, the Volante convertible being one of the more exclusive. Introduced in response to customers' demands for such a car, the Volante first appeared in June 1978. Arguably the ultimate in soft-top luxury, the newcomer boasted a lined, power-operated hood which, when erected, endowed the walnut embellished interior with all the solidity and refinement associated with the saloon version. Although its open-car aerodynamics meant that top speed suffered with the hood down, the Volante's 150mph maximum nevertheless ranked it among the world's fastest convertibles. V8 Volante and Vantage Volante chassis numbers ran from '15001' to '15849', a total of 849 cars. R S Williams carried out the 7.0-litre conversion and restored '15406' in 2009 at a cost of 30,500. An automatic transmission model, the car was repainted silver and re-trimmed in black leather with grey carpets plus a new mohair hood. 'A18 TDN' was purchased by the current (seventh) owner in February 2011 and since acquisition has formed part of his private collection. Kept in professional storage and rarely used, it presents superbly and represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a Volante restored and upgraded with highly desirable RSW modifications. The car is offered with current road fund licence, Swansea V5C registration document, fresh MoT and an extensive history file containing the original warranty card, details of some past owners, power curve graph, assorted expired MoTs and a substantial quantity of restoration, maintenance and service invoices issued by RSW and Aston Martin Works Service (close inspection recommended).

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, The Royal Airforce Museum, London, UK
Lot Number348
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberA18 TDN
Chassis numberV8/FOR/15406
Engine numberV/580/5406/S
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2