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1978 ASTON MARTIN V8 OSCAR INDIA

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This Aston Martin V8 Series 4 ‘Oscar India’ is an excellent example of the handsome 1970s grand tourer, which is offered after 35 years of cherished ownership. Under the bonnet is a 5.3-litre naturally aspirated V8, producing 310bhp, coupled to a three-speed automatic transmission. The odometer shows 109,425 miles from new.

The ‘Oscar India’ shape is arguably the most stylish of the classic V8s, with its closed ‘power bulge’ bonnet and integrated rear spoiler giving it a svelte silhouette. It was officially revealed at the Birmingham International Motor Show in 1978, and just a few hundred were built, making it a relatively rare model from the marque’s storied history.

This early example was first registered in December 1978, and has had only four previous keepers. It was purchased by the vendor 35 years ago, and he has cherished the car ever since, keeping it in fine cosmetic and mechanical order. He notes that the car proved particularly exciting during his twenties, when he was often stopped and photographed in it, and it has proved a reliable long-distance tourer, covering road trips to France and Spain with ease.

Finished in smart Malvern Silver, the bodywork of this Aston Martin is presented in excellent condition today. The vendor reports that in 1986, it suffered from minor front end damage in central London, which was professionally repaired by RS Williams. Its paintwork is in superb order, having been refreshed during the current ownership, and still looking sharp. The car retains all of the correct badging, and is also equipped with twin front and rear fog lights. Its chromed bumpers and trims also present well, and it rides on the correct 15-inch GKN alloy wheels, which are in very good order.

Inside, the red leather upholstery is all original, and is still in excellent condition for its age and mileage. There are a few small scuffs and nicks on the driver’s seat outer bolsters in particular, as well as on the driver’s door armrest, but overall this is a remarkably well-preserved interior. The vendor does note that the driver’s seat would benefit from re-padding. The rear seats have evidently only seen very little use and are in great shape, and the rest of the leather trim around the dashboard and door panels is in good order. Its headlining has a few very small marks, but no signs of sagging, and while the dark red carpet is slightly worn around the driver’s footwell, it is still presentable.

The original steering wheel and gear lever trims have been retained, which now have a handsome patina, and all of the switches, buttons and electrical accessories have also been preserved. It even features a period Gelhard radio cassette head unit. There is a full complement of original Smiths instrument gauges, and the only known fault is that the headlight wipers are currently inoperative.

The last scheduled maintenance was in December 2020 at 109,402 miles. A few years ago, between 2016 and 2017, it was the subject of a comprehensive overhaul at Handman and Collis in central London.

This extensive work comprised a full rebuild of the Weber carburettors, a new SU fuel pump, fresh spark plugs and HT ignition leads, and a new distributor cap and rotor arm. The air filters and trunking were replaced, along with the fan belts. An exchange steering rack and pump were installed, as well as new track rod ends and all new front suspension bushes and engine mounts. The radiator was re-cored and all cooling hoses were renewed, and a new air-conditioning compressor and TX valve were fitted. Both brake servos were overhauled, along with the front callipers, and new flexi brake hoses were installed. Finally, various electrical and ancillary items were attended to, including repairs to the rev counter and clock, and refurbishment of the electric windows and door locks. Its exhaust system was also overhauled with a new cruciform assembly as well as new upper and lower manifolds by Handman and Collis in 2001.

While the car is exempt from mandatory MOT testing on the basis of age, it was put through an inspection on 1 December 2020 at 109,411 miles for the next owner’s peace of mind, which resulted in a first-time pass with the tester noting only the presence of underseal. The wheels are fitted with period-correct Michelin tyres, which have covered less than 100 miles on the road, and remain in superb condition.

Accompanying the car is a good folder of service history, the original maintenance record and certificate of ownership from 1978, and the Aston Martin V8 handbook. An original jack is also present.

This Aston Martin V8 ‘Oscar India’ is a charming classic, which blends muscle car character in a neatly tailored British coupe body. What sets this example apart from many others is not only the evidently impressive condition, but also the superb provenance, with single ownership for the last 35 years. If you have been seeking a highly original V8 to add to your collection, it would be hard to find a more cherished or well-preserved car.

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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