The Aston Martin V8: 1969 – 2000

by Russell Hayes

For over 30 years Aston Martins were powered by the company’s emblematic hand-built quad-cam V8 – three tumultuous decades encompassing the firm’s slide towards closure in 1974, its rescue by an American/Canadian/British consortium, and finally its surprise 1987 acquisition by Ford.

V8 enthusiast Rowan Atkinson introduces the book with a glowing foreword, in which he insists, “You will be agog at the depth of the book’s analysis and the extraordinary detail it provides of the history of the V8s.” With over 400 archive images, many previously unseen, the reader is transported behind the scenes of the most fascinating period of Aston Martin’s history. These pictures are accompanied by more than 120 stunning colour photographs of the principal models.

This exhaustively researched book by prize-winning author Russell Hayes spans over 500 pages and covers all the cars, from the first DBS V8 of 1968, the Lagonda of the 70’s to the end of the Virage series in 2000. It includes over 35 illuminating interviews with those who lived through the V8 years, from panelbeaters to former managing directors and celebrity owners. Well-known trade figures share their memories of selling V8s in period, and customers tell of the pleasures and pains of V8 ownership.

More than the story of a charismatic British marque, this is an absorbing account of the roller-coaster challenges of running a specialist motor-manufacturing company in difficult times, at the end of an era of handbuilding cars. The author painstakingly analyses the custodianship of Aston Martin Lagonda, from the final David Brown years to the period of Ford management – including such episodes as the failed bid to take over the MG sports-car operation.

Rowan Atkinson writes, “As someone who lived through the era and bought and drove a fair number of Aston V8s, this volume stirs many warm and wonderful memories.”

Available in three luxury and limited editions, no enthusiast’s library is complete without this comprehensive account of the turbulent history of Aston Martin and its esteemed V8 engine.

Featured as a frontispiece in each of the books, and as an exclusive print in the leather edition, is a specially commissioned painting by artist Jeremy Dickinson: ‘V8 Transportation’. The painting is also available as a large format limited-edition print. Please see the product page below for more details.

The Aston Martin V8: 1969 – 2000 is currently in stock and is now shipping.

A companion piece, The Aston Martin V8 Register, has also been published. The Register details the different types of V8 along with a chassis list compiled by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust. Please see The Register page for more details and to order.


“As Rowan also observes in his foreword: ‘Goodness, things were done differently then and it’s a joy to be reminded of it.’ Exactly so – and this definitive work is a joy in so many ways.” – OCTANE

“The classic V8s are the leviathans of the Aston Martin story. So it is fitting that they are celebrated in a tome as weighty, imposing and sumptuously produced as this latest limited edition from highly regarded Palawan Press.” VANTAGE

“Beautifully bound, the work is a weighty tome in every sense; a huge paving slab of a book finished in slate grey with mandarin orange accents, with a similarly impressive separate 251-page model register, the set wouldn’t look out of place in the grandest of living rooms.” CLASSIC & SPORTS CAR 

The Aston Martin V8: 1969 – 2000 has been selected by Octane Magazine as their January 2020 ‘Book of the Month’ and by Classic & Sports Car as their April 2020 ‘Book of the Month’.