Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India
Aston Martin wavered on the brink of extinction in the mid-1970s, haunted by the Official Receiver on the one hand and ill-fated projects like the electronic Rubik’s Cube of William Towns cheese-wedge Lagonda sedan and the mid-engined, flatfish Bulldog project on the other. Fortunately, good fairies appeared in the shape of investors Peter Sprague, George Minden, Alan Curtis and Tony Flather, who directed a serious infusion of energy into AM’s core business V-8 saloons with the return of the true Vantage in 1977.
The V-8 Vantage was announced on 18th February, 1977 with revised camshafts, air-box, larger inlet valves and carburettors, and new inlet manifolds for an increase in power of 40 percent, up to almost 380 hp. The ZF five-speed manual transmission became standard equipment, as the company built Vantages to order and had serious doubts about the ability of the Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic to handle the additional power.
Aerodynamic improvements included a rear tail spoiler, a deep air dam below the front bumper, blanked off radiator and bonnet air scoop and Cibie driving lights. Koni shocks were fitted and the suspension stiffened. Motor Sport declared in their April 1978 road test that the Vantage was the fastest accelerating production car in the world at 0-60 in 5.4 seconds. Not to be out-done, Motor magazine took a V580 Vantage to task on 25th April, 1981 and produced a 0-60 time of only 5.2 seconds.
The “Oscar India” Vantage was launched in October 1978 at the same time as the "Oscar India" V-8 saloon ("Oscar India" = October Introduction, as legend has it) and featured similar changes in body styling. Internally, a leather head liner became standard along with a black leather covered dash board; a burr walnut dash board was offered as an option – the walnut was considered distracting to serious performance drivers (really).
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Battersea Evolution, London.
380 hp, 5,349 cc DOHC alloy V-8 engine, four Weber downdraught carburettors, ZF five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension by upper/lower control arms, De Dion axle with Watts linkage, trailing arms and coil springs, hydraulic disc brakes front and rear. Wheelbase 102.8"
Source: RM Auctions