1978 Aston Martin V8 Vantage 5-speed .

Model: V8 Vantage
Chassis # V811992RCAV
Engine # V/540/1992/V
Finished: July 21, 1978
Delivered: August 9, 1978
Colour: Suffolk Red
Interior: Magnolia
Carpets: Burgundy piped Magnolia
Headliner: Gray


Summary:  This rare UK specification Vantage is one of only 16 right hand drive "Fliptail" cars built featuring the spoiler and bonnet plug smoothly integrated into the bodywork, unlike the first 16 that had "Bolt On" aerodynamic appendages. It has been professionally sorted, upgraded and maintained.

"Blue", as the car is known within the AMOC in the UK, features a full "Kangaroo Stable" upgrade which includes 16" wheels and tyres, full handling kit, race starter motor, MSD ignition, big bore air intake system, alloy radiator and electric fan, crackle black finish on airbox and cam covers, later rotary A/C compressor, Nardi Classic wood rim steering wheel and wood gear knob and LED instrument lighting.

It has traveled 61,000 documented miles.  At 44,000 miles it received a new gearbox and clutch, in the last six months it's chassis has had all rust removed, new sections welded in and the car repainted down the sides.  It drives brilliantly without any rattles or squeaks and is now the one of the driest, most rust free Vantages on the road. All services per Aston Martin guidelines have been completed including the major 60,000 mile service at 57,000 miles. It has original tools, jack and service records.

Over the winter it has had a full engine rebuild. Lack of use in Hong Kong and the UK resulted in seized piston rings leading to a smoking problem when cold.  The engine has been stripped and fitted with new larger 5.7 liter high compression pistons, liners bored out, new bearings, chains, valve guides and valves.  The engine will be producing around 450 bhp when fully run in.

History: delivered to Aston Martin Sales in London with registration XYN314T. Sold new to a Honk Kong based enthusiast who exported it in late 1978.  Forge Motor Company of Birmingham returned the car to the UK in March 1984. During 1985 it underwent a bare metal respray in Suffolk Red, replacing the original Jubilee Silver paint that suffered from humidity problems in HK.  The interior was also retrimmed and recarpeted from the original Blue, it also having suffered in the tropics.  In November 1985 it was purchased by Mrs. J. Verner of Slough.  She retained the car until it passed into the hands of Mr. J. Sherwood of Devon in July 1989.  He fitted the private registration plate VIA 297.  It stayed in his care until April 2000 when it went into storage after Mr. A. Webb of Southampton bought it as an investment.  The Kangaroo Stable obtained the car in early 2004 and set about recommissioning it before importing it into Australia in February of 2005. "Blue" has completed 4,000 trouble free miles touring around southern Australia and participating in the AMOC Australian National meeting.

Cosmetic details:  The car was subject to a full respray in Aston Martin Suffolk Red, a 1980's colour featured on the Vantages of that period.  The original rear under valence has been removed, replaced with a later style unit and repainted in satin black. All door, boot and bonnet trim rubber replaced with factory original stock. In 2004/2008 the chassis was subject to complete refurbishment with all rust cut out, new sections fitted, new lower wing bottoms, all exposed surfaces treated with epoxy rust preventive paint and the underside refinished with rubber based underseal.  The sides of the car were resprayed also.  PoW spec. Nardi Wood wheel and Nardi wood gear knob fitted. Magnolia interior trim removed, cleaned and rejuvenated.  Carpets in Burgundy Wilton removed, shampooed, cleaned and refitted.

Electrical details: Green LED dash lighting fitted.  All electrics tested and repaired, new lights and bulbs fitted. New battery and ground switch fitted, later MSD ignition system replaced unreliable Lucas Opus setup.  New solid state electric fuel pump.  Starter motor replaced with high torque mini race unit.

Mechanical details:  Complete brake system overhaul. Brake master cylinder overhauled, calipers rebuilt, brake discs machined and skimmed. DOT approved stainless braided brake hoses fitted.  New pads and non-return valves. New clutch slave cylinder, master cylinder and hydraulic line fitted.

Wheels removed, later hubs fitted, 16" BBS wheels and tyres fitted with alloy nuts. Wheel bearings cleaned, repacked and adjusted. Front end and suspension rebuilt. New bushings, ball joints and gaiters. Front Koni shock absorbers overhauled, new rear shocks fitted.  New bearings and axle seals.  Front end aligned.  Handling kit fitted including uprated front and rear springs, larger diameter front anti-roll bar, rear anti-roll bar with rose-jointed linkages.  All driveshaft UJ's renewed and all suspension mounting bushes replaced.

New belts fitted for alternator, power steering and a/c.  New heater control valve fitted.  New water hoses.  New alloy radiator with heavy-duty electric thermostatically controlled fan and new thermostat installed. Water pump rebuilt with hi-flow impellor and new bearings. A/C compressor replaced with later rotary type, system flushed and recharged with R134 gas.

Engine rebuilt to 5.7 liters with high compression pistons. Carburetors disassembled and rebuilt. Tappet clearance adjusted to specification, valve timing adjusted.  Stainless steel exhaust system, gaskets renewed, exhaust flexes renewed, exhaust adjusted for correct clearance from chassis.  Big bore airbox and air filters fitted, powder coated in crackle black. Engine bay stripped, rustproofed and repainted and all fittings powder coated before reassembly.

Works preparation completed at The Kangaroo Stable

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Copyright February 20th. 2008