Introduced in 1967, the new DBS was the successor to the DB6 – it represented a new, very modern look for Aston Martin. Styled in-house by William '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.
The DBS was wider and had a lower profile than its predecessor, giving a more aggressive look and offering more cabin space. The engine was placed further back in the chassis, behind the front axle, resulting in an almost 50/50 weight ratio. Using a de Dion rear axle, the DBS exhibited excellent handling characteristics.
The interior was as usual luxuriously appointed with the finest Connolly hides available in best Aston Martin fashion. James Bond approved as well, using a DBS as his motorcar of choice in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and again in the next Bond film Diamonds are Forever where a DBS sits in Q's famous workshop getting prepared for action. A superb expression of automotive design, the Aston Martin DBS has become an icon of the marque, and also marks the last model produced under Sir David Brown's leadership at Aston Martin.
It is only appropriate therefore that this example is finished in what was said to be Brown's favorite color scheme, Roman Purple. This is contrasted with a Natural Tan Connolly interior, replete with a set of Fawn carpets, and Natural Tan headling. Chassis number DBS/5404/LAC, was delivered to its first owner, Ritt Consolidated Industries in Delaware on the 12th March 1970, and delivered by the Aston Martin dealer located in Philadelphia PA. A copy of the build sheet shows that chassis number 5404 still retains its original engine 400/4100/S as well as its original 3 speed automatic transmission.
Its ensuing 4 decades have seen only a handful of known owners, after Ritt, it spent much time with a William Nardelli in the late 1970s until early 1980s. It was later purchased by specialists Aston Martin of New England/Steve Serio from David Doering, a partner in the well-known Aston restorers, New Jersey based Steel Wings, from who the current owner acquired the car. Doering had begun a restoration, stripping it back to bare metal and repainting in the original colour scheme, before mothballing the project.
Having sat in store for a number of years, it's completion was naturally entrusted to the Aston Martin New England business to carry out. Over the course of the next few years and at the considerable cost of more than $120,000 (roughly £80,000), that included a comprehensive mechanical restoration and sympathetic cosmetic attention, all of which was documented with photos. On the technical side that included: complete engine disassembly and rebuild, including carburettors; restoration of the entire cooling system, oil cooler, and transmission lines, power steering, electrical system, alternator, distributor, etc.; the entire braking system, fuel tank, and entire fuel system were restored, as was the air conditioning and interior heating systems, and the entire front and rear suspension systems, plus axles and rear differential were rebuilt.
Alongside this, the exterior was refinished and polished, factory bumpers refitted, new wheel bearings, wheels and tyres fitted. The floor pans were restored and refinished, and the underside of the car cleaned, prepped and painted. The front grill, tail lights and side marker lights were replaced also. The interior was subjected to a similarly thorough redo, with restoration of the dash leather and factory wrinkle finish, the gauges cleaned and tested, and interior switches restored or replaced where necessary. To accompany the working original radio, new speakers were fitted. New carpets throughout including the boot were added.
The car's presentation reflects this work, which has continued through the last 6 years of the current ownership. Today, we noted a few signs of sinkage and light localised surface corrosion to its older repaint at some joins/edges, while when recently inspected and photographed the car was seen to perform well. Should the vehicle remain in the UK, local taxes of 5% will be applied to the hammer price.