- 1970 Aston Martin DBS
- Black Pearl with Tan interior
- Nut-and-bolt restoration
- Six-cylinder engine rebuilt to Vantage spec
This stunning Aston Martin DBS was delivered new to Australia, and remained there until it was brought back to the UK for a full restoration that started in 2016.
Chassis number DBS/5607/R left the Newport Pagnell factory in May 1970 and was finished in Silver Birch with Dark Blue interior. It was fitted with engine number 400/4621/S and was delivered to its first owner in the southern Australian state of Victoria.
The DBS remained there with its next two custodians, and in 1979 the original automatic gearbox was replaced by a five-speed manual by Tickford Service in Victoria. By the early 1990s, the car was in New South Wales.
After being acquired by a new owner and brought back to the UK, the DBS was entrusted to Aston Martin specialist Richards of England, with the brief to ‘build a driver’s car’. The straight-six engine was therefore rebuilt to Vantage specification, using the correct camshafts and Weber 45 DCOE carburettors. Cosworth pistons were fitted, and drive is now transmitted through a modern five-speed Tremec manual gearbox.
The bodywork was stripped to bare metal, repairs carried out where necessary, and it was then repainted in Black Pearl. The suspension, brakes and rear axle were all completely rebuilt, and the interior was retrimmed using Tan Connolly leather, Wilton carpets and a wool headlining.
The work was completed in 2018 and is painstakingly catalogued in the DBS’s history file. Not only that, Richards of England also produced a large-format hardback book containing photographs that were taken throughout the restoration.
The result is a truly outstanding example of the six-cylinder DBS now offered for sale at The Classic Motor Hub. It presents superbly in Black Pearl, and its uprated specification makes it an even better high-performance Grand Tourer than the day it left the Newport Pagnell factory.
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. In truth, 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.
In fact, 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. As it turned out, the DB6 would remain in production until November 1970.
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. That same year, David Brown sold out to Company Developments Ltd, bringing an end to a golden period for Aston Martin – one that included competition success as well as great road cars.
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. That recognition seems only fitting for a car that was used by both Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders and James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and which forms a natural link between the ‘DB’ era and the muscular V8 models.