1972 Aston Martin V8
Year of manufacture1972
1972 Aston Martin V8 Series 2 5.7-Litre Sports Saloon
Registration no. HWK 961L
Chassis no. V8/10620/RCA
*One of only 289 Series 2 cars
*Original UK right-hand drive model
*Professionally restored to concours standard
Although always intended to house the new Tadek Marek-designed V8, the Aston Martin DBS first appeared with the 4.0-litre six of the concurrently produced DB6. Styled in-house by Bill Towns, the four-seater 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. Bigger and more luxuriously appointed than the DB6, the heavier DBS disappointed some by virtue of its slightly reduced performance, but there were no complaints when the V8 arrived in 1969. With in excess of 300 horsepower available from its 5,340cc, fuel-injected, four-cam motor, the DBS V8 could reach 100mph in under 14 seconds, running on to a top speed of 160mph - a staggering performance in those days and one which fully justified the claim that it was the fastest production car in the world. Even in automatic transmission form the V8 could reach 100mph in around 15 seconds and better 145mph flat-out.
In 1972, the acquisition of Aston Martin by Company Developments brought with it a change of name for the V8-engined cars: out went DBS V8, in came AM V8. This revised model was readily distinguishable by its restyled front that now featured two instead of four headlamps and recalled the looks of the earlier DB six-cylinder cars. Arguably the most elegant of all 'single headlight' Aston Martin V8s, the first version (generally known as the Series 2) retained many details of the original four-headlight DBS V8: chrome instrument bezels and switch gear, chrome headlight surrounds, lower bonnet scoop, and no side lamps. Electronic ignition and air conditioning were now standard.
For most 'left-hand drive' export markets at least Germany the chassis number kept the 'DBS' prefix to avoid having to homologate the Series 2 as a completely new model. All early cars had 'DBS V8' side vent badges. Only 289 examples were made between April 1972 and July 1973 ('10501'-'10789'), of which 32 were left-hand drive. With an estimated 320bhp on tap, these Bosch fuel-injected cars were also the most powerful of all standard V8s, only bettered by the V8 Vantage introduced in 1977.
Its accompanying BMIHT Certificate reveals that '10620' was built in right-hand drive configuration for the UK market left the factory finished in Imperial Blue with natural leather interior trim. The car was despatched to the Arnold G Wilson Ltd dealership in Leeds.
When purchased by the previous owner in 2015, the Aston was in a dismantled state and he duly commissioned Warren Classics of Much Hadham, Hertfordshire to carry out a complete 'last nut and bolt' restoration to concours standard. The rebuild was carried out between 2015 and 2017; photographs and a full description of the works are available (inspection highly recommended).
Specialists including the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, Nicholas Mee Ltd, and Rikki Cann assisted in ensuring that the car was rebuilt to original specification. The installation of a Harvey Bailey handling kit; a modified electronic ignition distributor; A Series 3 bonnet and rebuilding the engine to 5,744cc capacity are the only listed deviations from factory specification.
Presented in generally excellent condition, this outstanding Series 2 V8 is offered the original owner's instruction booklet; MoT to October 2021; V5C registration document; and the aforementioned restoration records and BMIHT Certificate.