Aston Martin DBS

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Aston Martin DBS
Manufacturer Aston Martin Ltd.
Production 1967–1972
787 produced[1]
Designer William Towns
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer (S)
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Related Aston Martin V8
Engine 4.0 L DOHC I6
Transmission Borg-Warner automatic
or 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,610 mm (102.8 in)[2]
Length 4,585 mm (180.5 in)
Width 1,830 mm (72.0 in)
Height 1,330 mm (52.4 in)
Kerb weight 1,590 kg (3,510 lb) (approx)
Predecessor Aston Martin DB6
Successor Aston Martin Vantage/Aston Martin V8

The Aston Martin DBS is a grand tourer produced by the British manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda Limited from 1967 to 1972.

In 2007 the DBS name was resurrected for a new model, the Aston Martin DBS V12.

DBS (1967–72)[edit]

The Tadek Marek-designed inline-six engine of a DBS

The DBS was intended as the successor to the Aston Martin DB6, although the two ran concurrently for three years. Powered by a straight-six engine, it was produced from 1967 until 1972, eventually being phased out in favour of the Aston Martin V8.

It was a larger coupé than the DB6, with four full sized seats, but was powered by the same 4.0 L engine as the previous car. Claimed engine output was 282 bhp (210 kW; 286 PS), but a vantage engine option used Italian made Weber carburettors, increasing output to an advertised 325 bhp (242 kW; 330 PS).[3]

The DBS was intended to have a more "modern" look than the previous series of Aston models (the DB4 through DB6), and it incorporated a fastback style rear end and squared off front grille, atypical of Astons at the time, but very much then in vogue in automotive design circles of the late sixties. Trademark Aston design features, such as a bonnet scoop, knock off wire wheels, and side air vents with stainless steel brightwork were however retained. The DBS was the last Aston Martin to be built under David Brown's control.[3]

Specifications (1972)[edit]

  • Weight: 3,760 lb (1,706 kg)
  • Engine: 3995 cc DOHC straight-6
  • Power: 283 bhp (211 kW; 287 PS) at 5500 rpm
  • Torque: 390.5 N·m (288.0 lb·ft) at 3850 rpm

DBS V8 (1969 to 1972)[edit]

1970 Aston Martin DBS V8

In September 1969, the DBS was made available with a 5340cc V8 engine, this variant being known as the DBS V8.[4] At the time, it was the fastest four-seater production car in the world.[4] The new model was fitted with light alloy wheels (as opposed to wire wheels on the DBS) and ventilated brake discs.[4] Automatic transmission was offered as an alternative to the ZF 5 speed manual gearbox.[4] The DBS V8 was produced until May 1972, after which it was given a single headlamp front end and was renamed simply the Aston Martin V8.[4]

Popular culture[edit]

The DBS was used by George Lazenby's James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Unlike Bond's previous car, the Aston Martin DB5, no gadgets were seen in this car, other than a mounting for a telescopic-sight rifle in the glove compartment. In the final scenes of the film, Bond's wife, Tracy, is shot and killed whilst sitting in the car.[3]

Another DBS also appears in a brief single scene in the next Bond film, Diamonds are Forever. It can be seen in the background being fitted with small missiles at Q Branch whilst Bond is talking to Q on the telephone.

An Aston Martin DBS was later used in the TV series The Persuaders! (1971–1972), in which Roger Moore's character Lord Brett Sinclair drove a distinctive "Bahama Yellow" (orange/gold) 6-cylinder DBS (chassis number DBS/5636/R) that, through the use of alloy wheels and different badges, had been made to look like the DBS V8 model. Supplied by Aston Martin to the show's producers, the car used the personalised number plate "BS 1" (except for one scene in the episode "The Gold Napoleon," where the car has its original UK registration number PPP 6H instead), courtesy of the plates real owner Billy Smart, Jr. Sold by the factory after filming ended, via HR Owen in London, to its first private owner. It was restored to a very high standard in recent years by the Aston Martin factory, and is presently owned by divorce lawyer and noted art collector Jeremy Levison.[5] Both Moore and co-star Tony Curtis have signed the underside of the car's boot (rear luggage compartment): Moore at Pinewood Studios in May 2003; Curtis at Cheltenham Racecourse in October 2008. In 2013 the Aston Martin DBS was an invited participant at two of Europe's most exclusive motoring concours, the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este at Lake Como, and the Salon Privé Concours in London.

The restoration of an original DBS, registration JRA615H was featured in the first episode of series 2 of the Channel 4 series For the Love of Cars, screened in April 2015.[6] The process took over 6,000 man-hours.[6] During restoration, it was upgraded to Vantage specification which included conversion from an automatic to manual gearbox.[6] It sold at auction for £150,000.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Records of The Aston Martin Owner's Club
  2. ^ "Exhibition Stand 144 Aston Martin". Autocar. 127 (nbr 3740): 27. October 1967. 
  3. ^ a b c Sass, Rob (June 2010). "Aston Martin DBS, Unloved No More". Sports Car Market. 22 (6): 28. 
  4. ^ a b c d e DBS & DBS V8, Retrieved on 31 March 2013
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d |url= missing title (help). For the Love of Cars. Series 2. Episode 1. 20 April 2015. Channel 4. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 

External links[edit]