This Aston Martin DBS is an extremely rare example and is one of only 15 six-cylinder DBS cars that were fitted with fuel injection.
Offered on the DB6 MkII and the DBS between 1969 and 1971, the system was the first all-British electronic set-up and had been developed by the Coventry-based Brico company. Only when Brico was sold to Lucas – which had its own mechanical injection system – did Aston Martin revert to offering only carburettors on the DBS.
The guarantee for chassis number 5579/R was issued on 1 May 1970 and it was sold via Lazenby Garages to its first owner, a Mr Stanwell of Boston in Lincolnshire. The car was fitted with an automatic gearbox and finished in Azzurro Blue with Dark Blue Connolly leather interior.
Its factory build sheet doesn’t record any further owners, but in the late 1980s it was one of four cars that were bought from a private collector in Wales by Northamptonshire-based Maurdon Motors. It was then kept – unused – in the company’s own collection until being sold to its next custodian in 1993.
The DBS changed hands again in 2001, and by 2016 it was decided to treat it to a full restoration. The work was carried out by marque specialist Richards of England and involved stripping the car back to bare metal. Once the necessary bodywork repairs had been carried out, it was initially resprayed in Bahama Yellow before it was decided to go with the original shade of Azzurro Blue instead. The attention to detail even extended to retaining the red enamelled ‘FI’ badges in the front wings.
The six-cylinder engine – number 400/4561/SFI – was rebuilt and enlarged to 4.2 litres. The manual gearbox, which had replaced the automatic unit that the car had originally been specified with, was also rebuilt. Such was the fastidious nature of the whole project that over £200,000 had been spent by July 2018.
The restoration was completed the following year and is fully documented in a hardback book that is covered in the same leather that’s been used for the Aston Martin’s interior. More recent work has included a differential rebuilt in May 2023 and all invoices have been kept in the extensive history file, which also includes the factory build sheet and MoT certificates going back to the early 1980s.
It’s thought that this Aston Martin DBS is the only fully restored, six-cylinder, fuel-injected example in the world. Not only is it still in outstanding condition following its three-year rebuild, it represents an opportunity to acquire a rare piece of marque history. Now for sale at The Classic Motor Hub.
Intended as a replacement for the iconic Touring-designed series of DB4, DB5 and DB6, the DBS marked a change in direction for Aston Martin when it was launched in 1967. There was supposed to have been more in the way of continuity, but unfortunately Touring went out of business after producing two prototypes.
In-house designer William Towns was therefore given the job. He produced a modern, sharp, square-edged design that set the template for the subsequent V8 models and helped to establish the accepted ‘look’ for a big Aston throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
The DBS should have been powered by a V8 engine from day one, but Tadek Marek’s new 5.3-litre unit wasn’t ready in time, so Aston Martin carried over the 4-litre six-cylinder engine from the DB6. It was available in either standard 282bhp SU-carburettor form, or as the 325bhp Vantage, which used Weber carburettors. A handful of cars were also produced with the Brico electronic fuel-injection system.
Drive was via a ZF five-speed manual gearbox or a three-speed Borg-Warner automatic, and the rear suspension employed a de Dion set-up rather than the DB6’s live axle.
The DBS V8 eventually joined the six-cylinder model in 1969, the same year in which the DBS starred alongside George Lazenby in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. When Autocar tested a V8-engined car in 1971, it recorded a top speed of 161mph and summed up the model with the words: ‘Tremendous performance, superb brakes, excellent handling’.
The two models ran alongside each other until 1972. The six-cylinder DBS was then dropped and the bigger-engined car morphed into the V8, which would be the mainstay of the Aston Martin range into the 1990s.