2018 Shannons Sydney Winter Classic Auction

1978 Aston Martin V8 'Oscar India' Coupe


Passed In


Engine V8, 5340cc
Gearbox 3-speed automatic
Body Work Coupe
Colour Royal Blue
Interior Magnolia with blue piping
Trim Leather
Wheels Cast Alloy
Brakes Discs

Vehicle Report


Although Aston Martin's replacement for the ageing DB6 was always intended to have Tadek Marek's impressive new V8 engine, developmental problems meant the car was launched in 1967 as the DBS with the long serving straight six.  With elegantly understated styling by the talented William Towns, the stop-gap DBS served until the all-alloy 5.3-litre V8 was ready for production in 1970.  The new motor elevated Aston Martin's flagship to true supercar status - developing around 320bhp and with 360lb/ft of torque available, the V8 boasted twin-overhead camshafts per bank, Bosch mechanical fuel injection and could be had with either a ZF five-speed manual or Torqueflite three-speed automatic transmissions.  Underneath the shapely skin was a De Dion rear end and Girling disc brakes all round (ventilated to cope with the V8's additional power).  In 1972, the DBS V8 was rebadged simply as the V8 Saloon and Town's styling updated with distinctive new front-end treatment featuring twin headlamps.  Changes included better sound deadening, Lucas Opus ignition, a leather-rimmed steering wheel and 2.88:1 back axle ration on automatic cars, plus air conditioning as standard equipment.  In this form, the V8 Saloon remained in production well into the 1980s, with Weber carburettors replacing the troublesome fuel injection system in August 1973 and the Series 4 model of 1978 saw changes to the bodywork with an integrated rear spoiler and power bulge on the bonnet.  Other changes included a redesigned dashboard with wood trim, leather headliner, improved air conditioning while under the bonnet the V8 received revised pistons and cam profiles and a higher compression ratio.  Just 352 of these so-called “Oscar India” models were built before January 1985 and they number amongst the most coveted Astons of the Gauntlett-era.  The Aston Martin V8 is a hand crafted high performance GT car that has aged gracefully, looking as handsome today as it did more when it first appeared almost five decades ago. 

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