Senior Specialist, Head of Department, UK
Although always intended to house the new Tadek Marek-designed V8 engine, the Aston Martin DBS first appeared with the 4.0-litre 'six' of the concurrently produced DB6. This well proven engine was available in standard tune, producing 282bhp, or to Vantage specification with triple Weber 45DCOE carburettors, special camshafts and a higher compression ratio, in which form its maximum was raised to 325bhp.
Styled in-house by Bill Towns, the beautiful DBS caused quite a stir, Autocar magazine observing that: '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 heavier DBS disappointed some by virtue of its slightly reduced performance, 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.
Finished in the same colour scheme as the Lazenby DBS – Olive with black leather interior – this example benefits from a most extensive (though not 'body off') restoration completed by Works Service in December 2008 at a cost of £190,400 (see detailed invoice on file). Works carried out include rebuilding the engine to 'unleaded' compatibility; fitting new Weber carburettors; replacing the automatic transmission with a five-speed manual gearbox to original specification; stripping bare, repairing and repainting the body; and re-trimming the interior. 'OEL 565G' has remained in storage at Works Service since completion and is presented in the kind of condition one would expect following such a thorough rebuild by the best-qualified technicians in the field. The car is offered with the aforementioned restoration invoice, current road fund licence, Swansea V5 registration document and fresh MoT.
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