Displacement: 3,996 cc
Horsepower: 282 bhp @ 5,500 rpm
Engine Torque: 288 lb ft @ 3,850 rpm
Top Speed: 137 mph
0 - 60 mph: 7.9 seconds
click on image to enlarge
It is interesting to see which names were destined to endure through time and which were not. Who was Robert Bamford, for example? A very fair question, as his name seems to ring no particular bells with most people and he died in relative obscurity in 1942, at the age of 59. He was however, the founding half of one of the most famous marques in history. He started a business selling Singer motorcars in 1912. His business partner in this venture, was a keen motorcar racer, who particularly favoured the small Aston Hill track in Buckinghamshire, just west of London. His name was Lionel Martin and when the pair decided to start building their own cars the following year, for some reason, they settled on the name Aston Martin, thereby consigning poor Bamford to the list of history's great unknowns (he actually left the company altogether in 1922, four years prior to its second bankruptcy, at which time, Martin left too). However, the company they founded survived a string of financial misfortunes to become the legend that it is today.
One person's name (or more specifically, their initials) that has certainly left an indelible mark on automotive history, is David Brown. He was a tractor maker (much like one of his competitors, Ferrucio Lamborghini) who made his fortune selling tractors during the Second World War. In 1947, he responded to a classified ad in the back of the London Times that offered a 'High Class Motor Business' for sale, which he ultimately acquired, for 20,500 Pounds Sterling. This of course, turned out to be Aston Martin, the company he spearheaded until 1972. During his tenure, the company created some of its most famous models, all bearing his initials, starting with the DB2 and culminating with the fabulous DBS (he sold the company in 1972 and consequently, the DBS is the last true 'DB' Aston ever made), thus ensuring his place on the roster of famous names.
This fame was only further heightened by the adoption of the marque into the James Bond movie franchise, which gave the initials 'DB', instant, worldwide recognition. First with Sean Connery's stint as Britain's favourite spy, driving a wonderfully modified DB5, bristling with weapons & gadgets and then in 1969, with the only one-time Bond actor, George Lazenby, for Bond's sixth outing in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, driving the latest offering from Aston Martin, the DBS. Interestingly enough, it was not only Lazenby's first (and only) appearance as 007, but also the first (and only) time that Bond ever gets married (albeit for a very short time, as his new bride, played by Diana Rigg of Avengers fame, is fatally shot as they drive away from their wedding ceremony in the DBS).
When first shown to the public in 1967, the William Towns-designed DBS created quite a stir, as it represented such a radical departure from the familiar Touring bodied Astons that had been in production since 1958.
This particular DBS is one of only 181 left-hand-drive cars produced (out of a total production of just 802). With its muscular frame, clad in the classic combination of British Racing Green with a tan leather interior, it is truly striking. Apparently always a dry-climate car, the undercarriage is all original & rust free. The body and shut lines are basically very good, though, as is to be expected after forty-six years, there are dings and chips present on most panels. The paint appears largely original but has rubbed through in several spots. The glass and brightwork are very good and the original interior, though quite patina'd, has a wonderfully correct feel to it. The recently serviced, matching numbers engine (impossibly correct, right down to its Cheney hose clamps), fires instantly and runs extremely smoothly, delivering ample power to the lovely, chrome, rear wire wheels via the three-speed Borg Warner transmission. Freshly shod with new Avon tyres, the newly overhauled suspension makes the ride and handling a pleasure whilst the stopping duties are equally well taken care of by the fully rebuilt factory disc brakes.
With such an incredibly small number of factory left-hand-drive cars produced, the opportunity to purchase such a well-maintained, incredibly original, rust-free example of these gorgeous, fast-appreciating classics is extremely rare and not to be missed.