Plum is a 1972 Aston Martin V8 affectionaly named ‘Plum’, owned by Steve and Karen Vyse of Shoreham-by-Sea. Maintained at home, ‘Plum’ is used all year round and is a regular visitor to France.
This Aston Martin V8 was one of the first to come out of the factory after it was taken over from David Brown by Company Developments in ’72.
Plum bears the chassis number V8/10514/R and although she wears the original badging proclaiming her to be a David Brown built DBS V8, it seems that the factory were simply being thrifty using up older badging.
Although first registered in August 1973 the build date is April 1972, and it appears that she spent the intervening time in the factory, possibly as a development car. There were numerous dents in the bodywork which had appeared to have been there from new – it looked like things had been thrown on top while it was left in the corner. When Plum was rebuilt there were also several anomalies found with the chassis etc that were part DBS and part AM V8. The car was originally fuel injected but converted to carbs at some point unknown.
Little is know of her life after delivery new to Dovey Motors in Wales other than her being owned by a Director at Plaswall Ltd in Edmonton, North London. By 1998 she was in a very sorry state and worth little more than scrap. The extensive restoration was carried out by John Reed between ‘99 and ‘01, cutting out a considerable amount of rust, with the car being prepared with competition in mind. The AC was removed, harness points added along with uprated brakes and suspension. The car was sprinted a few times at Curborough by Anne Reed before being purchased in ‘07 by Steve & Karen Vyse the current owners.
Maintenance is looked after at home on the South Coast and she has had a reconditioned auto box, replacement electronic ignition, carb overhaul and numerous bits and bobs to keep her in shape. Plum is no concours contender, rather she is a cherished member of the family that gets out and is used whenever possible with little regard to the weather.
How fast does it go Mister?
For a 40 year old car she goes well enough though as one of the earliest AM V8’s she is very much a classic drive. On a European jaunt the GPS crept up to a noisy nadge short of 150mph. There was more to come, but sympathy for her age suggested enough was enough. As a continental GT she is just superb and Plum is no stranger to the relatively empty roads of France, carrying a staggering amount of luggage and the dog.
Fuel consumption from the four twin choke webbers feeding the 5,340cc V8 is not exactly thrifty and is not something we dwell upon.