1969 Aston Martin DBS Sports Saloon Registration no. 928 DOK Chassis no. DBS/5373/R
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.
Chassis number '5373/R' was built in right-hand drive configuration for the UK market and left the factory in September 1969 fitted with desirable ZF five-speed manual transmission. The accompanying BMIHT certificate records the original colour scheme as Silver Birch with dark blue interior trim, and lists power assisted steering, Avon tyres, and a radio as items of factory-fitted equipment. The destination dealer was Eton Garages Limited.
'5373/R' was imported from the USA by the current vendor five years ago and since then has been maintained by renowned marque specialists Aston Service Dorset and their associates D Wood MotorSport. As one would expect of ASD, everything needed to keep the car reliable and enjoyable has been done. Very nicely presented, the DBS is offered with sundry bills, current MoT, a V5C registration document, and the aforementioned BMIHT certificate.