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SOLD – 1969 Aston Martin DBS/6

  • 1969 Aston Martin DBS/6
  • Right-hand drive with manual ZF gearbox
  • Restored to exceptional condition
  • Sold in 2016 by Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell

This six-cylinder Aston Martin DBS spent four decades in Australia and Tasmania, and after being fully restored there in recent years, it was described as being the best example in that part of the world.

Built on 6 March 1969, this DBS was a right-hand-drive, home-market car finished in Dubonnet Rosso with a black interior, and was fitted with the ZF five-speed manual gearbox. Among the optional extras was power-assisted steering, and chassis number DBS/5306/R was supplied to its first owner by A&B Cars Ltd in Newton-Le-Willows, Lancashire.

It cost that first keeper, who was based in Bolton, the grand total of £3744 – plus Purchase Tax of £1432 5s 10d. Its original registration number was NWH 222G.

By 1974, the DBS had been sold to a new owner who was based in Australia. Robert Rusk owned Tickford Distributors in New South Wales, which was an agent for Aston Martin Lagonda until 1981. After Rusk, it’s thought that the DBS passed to the Penrite oil company in Victoria so that it could be used by Gavin Campbell, who was one of its reps.

Subsequent custodians included a Dr Boon in Victoria, and 2002 the DBS passed – via Brooklands Classic Cars in Sandringham – to a new owner who lived in Tasmania. Only in 2016 did it return to the UK, by which time it had been fully restored. It was then sold to its most recent owner by Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell, complete with a guarantee, and has been used sparingly since.

Now being offered for sale at The Classic Motor Hub, complete with its original instruction book, a heritage certificate, and a copy of its original build sheet, this Aston Martin DBS/6 is an exceptional example of the original six-cylinder model and any inspection is welcome.

Model history

Intended as a replacement for the iconic Touring-designed series of DB4, DB5 and DB6, the DBS marked the beginning of a new era for Aston Martin when it was launched in 1967. There was supposed to have been more in the way of continuity, but unfortunately Touring went out of business after producing two prototypes.

In-house designer Williams Towns was therefore given the job. He produced a modern, sharp, square-edged design that set the template for the subsequent V8 models and helped to establish the accepted ‘look’ for a big Aston throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

The DBS should have been powered by a V8 engine from day one, but Tadek Marek’s new 5.3-litre unit wasn’t ready in time, so Aston Martin carried over the 4-litre six-cylinder engine from the DB6. It was available in either standard 282bhp SU-carburettor form, or as the 325bhp Vantage, which used Weber carburettors.

Drive was via a ZF five-speed manual gearbox or a three-speed Borg-Warner automatic, and the rear suspension employed a de Dion set-up rather than the DB6’s live axle.

The DBS V8 eventually joined the six-cylinder model in 1969, and the two ran alongside each other until 1972. The six-cylinder DBS was then dropped, and the bigger-engined car morphed into the V8.

The DBS flew under the radar for a long time, but more recently it has started to attract a strong following for its blend of style and usable performance.

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