Open Roads, December | Lot 170
1968 Aston Martin DBS
€103,400 EUR | Sold
| Ollainville, France
1 - 8 December 2021
- Well documented and desirably equipped right-hand-drive DBS
- Benefits from an extensive refurbishment in the 1980s, including fitting a more powerful Vantage “type C” engine
- Optioned from the factory with ZF five-speed manual transmission, power steering, and Motorola radio
- Well maintained, with full engine rebuild in 2019
- Includes BMIHT certificate, copy of original build sheet and registration book, and service invoices
Designed in-house by William Towns, the Aston Martin DBS foreshadowed things to come from the Newport Pagnell, U.K.-based firm when it was introduced in 1967. While retaining the front-engine layout of its predecessor, this new grand tourer abandoned the softer, rounder shapes seen on previous Aston Martins in favor of more modern, sharper styling. The new fastback design was six inches wider than the preceding DB6, offering greater interior comfort for up to for four occupants. Due to internal demand, the vehicle was fast tracked to market with the tried and tested Tadek Marek 4.0-litre, twin camshaft, inline, six-cylinder engine. Significantly, the DBS debuted the de Dion rear axle Aston Martin had previously rejected on the DB6 due to cost and complexity concerns. Few could have guessed at the time that this platform would serve the company for the next 20 years.
The DBS offered here was originally ordered by Mr. G.W. West, a gentlemen located outside of Preston in the north of England. Finished in Fiesta Red with a natural Connolly leather interior, it left the factory equipped with the standard 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine, number 400/3862/S. It was further optioned with desirable, non-standard features, including a ZF five-speed manual transmission, power steering, and a Motorola radio. According to documentation on hand, this Aston Martin had remained in the United Kingdom until 1984, when it was purchased by an individual who resided in Belgium.
Whilst in that owner’s care, the DBS underwent a thorough mechanical and cosmetic refurbishment, which included installing a more powerful Vantage “type C” specification engine, number 400/2343/VC. An accompanying letter from Aston Martin Brussels, dated 29 April 2016, certifies the engine swap. The inline-six is fed by three SU carburetors, which offer improved performance, particularly at lower engine speeds. During the car’s refurbishment in Belgium, the vehicle was resprayed in its current darker shade of Dubonnet Rosso, while the interior was refinished in Sand leather.
Service invoices dating back to 2016 document maintenance work carried out to ensure the car remained in top shape. The clutch, flywheel, and brakes were overhauled in 2016 at a cost of 6.200 EUR. The speedometer and tachometer were removed and refurbished in 2017. Other service included replacing the starter, repairing the power steering, and refurbishing the suspension. From 2019 into 2020, the engine was removed from the vehicle, disassembled, and rebuilt at a cost of nearly 30.000 EUR, which also included refinishing the engine compartment.
Beyond the aforementioned invoices, photos of the engine block, head, and carburetors atop a work bench are also included, along with a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, and copies of the original build sheet and registration book.