Used car buying guide: Aston Martin V8

This was, though, for those who wanted it, the full British Bulldog. The ultimate hairy-chested, flag-waving ’70s supercar.

What we said then

Sept. 6, 1973: “Full appreciation comes only when the car is used for a substantial Continental journey; then its unobtrusive way of covering the ground at great speed can be enjoyed to the full. Around town, it tends to feel very bulky, and the high noise level in low-speed acceleration is a bit irksome. As a piece of engineering from a small firm with limited resources, it has to be admired and the change from fuel injection to carburettor seems to have beneficial improvements.”

An owner’s view

John Foreman: “I bought my red 1974 V8 when it was a couple of years old from an Aston dealer. I noticed the initials RM had been forged onto the car’s ashtray and center console and found out afterwards that the first owner had been Robert Maxwell, the newspaper tycoon. My car ran perfectly, although I was careful not to put a huge mileage on it. It was always serviced by my local Aston dealer, which cost rather a lot.

“I loved driving the car, though. The rumble from the V8 was addictive. I used it occasionally for commuting from Kent up to my office in central London. In time, once I’d retired, its fuel economy and servicing costs meant it had to go. I’ve regretted selling it ever since.”

Buyer beware

Body: You need to take a good look below the sill covers, which can be easily removed, to check the structural integrity of the car. Most V8s of this age will already have some work done here, so check the previous history. You should look at the sills, floors, the lower parts of the A- and B-posts, bulkheads, boot floor and door inner shells. The aluminum panels corrode where they meet the steel, especially if there’s no barrier membrane: inspect all around the lower/inner edges and look for filler.

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