One reason why I love to take pictures of old cars is because they so often appear to be tied to such a long history of positive memories and traditions. Old cars hold on to memories, preserving images of highways crisscrossed on childhood road trips that stay forever framed in the side windows, saving the smell of your father in the seat leather, or in the rasp of a Corvair flat-six.
Usually vintage cars parked out on the street reflect a passions for maintaining an old car not for practicality, but for sentimentality, or for a love of classic car motoring, or just for low-cost entry into high-speed driving. The economies of owning a decades-old classic car just don’t make sense for daily-driver duties, at least most of the time.
For reasons unknown, this 1979 Aston martin V8 Volante, one of just a few hundred ever built, is living a life dents, rust, streetparking, and the other associated scrapes and pains of regular use. How did this happen?
It could very well be that this car was never sold at an estate auction and was passed on to an unwilling next-of-kin. The particulars of Manhattan’s public transit system as well as its lack of personal parking garages would leave this Aston out by the curb, driving along so long as nothing expensive goes wrong mechanically and the owner still has enough gas money to afford the barely-double-digits fuel economy. Taking the subway to work would make it easier for this Aston’s owner to keep the car around, but even in New York City, which might be the easiest place in the world to keep an exotic automobile as your only car (just ask the Automobiliac), I doubt that this brown ragtop supercar is long for this world.
Not all old cars are kept by choice, and if every person unable to buy anything better, safer, or cleaner than a rusty 1990s hoopty could get a clean new car, the world might be a better place. But you just don’t think of vintage Astons as serving the role of a poorly cared-for Plymouth.
If you want to know more about Astons like this one, a good place to start is at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aston_Martin_V8
More specific information on Aston Martin convertibles of this era can be found here: http://www.astonmartins.com/v8/v8_volante_weber_carb.htm, and more information on the closed-bodied cars can be found here: http://www.astonmartins.com/v8/v8_s4_oscar_india.htm.
In addition, detailed specifications for this car can be found here: http://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/aston_martin/dbs_v8/v8_oscar_india_convertble/1979.html.