1969 Aston Martin DBS Sports Saloon Chassis no. DBS/5475/R Engine no. 400/4294/S
Although always intended to house the new Tadek Marek-designed V8 engine, the Aston Martin DBS first appeared with the 4.0-litre 'six' of the concurrently produced DB6. Styled in-house by Bill Towns, the beautiful DBS caused quite a stir, Autocar magazine observing: 'Without the aid of an Italian stylist the Newport Pagnell team came up with something as modern, handsome and Italianate as anything from the Turin coachbuilders at that time.' Although less well known as such than the earlier 'DB' series, the DBS is yet another 'James Bond' Aston Martin, having featured in the 1969 motion picture, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, starring George Lazenby as the eponymous secret agent.
Beneath its shapely exterior the DBS employed a platform-type chassis with independent suspension all round: wishbone and coil-spring at the front, De Dion with Watts linkage at the rear. Larger and more luxuriously appointed than the DB6, the heavier DBS disappointed some by virtue of its slightly reduced performance, but the Vantage version's top speed of 140mph and a standing quarter-mile time of 16.3 seconds were highly respectable figures nonetheless. Assessing the virtues of Aston's new flagship, Autocar judged it superior to the DB6 in many areas, the bigger DBS offering four full-sized seats in addition to transformed handling and roadholding courtesy of the new rear suspension and standardised power steering.
The early, six-cylinder DBS is a relatively rare car; only 790 were made (plus 70 AM Vantages) compared with 1,567 DB6 saloons. This example comes with a Certificate of Permanent Export dated 18th July 2002, issued when the car was sold to a new owner in Germany. The last UK keeper is recorded as one Kenneth Senior of Woburn Hill, Kent, who had acquired the Aston in December 2000. The registration is listed as 'EGC 570H', though it should be noted that the AMOC Register records 'UUB 740H' as belonging to this DBS.
The Aston's new owner was H M W Hieber of Munich, a leading restorer of Aston Martins in Germany, who purchased it for their own use and restored the car (to German specification) between 2005 and 2011 before selling it, following a recommendation by Aston Martin Munich, to the current owner. Works carried out include restoration of the chassis and bodywork, a re-spray, renewing the interior and the installation of a new Getrag five-speed manual gearbox. A German Classic Data Insurance Appraisal, with an evaluation of the car's condition being 2+, on file (dated June 2011) lists further works undertaken: overhauled rear axle and wheel bearings, reworked SU carburettors, complete overhaul of instruments, re-chromed wheels and reinstalled chrome trim, while parts renewed include the water pump, thermostat, power steering, starter motor, exhaust sections, front lights and the prop shaft. The engine shows excellent compression on all cylinders, diagram on file.
Finished in dark British Racing Green with dark grey leather and Alcantara interior, the car currently displays a total of approximately 89,000 miles on the odometer and is described as in generally very good condition. The only notified fault, for this non-smoker car, is a defective cigar lighter. Regretfully offered for sale only because the demands of an expanded family require something with four doors and seat belts, this restored DBS is offered with a quantity of expired MoT certificates (mostly from the 1990s), German registration papers and TüV. An original Aston Martin luggage set (two suitcases and a vanity case) is included in the sale.