1973 V8

Are you tempted?

Dream cars don’t have to wear an Aston Martin or Ferrari badge.

Cars can bring back memories, too, of happy holidays, romantic days out or mad drives in whatever you could afford at the time.

Saturday, September 21, should bring all those memories back, because that’s the day Historics Auctioneers will be holding their Autumn Auction at Brooklands Motor Museum, Surrey.

If you fancy a trip down memory lane, want to buy a historic car, or motorbike, or you have one to sell, it’s still not too late to enter a car in the auction. You can get details by phoning 01753 639170.

Already lined up for the event are two stunning supercars which I’m going to show you in this first article, and two cars in the next article which, for me, bring holidays and happy memories to mind.

First off, though, and with just 7,310 miles from new on the clock and a full nut and bolt restoration is this stunning 1973 Aston Martin Series II V8.

The series 11 were the first Astons built following the sale of Aston Martin by David Brown in 1972 to Company Developments.

When the V8 first arrived in 1969 it had an estimated 345bhp available from its 5,340cc, fuel-injected, four-cam engine.

The DBS V8 could reach 100mph in under 14 seconds and, with a top speed of 160mph, it fully justified the claim that it was the fastest production car in the world.

The sale of Aston Martin brought with it a change of name for the V8-engined cars, out went DBS V8 and in came the AM V8.

This new Series Two was distinguishable by its restyled front which now featured two instead of four headlamps. Electronic ignition and air conditioning were now standard.

This particular car was a barn find. Having been off the road for 17 years it was bought by the present owner from Aston Workshop as a project car.

The chassis number is listed as V8 and it underwent a three year restoration carried out by Roda Classics in Portugal, which takes on some the most fastidious of collectors around the world by invitation only.

The cars are rebuilt part by part to an exacting standard. The body was taken off and renewed where required, the chassis was fully rebuilt with all corrosion removed, all mechanical parts renewed or rebuilt and electrical components renewed and refurbished.

This is confirmed by invoices for the parts supplied. Originally white, the car was repainted in Antrim Blue and re-trimmed to complete the restoration.

The full body-off restoration is supported by a build book of images along with invoices for the parts supplied by the Aston Workshop.

Estimated value: £143,000 – £153,000.

Merak

Second choice from the scores of cars that are up for auction is this genuine factory-built, right hand drive, 1981 Maserati Merak SS.

This was the car that young boys dreamed about and caused grown men to cry when they saw it.

Maserati followed up its first mid-engined supercar, the Bora, with the similar Merak.

Launched in 1972, it was intended as competition for Ferrari’s top-selling Dino 246 and used a stretched, 3.0 litre, 190bhp version of the four-cam V6 that had debuted in the Citroën SM.

Citroën owned Maserati at the time, so the Merak made use of the SM’s transmission, power-operated all-disc braking and, more controversially, Citroën’s quirky instrumentation, though this applied to left hand drive cars only, right hand drive examples using the more conventional Bora fascia.

The chassis, all-independent suspension and impeccable handling remained basically the same as the V8 Bora, though the Merak offered the convenience of plus two rear seats and superior all-round vision thanks to its distinctive rear “flying buttresses”.

Competition from Ferrari’s new Dino V8 prompted the introduction of a more powerful version in 1975, like the Merak SS, pictured, with a 220bhp engine and revised interior.

Widely recognised as one of the finest, if not the finest, of contemporary V6s, the Merak SS engine proved smooth, powerful and capable of delivering its power over a surprisingly wide range for such a high performance engine.

Like any true thoroughbred, it possessed handling to match its breathtaking acceleration and 150mph maximum speed which, for the period, was outstanding.

This car, fitted with bigger carburettors and with a higher compression ratio, was built in February 1982 and is thought to be one of only 300 made.

It has been through the workshops of Italian car specialist DTR, where it got a concours standard re-paint, re-trim and fully re-built engine among other work.

Its impressive history file records around £75,000 has been spent on it in the last few years. Its Maserati Classiche certification accompanying the car confirms that it is in the original colour and is fitted with its original engine. It has 68,000km (42,260 miles) on the clock.

Its Giugiaro designed body has excellent panel fitment (not a given with this model) and correct gaps throughout. Repainted in 2016, the glass like paint finish, in the original classic Maserati red ‘Rosso Fuoco’ is fantastic and is without blemish.

Its refinished Campagnolo magnesium wheels are unmarked and the overall presentation, say Historics, “will satisfy the most discerning person.”

Only 1,000 miles ago it had an extensive engine rebuild, the clutch was replaced and the Weber carburettors rebuilt.

All components have been expertly refinished, including a vapour blasted engine block and heads and gold passivating of many engine fittings.

It is sold with a fresh MoT certificate and, say Historics: “You can enjoy this leather lined cocoon in comfort with cold, re-gassed air conditioning.”

Estimated price: £67,000 – £72,000.