At the AMOC's St. John Horsfall race meeting in July 1978 a visually altered Vantage appeared. It was known within the factory as "Oscar India", in deference to chairman Alan Curtis's affection for aviation with "OI" referring to the proposed October 1 1978 introduction date. The prototype "OI" V8 Vantage, chassis # V8/11870/RCAV, made its world debut in club racing. Once again competition was used to prove the Vantage's ability and it also served to tempt potential customers. The revised car retained the V540 V8 Vantage engine but the bodywork had been smoothed out and standardized with the normal V8 Saloon along with shock absorbers and the exhaust.


A rear "tea-tray" spoiler incorporating raised wing lines blended into the top lip of the boot. The bonnet bulge was also smoother and wider than previous. Now only the deep chin spoiler, blanked grill with auxiliary driving lights, wider tyres and Vantage badge on the bootlid distinguished the Vantage externally from lesser cars. The interior was also revised with leather replacing vinyl on the dash, leather headlining instead of fabric, a longer center console, uprated AC and the option of wood trim on the dash and door cappings. Vantages were not fitted with wood as standard because the engineers considered the stray reflections from the burr walnut too distracting for serious performance driving.

The first production car bore the chassis number V8VOR12040, a revised numbering system having been adopted for all Astons, and was finished on October 6 1978. As with previous Vantages the car was only offered with a manual gearbox. Subtle pressure by AML board member Dennis Flather resulted in an single automatic version (chassis # V8VOR12076). The factory was reluctant to build customer models as the Chrysler automatic box was considered too weak to reliably handle the Vantage’s horsepower output. In all 44 V540 “OI” V8 Vantages were built up to March 1980. The last car was a special all black version with no chrome anywhere on the vehicle.

V540 V8 Vantage build data










1978 - 1980



Oscar India






Works preparation completed at The Kangaroo Stable  

Click here for details on the Kangaroo Stable

Copyright August, 2001