V8 Saloon Bosch fi Description
In production: 1972 – 1973
Chassis numbers: V8/10501/RCA - V8/10789/LCA, (excluding 10744)
Had the David Brown Corporation continued to own AML, this model may well have been called the DBS V8 Mark II or something similar although we may never know. But whilst the ‘DB’ initials were dropped from the name of the car, many examples of the now ‘plain’ AM V8, (up to V8/10519/RCA) still carried AM wing badges with the name ‘David Brown’ on them, and side strake badges with DBS ‘fi’ V8. Even for some markets, the DBS V8 prefix in the chassis number continued to be used to avoid homologation problems. Despite all of those features – an AM V8 should never be called a DBS V8 however many badges it may display.
Mechanically, the fuel injected (fi) AM V8 was identical to the DBS V8 including the V8 engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection system together with a choice of both ZF five-speed manual or Chrysler Torqueflite three-speed automatic. While there appear to have been no tests of this type in Europe, V8/10623/RCA was tested by the Australian ‘Sports Car World’ (July 1973), it is safe to assume than performance was on a par with the DBS V8.
Visually, the fuel injected AM V8 can easily be identified by the twin 7 inch quartz iodine headlights and separate grille aperture as designed by William Towns on the MP219 project, returning to the shape that had been familiar since the DB3S and DB Mark 111. It shares the bonnet bulge of the DBS V8 which was noticeably smaller than the later carburettor V8 and, as with DBS V8, the cam covers were painted black.
In the DBS V8, the spare wheel was stowed vertically. For the AM V8, the spare was stowed horizontally on the boot floor so the volume of the boot was considerably improved and allowed cases to be laid flat. Detailed improvements included transistorised ignition, better engine bulkhead sound and heat insulation and revised air boxes. The 3.33:1 and 2.88:1 back axles for manual and automatic transmissions respectively (optional on the DBS V8) and a leather-covered steering wheel (already fitted to late DBS V8s) were standard equipment.
In total 288 were built, with one chassis number, 10744, omitted; no documentary evidence for this car can be found in factory records. Reflecting the loss of the US market at the end of 1971 and the general slump in worldwide demand, only 32 of these cars were built with left hand drive (16 with manual transmission). Of the 256 right hand drive cars, 85 were had manual transmission.
Nineteen cars were built with the ‘federal’ emission control (/EE) engine, all of which were sold in Japan: 7 right hand drive, 12 left hand drive. All but one of these cars were built with automatic transmission. From the start of 1972, the AM V8 could not be sold in the USA due to the ever restrictive emission control regulations. A tentative idea to stay in the American market by using transplanted US powerplants was thankfully resisted.
V8 Saloon Bosch fi Number Guide
The chassis number series for these cars followed on from the DBS V8 but started with chassis number 10501. Whilst most cars had the prefix V8, some markets continued to use the DBSV8 prefix to avoid problems with homologation, in particular, Japan. Suffixes were either LCA or RCA, L and R for left or right hand drive, C for Coolair and A for acrylic paint.
Engine numbers were in the format V540/*** and were not matched to chassis numbers, the lowest number being V/540/366. Emission control engines carried the suffix /EE, the lowest being V/540/044/EE and these had their own numbering sequence.