1970s and 80s
Production of the DBS and DBSV8 continued until May 1972 when modified versions appeared under the new name of Aston Martin Vantage and AM V8. The company again changed hands again in 1975, when it was taken over by North American Peter Sprague and Canadian George Minden.
There were immediate moves to inject new vitality and a direct result was the appearance of a totally new Lagonda in 1976. With coachwork by William Towns, who had previously styled the DBS, its strikingly modern appearance and very advanced specification made a considerable impact.
The following year saw the introduction of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and a year later a convertible version, the Volante, was unveiled. A revolutionary mid-engined two-seater called Bulldog appeared in 1980. With ultra-high performance, and styled by William Towns, it had gull wings 5.3 V8 fuel injection engine with twin turbochargers.In 1981 Aston Martin Lagonda was again taken over, this time by petrol company Pace Petroleum and CH Industrials.
Two years later Automotive Investments took control and in 1984 the company changed hands when the family of Peter Livanos took 75 per cent, and Victor Gauntlett 25 per cent. In 1986 Aston Martin Lagonda partnered with an Italian style house to create the 180mph Vantage Zagato - an exclusive model of which just 50 were built.
The following year the company again teamed up with James Bond in 'The Living Daylights' - and Ford purchased 75 per cent of the company's shares. In October 1988, the Virage was unveiled. Designed to take the Company into the 21st century, this 155mph, two-door 2+2 replaced the V8, which had been in production for 20 years.