After producing six cylinder engined cars for around two decades, Aston Martin introduced the DBS V8 late in 1969. Under the DBS’ the long bonnet a new V8 engine was installed. Designed by long time Aston Martin engineer, Tadek Marek, the engine had made its public debut in the less than successful Lola T70 LeMans racer. The advanced engine featured double overhead camshafts and Bosch fuel injection. For various reasons production of the Tadek Marek V8-powered Aston Martins would continue for over three decades.
When the production of the DB6 Volante ceased in 1970, Aston Martin no longer had a drop top available. Development of a new convertible was hampered by a lack of funds caused by among other things the various Oil-Crises of the early 1970s. By 1974 Aston Martin was on the verge of bankruptcy, but a take-over from a consortium in 1975 saved the company that rarely had recorded a profit. After this near-death experience Aston Martin focussed on fine-tuning the existing V8 line-up for many years, rather than designing a completely new car, which accounts for the long production run of the V8.
In 1978 the single biggest development was unveiled; the V8 Volante. After a short US safety lobby against convertibles, the Americans had swerved around again accepting open cars once more. This a was very important development for Aston Martin and key to the success of the new Volante. The world was most definitly ready again for an Aston Martin convertible, which was underlined by the relatively large sales figures. In the twelve years the V8 Volante was available over 650 ’regular’ Volantes were produced, of which a large number found their way to the States.
Technically the V8 Volante was very similar to the V8 Coupe. A major change to the V8 engine was made earlier in the production run. To meet the stricter US emission regulations, the Bosch fuel injection was replaced by four Weber carburetors. To clear the ’carbs’ a ’power bulge’ was fitted on the bonnet. In 1986 a ’Series 2’ was launched, which once again featured a fuel injection system and a flat bonnet.