1971 Aston Martin DBS Vantage Sports Saloon Registration no. EMH 429J Chassis no. DBS/5739/R Engine no. 400/4826/VC
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. Chassis number '5739' is offered fresh from a six-year full restoration carried out by renowned marque specialists Chris Shenton Engineering of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Everything has been renewed, replaced or reconditioned. The rebuilt chassis/body incorporates new inner and outer sills, inner wings, chassis outriggers, jack tubes and boot floor, etc. New parts fitted include the wheels, tyres, stainless steel exhaust system, stainless steel bumpers, chromed trim, carpets, headlining, brake callipers, master cylinders, servos, clutch, brake/clutch/fuel lines, Weber carburettors and inlet manifolds. In addition, the electrics have been rewired and the fuel tank reconditioned while the engine has been built to 'unleaded' specification at CSE and set up on their rolling road, registering regulation oil pressure. Bare-metal re-sprayed in Gunmetal metallic, 'EMH 429J' is trimmed in black leather and has the desirable ZF five-speed manual gearbox. The result is a matching numbers car restored to virtually concours condition and totally correct Vantage specification. Needless to say, it runs and drives beautifully with no faults whatsoever. Having seen minimal use since completion in 2011, the car is sold only to fund a new project. Accompanying documentation consists of restoration invoices, old-style logbook, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 registration document. A new, period-correct wood-rim steering wheel is the only notified deviation from factory specification.