1970 1970 Aston Martin DBS
- Year of manufacture1970
- Chassis numberDBS/5636/R
- Engine number400/4665/S
- Lot number222
- Number of seats2
- Exterior colourOther
- Fuel typePetrol
'The Persuaders!' Lord Brett Sinclair
1970 Aston Martin DBS Sports Saloon
Registration no. PPP 6H
Chassis no. DBS/5636/R
Engine no. 400/4665/S
This famous Aston Martin DBS was manufactured in the spring of 1970, complete with special modifications specifically for its intended role in the British television series 'The Persuaders!' in which it featured prominently in almost all of the 24 one-hour episodes, driven by Roger Moore. Moore had previously starred as the eponymous hero in the television adventure series 'The Saint', which had been produced by Robert S Baker, and was the latter's choice to play the role of Lord Brett Sinclair in 'The Persuaders!' Baker invited Aston Martin to provide a car for Moore in the new television series, in which he would co-star with Hollywood legend Tony Curtis, playing the part of Danny Wilde. Wealthy playboys, the Englishman Sinclair and American Wilde were brought together by retired Judge Fulton (played by Laurence Naismith) to fight crime and corruption. Although 'chalk-and-cheese' opposites, the men became great friends and constantly risked their lives for one another. 'The Persuaders!' was destined to be the most expensive television series filmed to date, using various glamorous locations around Europe.
Moore had expressed an interest in the Aston Martin DBS, which he felt would be ideally suited to the character of Lord Brett Sinclair. Curtis's character Danny Wilde was to drive a Ferrari (which proved to be a Dino 246GT) and the cars were always intended to be an important element of the new show and indeed central to much of the action. Naturally, Aston Martin were eager to provide a car for Roger Moore and even arranged for one of their mechanics to be present throughout the production to make sure the DBS was always at its best.
It made sense to provide their latest model, the recently unveiled DBS V8, in order to gain maximum benefit from the planned television exposure. However, production of the new V8-engined DBS was not yet in full swing and it proved impossible to provide one in time for the start of filming. The decision was made to provide a standard six-cylinder DBS but to build the car as a DBS V8 in all visual respects, as if 'wearing makeup' for its starring role. A standard DBS (chassis number '5636') was nearing completion on the Newport Pagnell production line in the rare colour of Bahama Yellow and seemed an ideal candidate for the role. The modifications were limited to V8-type hubs and wheels (15" GKN alloys) and V8 badging. The car was first registered in England on 15th May 1970 with the number 'PPP 6H'.
Filming commenced with the DBS featuring in a memorable race against Tony Curtis's Ferrari Dino from Nice Airport to the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. Later episodes were filmed in locations such as Rome, Paris and London. Although in its television role the car almost always carried the number plates 'BS 1' (for Brett Sinclair) there were two brief scenes in the episode 'The Gold Napoleon' where the film crew forgot to put the 'BS l' plates on the car. As it proved logistically impractical to re-film those scenes, the car's true identity of 'PPP 6H' was revealed in the final edit. In real life the number 'BS l' was owned by circus impresario Billy Smart, who had given permission for its use.
'The Persuaders!' was hugely popular worldwide and remains so to this day with regular satellite TV reruns. It was pure escapism and the on-screen chemistry between Moore and Curtis and their relaxed ad-lib style of acting always made for great entertainment. Roger Moore's DBS and Tony Curtis's Dino 246GT were major elements of the show and indeed, many Aston Martin fans can trace their love of the marque back to watching the TV series in their youth. After filming 24 episodes, Roger Moore was invited to take the role of James Bond and so 'The Persuaders!' was concluded. Incidentally, Moore played Bond seven times in total yet only ever starred in an Aston Martin in 'The Persuaders!'
The DBS had covered around 5,000 miles by this time and had taken a fair degree of punishment. It was returned to Aston Martin Works for servicing and then sold through London dealer H R Owen to its first private owner. The car has now had five owners in total and has only changed hands via private sale without any advertising and never via a dealer or auction.
After 24 years and 75,000 miles in the hands of the first three private owners (details on file) by 1995 the car was really 'showing its age' and the fourth owner, Mike Sanders, immediately commissioned an uncompromising restoration to concours standards by Aston Martin themselves, with no expense spared, requesting that the car be returned to the exact specification extant at the commencement of filming 'The Persuaders!'
The restoration at Newport Pagnell took two years and was completed in 1997. The original engine and transmission were fully rebuilt, all ancillary equipment replaced or overhauled as necessary and all electrical wiring renewed. 'PPP 6H' retains all of its original major components as well as the interior leather and headlining, which did not require replacement. The DBS also retains its original radio in working order, while an additional modern stereo unit has been installed by Aston Martin Works, concealed within the glove box.
The car has been serviced without fail every year since 1997 by Aston Martin Works, except for the four years 2007-2010 when it was handled by ex-Aston Martin Works Service Manager and engineer David Eales at marque specialists Oselli. Only 6,000 miles have been covered since the restoration (out of 81,350 from new) and the car is described as in generally excellent condition. This year's routine service and MoT test will have been carried out at Aston Martin Works in May 2014, immediately prior to the sale, to ensure that the car is received by its new owner in perfect running condition.
All of the restoration and maintenance invoices dating back to 1995, twenty-eight MOT certificates and a full photographic record of the restoration work are contained within the most extensive history files, and the car also comes with FIVA registration, current MoT/tax and V5C registration document. Also included are numerous large format framed prints, bespoke illustrated albums, videos of important events, indoor and outdoor tailored car covers, the original jack, tool kit, instruction manual signed by 'The Persuaders!' executive producer Johnny Goodman, spare keys, period-correct 'BS 1' show plates, original DBS workshop manual and DBS parts manual, official Corgi 'The Persuaders!' model, official programmes for Villa d'Este and Salon Privé, and various spare parts supplied by Aston Martin Works.
Both of the stars of 'The Persuaders!' autographed the Aston - Moore in 2002 and Curtis in 2008 - in each case the moment of signing being captured in photographs or on video. In November 2010, Sanders sold the DBS privately to the current owner, a friend of his. Annual servicing continued to be entrusted to Aston Martin Works.
To the best of the owner's knowledge, the DBS had never been displayed in public prior to the Aston Martin Owners' Club's Spring Concours in May 2011. In 2013 'The Persuaders!' DBS was one of only 49 cars (and one of only five Aston Martins) invited to participate at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este at Lake Como, Italy. It has also participated at Salon Privé in London in 2011 and 2013 and played a key role in several Aston Martin Centenary events.
Offered on the open market for the first time in its 44-year history, 'The Persuaders!' Aston Martin DBS embodies the precious virtues of truly iconic status, unique original specification, impeccable restoration - by its own manufacturer, with whom it has also enjoyed a perfect maintenance record - eminent usability and superb running condition.
One of the most famous and desirable cars ever to carry the Aston Martin badge, 'PPP 6H' represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a true automotive icon, which is also of popular cultural significance.