A classic 1978 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India takes a starring role in the movie ‘Johnny English Strikes Again‘ (2018).  When faced with the possibility of having to drive a hybrid car, English finds a vintage, tomato-red 5.3L V8 Aston Martin hidden under a sheet.  As with all secret agents who are trying to maintain a low profile, English selects the unassuming Aston Martin as his car for the mission.

Johnny English Strikes Again is the third film in the highly successful Johnny English series.  The title role is played by car enthusiast Rowan Atkinson, who also owns the Aston Martin featured in the movie.

It is the second time an Aston Martin V8 Vantage has played a starring role in a spy movie.  A convertible Vantage Volante featured in the 1987 James Bond movie The Living Daylights.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India

Aston Martin introduced the V8 Vantage Oscar India, widely recognised as ‘Britain’s First Supercar’, in 1977.  Although the engine also featured in the Lagonda, modifications dramatically improved the performance.  This included fitting high performance camshafts, using larger inlet valves and bigger carburettors, whilst having an increased compression ratio.  All the adjustments meant increasing the output to 425 bhp.  The Aston Martin V8 Vantage accelerated from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds (Motor Sport Magazine April 1978), one-tenth quicker than the Ferrari Daytona.  Between 1978 and 1985, Aston Martin produced 172 genuine 425 horsepower V8 Vantage models.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India

The Oscar India model was introduced in October 1978.  This featured an integrated tea-tray spoiler and smoother bonnet bulge.  The hood bulge was closed rather than open as seen on the normal V8.  The grille was also closed and mounted with twin driving lights.  Inside, the walnut dashboard was replaced by black-leather.

A 1979 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India sold at RM Sotherby’s auction in Arizona (January 2017) for $308,000.


Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India Speedometer
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India Speedometer

Instrumentation designed and manufactured by SMITHS feature in many of the classic Aston Martin cars.  Manufacture of many of those gauges, using the original designs and tooling, continues today. 

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India is unusual in the way it features SMITHS gauges without the traditional Aston Martin ‘wing’ emblem.  This is seen in the film when the Aston Martin runs out of fuel during a car chase and the camera pans to the fuel gauge.

There are five gauges mounted in the black-leather dashboard:

  • Speedometer (0-170 mph) with integrated trip counter and odometer;
  • Tachometer (0-7000 RPM);
  • Fuel gauge;
  • Oil temperature gauge;
  • Oil pressure gauge;

The style and power of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Oscar India has rightly earned the car the honour of being ‘Britain’s First Supercar’.

For further information on classic SMITHS gauges featured in the dashboard of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage or in any classic car, please contact us on:

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