I always wondered how car companies came up with the names of their vehicles. Nowadays, more often than not, there’s a number or letter and number combo reminiscent of those snack vending machines where the goodies are stuck into a corkscrew looking thing and you have to pick the lettered row, and then the number of the item in that row:
Peanut butter cheese crackers: CT6
Corn Nuts: DB11
There’s always that anxiety filled moment as the screw starts to turn and you’re not sure if the packaging is going to get caught in the auger and you end up empty handed. Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. The bear and I each maintain about a 50/50 track record.
Occasionally, I’ve been bonused two for the price of one on occasion. Seriously, who doesn’t want two bags of mini Ritz crackers? It’s nice when that happens. But on the occasion that one gets mugged by a machine of both snack and cash, oftentimes the thin veneer of civilization comes off, and the patron becomes a sort of vigilante offensive tackle.
How quickly my mind strays from the main point and makes a new main point. Not that I made either. Anyway, I was thinking about how car companies come up with their names whether alpha- or -numeric or alpha-numeric, or just names like Javelin, Cougar, and Bruce. Alright there are no cars named Bruce, but that still begs the question as to how they come up with names because there’s nothing wrong with the name Bruce for a car. Yet, no cars named Bruce.
I suspect there are committees and focus groups involved; market testing and the hiring of consultants with psychology degrees. You can bet tastemakers and influencers will be pandered to. Recently, Infiniti changed from one set of alpha-numeric names to a completely different set of alpha-numeric names for their entire lineup. All of which now start with the letter Q. Now that’s just plain silly, even if their first car was a Q car. Q? What does that mean, Q?
Q50: Sour cream and onion potato chips
QX60: Planters honey roasted peanuts
So that brings me around to this Aston Martin, which I’m pretty sure that you have been hoping would happen sooner than later. Aston Martin has more than one car, and did at the time this one was manufactured so they couldn’t just call an Aston Martin. There needed to be a finer point on it so as to give you a bit more information. At first glance, one might be curious if this car has a name at all. But you see that’s how clever British engineers are. It’s so subtle you think it doesn’t have a name, but it does. The British know subtlety.
Glancing across the pond at the Americans, maybe even the ahem, Mustang, the well-heeled Brits wanted an Aston Martin with a V8. Well, yeah-uh they wanted a V8. Who doesn’t want a V8? So it didn’t take too many marketing geniuses to figure out what to call the car. In fact they just left it to the engineering team to come up with the name for the car. “Mate, we’re calling it the V8 because it has one.” The British are also a practical people.
So how did that work out for them? As it turns out, it really didn’t matter much what they called it so long as they were able to stick a V8 in it. They ended up making about 4,000 over 20 years. Get this, it took them 1200 man-hours to build one by hand. Every car was slightly different because of this, not just because of the cellar-temperature cask-conditioned ale fueling the craftsmen.
The 5.3 liter engine designed by Tadek Marek could produce 310 HP and could reach 60 mph in 5.7 or 6.1 seconds depending on whether it had a manual ZF 5-speed transmission or a Chrysler 3-speed auto, respectively.
This midnight black over tan example has 45,123 on the odometer and is said by the seller to be in very good condition with little to no rust. The car runs great and has little to no rust, as it has lived it’s days in sunny California. The brakes and rear shocks have been serviced and shows minor wear as is expected of a car of this vintage. This series II model is 1 of 967 produced between 1973 and 1978.
You can contact the seller HERE to collect more information. But really, what do you need to know other than it has a V8?