Exactly why the domestic US car manufacturers eventually stopped building convertible cars during the 1970s is more complex than just pointing the finger at safety legislation and protection in the event of a roll-over. Mainstream car buyers no longer desired the full wind in the hair experience, turning towards targas (or T-tops), pickups or custom vans with sunroofs. In addition, air conditioning became standardised and closed cars were more comfortable at highway speeds and structurally stiffer too. Also the wind played havoc with the popular long hairstyles of the era for both sexes. As the decade progressed, domestically produced convertibles versions of cars such as the Cadillac Eldorado, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Thunderbird were dropped from the range. Thankfully, of course, imported exotic convertibles were still available from Mercedes, Morgan, MG, Triumph and VW and so interestingly, and perhaps predictably, the demand for specialised imported drop-tops actually started to grow. There was certainly sustained demand for previously owned Aston Martin DB4, 5 and 6 convertibles and prices rose as a consequence.
Despite Aston Martin having previously offered a convertible as part of its range, when the DB6 Mark II Volante ended production in late 1970, the DBS, DBS V8 and subsequent AM V8 remained only available as saloons.
With so much pent-up demand, it was hardly surprising that the AML representative in the US, Rex Woodgate, together with a Californian dealer, lobbied AML in the UK to push for a V8 convertible. They even commissioned a US artist to sketch out what a future V8 Volante could look like. As it now appears, they were pushing against an open door as new managing director, Alan Curtis, who became a shareholder in 1975 was also considering extending the AML range with a convertible too.