Styled in-house by Bill Towns, the beautiful DBS was Aston Martin's first all-mew model for many years and caused quite a stir on its arrival in 1967, 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.'
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, as a no cost option, to Vantage specification with triple Weber 45DCOE carburettors, special camshafts and a higher compression ratio, in which form its maximum was raised to 325bhp.
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.
'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.
Many years later, the example offered here - 'USR 646J' - was featured on the front cover of Octane (June 2005 edition) and prior to base metal respray for an article comparing the DBS with the DB6, the esteemed motoring magazine finding that the former gave away nothing to the latter when it came to either straight-line performance or handling. A Vantage model equipped with the standard ZF five-speed gearbox, 'USR 646J' had been chosen as a fine example of the marque because it was the owner's only transport, benefiting from a no-expense-spared maintenance policy to keep it in top mechanical condition.
In 2005, 'USR 646J' took part in the famous parade of Aston Martins at Windsor Castle before Her Majesty The Queen, and led the 'Parade des Pilotes' in 2006. It also was displayed at Culzean Castle's Autoclassica meeting in 2008.
This beautiful DBS is very well known to marque specialists Aston Workshop, which has been responsible for its care and maintenance - fully documented - for the last 12 years. Major works undertaken include fitting new sills (2000); a bare metal re-spray in the original colour (2007); cylinder head conversion to unleaded compatibility; gearbox rebuild; alternator upgrade and conversion to negative earth electrics; rear brakes rebuild (2010); and the installation of electronic ignition, a Kenlowe fan, 'Monte Carlo Handling Kit' and new slave/master cylinders and a new oil cooler.
In the current vendor's hands for the last 13 years, the DBS has had eight previous owners, covering relatively few miles, and possess wonderful interior patination. Fastidiously maintained and sensibly upgraded, this fine example a fast appreciating Aston Martin is offered with an extensive history file, the aforementioned service records, MoT to April 2014, Swansea V5 document and expired MoT certificates dating back to 1984.