These days, little surprises me in the automotive world. It has become common place for me to see a rare car outside of it’s natural habitat. The occasional Lamborghini shimmying through downtown Chicago may make me ask aloud, “hey little fella, what are you doing so far from home?” On the flip side of the proverbial coin, it is rare for me to mutter, “Well what the hell IS that steed?!” While walking around a British Car Show this past fall, I found myself standing in the middle of the road, slack jawed and dazed, uttering that exact phrase. As if daring fate I had stuffed my pockets full of business cards and was well caffeinated so I decided to find out what this odd looking “muscle coupe” was doing in a parking lot filled with poorly wired jalopies (who were subsequently dripping oil).
I quickly found the answer I was looking for. On the Aston Martin timeline after the 60′s DBS, before the Volante and before the Vantage, sits (quite simply) the V8, a British muscle monster that owes more to the Mustang than to the DB5. The V8 was designed as a sports coupe that encompassed a few new design cues for Aston, a larger hood scoop, a mean looking square front grille (with the famous Aston electric razor foil lattice), and a fastback rear that looks like it was ripped directly off McQueen’s green Bullet.
The 5.3L 8 cylinder engine was powerful enough to push the car from 0-60mph in just under 6 seconds and was truly the star of the V8. A luxurious but bland interior made with the finest of materials (this is a British car after all) help further extened the V8 as an interesting visual conduit between the classic designs of the DB4/DB5 and the modern V12 Vantage.
My two favorite elements of the car? The classic Aston Martin fender vent nestled right behind the front tires and the twin tailpipes that seem to puncture the rear bumper with authority. Swoon… Unique pieces on a incredibly unique car. I hope to find more gems like this V8 down the road. Downloadable photos can always be found here: Shiny Side Flickr