1971 Aston Martin DBS Sports Saloon Registration no. APM 744J Chassis no. DBS/5753/R Engine no. 400/4835/S
Although always intended to house the new Tadek Marek-designed V8 engine, the Aston Martin DBS was launched in October 1967 with the 4.0-litre 'six' of the concurrently produced DB6. Styled in-house by William 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.'
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 DBS was, inevitably, heavier 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.
'Turning to matters other than performance, we really were most tremendously impressed by the DBS' enthused Car magazine. 'The interior, especially merits praise not only for its uniquely satisfying aesthetics and superb finish (way, way ahead of any Italian rival in this respect) but also for the thought that has gone into the ergonomics of its layout.'
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.
An automatic transmission model, this DBS benefis from Connollised leather and new carpets, steering wheel, headlining, window switches, seat belts and £2,500-worth of replaced ancillaries plus a replacement spare wheel, all of which has been done while in the vendor's ownership. The car was re-sprayed circa 2003/2004 and new wheels fitted in 2005 (there is a photographic record of the re-spray on file). In 2009 the engine was replaced (bill on file), a new exhaust fitted and the gearbox rebuilt. The rear brake callipers were replaced in 2010. Accompanying documentation consists of a V5C document and a comprehensive file of receipts and MoT certificates dating back to 2000. The conversion of the replacement engine to unleaded compatibility is the only other notified deviation from factory specification.