V8 Aston Martin DBS
Aston Martin DBS
The DBS was a major departure for Aston Martin, with seductive classic British curves jettisoned for a more transatlantic, muscular look not dissimilar to a Mustang or Britain’s Jensen Interceptor.
That it was produced alongside the traditional DB6 for three years in the late 1960s gave buyers a choice – stick with the past or twist into the Seventies with this bold new look.
The two cars shared the same 4-litre engine initially, with the extra weight of the new, four-seater car slowing it down compared to its sibling as Aston focused more on luxury equipment and long-legged high speed cruising than out and out performance.
A fastback rear end and squared-off front grille were all new for Aston, but classic touches like the bonnet scoop, wire wheels and side air vents were retained.
George Lazenby drove a DBS in his solitary outing as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, while the then future Bond, Roger Moore, drove one in 70s TV show The Persuaders! – in one scene famously racing Tony Curtis in a Ferrari Dino (which would have won in real life…).
The DBS was transformed by the fitting of Tadek Marek’s 5.3-litre, V8 engine, increasing output to around 315bhp and urging the car to nearly 160mph and 0-60 in 5.9 seconds; now this car would have run the Dino ragged, on the straights at least.
On the outside, the car looked little different from six-cylinder version, only distinguished by alloy wheels and the discrete front air dam, but under the skin the car gained ventilated brake discs, air conditioning, larger tyres, Bosch fuel injection and a stronger gearbox.
The last car to built under David Brown’s control, 402 DBS V8s were built before the model was phased out in favour of the Aston Martin V8.