Lot 584: Aston Martin DBS Saloon
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. Styled in-house by William 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. Like Aston Martins before and since, the DBS has 'James Bond' movie associations, having featured in both 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' (1969) and 'Diamonds Are Forever' (1971). This particular DBS is one of only 25 sold in France and Monaco between September 1967 and May 1972 by the official importer, Garage Mirabeau of Paris. A desirable, manual transmission model, chassis number '5111/L' is also one of only 72 produced with left-hand drive. In October 1968 the car was sold new via British Motors in Monte-Carlo to its first owner, remaining in their possession until it was sold to a Swiss collector in the mid-1990s. The current (third) owner acquired the Aston in February 2003 (at 71,808 kilometres; the current odometer reading is 91,000). Between 2003 and 2008 the DBS was carefully restored using only original Aston Martin parts. This process was monitored by Jacques Savoy (until 2005) and Jean-Pierre Meyer, both of whom are recognised British-car specialists (invoices available). Regularly maintained thereafter, the car was sent to Carmania in June 2011 for various body repairs and repainting to complete the restoration, these works being completed in December 2012. Finished in its factory colour scheme of grey with original black Connolly leather interior, the car is described as in generally excellent condition and offered with sundry restoration/maintenance invoices.
Grand Palais Sale|
Bonhams, Paris, France
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