- Restore and refurbish all mechanicals and body.
- Upgrade the performance while maintaining driveability and reliability.
MICK MITCHELL COMMENTS
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage was hailed as ‘The fastest production sports car in the world’ when it was released in 1977. Its 5.3-litre V8 gave the car performance comparable to the supercars of the era: 168mph (272km/h) top speed, and 0-60mph (0-97km/h) acceleration in 5.2 seconds.
This 1984 example had been imported to Australia in the late-1990s, and was brought to Corse as part of the owner’s classic car collection.
The service book showed that it had only covered 500 miles (800km) in the past 15 years. But while it might have looked in reasonable condition to the casual observer, we quickly discovered that it had seen much better days!
As usual with major restorations, we contracted specialists to work on various aspects of the car.
First we removed the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, steering and other major components.
Then we sent the body shell to Concours Restorations in Tuggerah on the NSW Central Coast to look after the bodywork. They stripped it down to the bare steel chassis and removed the alloy outer panels. Fortunately there was no accident damage or serious rust, so it was prepped and given a magnificent top coat.
The finished body was sent to Stitched Up, also in Tuggerah, where Darren and Guido did a sensational job with the interior.
Meanwhile we sent the engine to Peter Wallace, a long-time race engine builder with a successful track record in V8 Supercars. Peter rebuilt it from the ground up, and increased the capacity from 5.3 to 6.3 litres with a custom-made crankshaft.
When the engine arrived back at the Team Corse workshop, we replaced the original Weber carburettors with a Weber fuel-injection manifold and Motec ECU and CDI ignition systems. On the dynamometer the power was up from the standard 380bhp (283kW) to 560bhp (418kW) with 540ft lb (732Nm) of torque!
We rebuilt the rest of the mechanicals. This included beefing up the drive shafts and axles for greater durability, and fitting six-piston calipers and bigger AP racing discs inside the 16-inch standard diameter wheels.
The cooling system and air-conditioning were also upgraded to cope with Australian summer conditions.
The result is a car that looks for all intents and purposes like a standard Vantage. But it goes harder, and stops and handles considerably better.