Although always intended to house the new Tadek Marek-designed V8, the DBS first appeared with the 4.0-litre six of the concurrently produced DB6. Styled in-house by Bill Towns, the four-seater DBS abandoned the curvy lines of the earlier Touring-styled DB models in favour of a sharper, hard-edged look in the modern idiom. The beautiful new DBS caused quite a stir, Autocar magazine observing: '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 DBS was, inevitably, heavier, 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.
Chassis number '5334/R' was supplied new via Edwards & Co to Mr Harold Musker, OBE, MC of Warsash, Southampton and first registered as 'WHM 642G'. The DBS was originally finished in Silver Birch with black Connolly leather trim, and left the factory equipped with Borg Warner automatic transmission, power assisted steering, Radiomobile radio, and 'new reflective type number plates'.
The car was repainted in its current Champagne Gold livery during restoration in 2005, a process facilitated by the fact that, as the engine bay, floor pan, and boot are finished in black at the factory, major components such as the engine, running gear, interior, etc can be left in situ. '5334/R' has also been upgraded with the more desirable five-speed manual gearbox. Said to drive very well, its engine holding excellent oil pressure, the car would nevertheless benefit from further cosmetic improvements, including refreshing the paintwork and re-trimming the front seats, to realise its full potential.
Currently MoT'd, '5334/R' comes with a most impressive history file - some 3 thick - containing numerous service/maintenance invoices; photographic evidence of a complete engine rebuild; various restoration records; and expired MoTs, etc documenting the many thousands of pounds spent over the years.