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The Aston Martins that followed on from the DB6 were very obviously from the pen of a different designer.

They took their aesthetic cues from the design zeitgeist of the 60s and 70s, not the 40s and 50s. They also tipped an unapologetic and undisguised nod to America’s muscle cars – the Ford Mustang in particular.

After the DB6 came the DBS, still with a six-cylinder engine and patiently awaiting the arrival of a V8 that promised to give the car the grunt to go with the grace.

The DBS proved to be well worth waiting for. It was a proper muscle car and one that owed its squat, steroidal stance and sleekly aggressive profile to the design pen of Aston’s William Towns.

The engine was designed by Polish émigré Tadek Marek, a man whose inimitable engineering imprint stretches from the DBR2 racing car engine, through the redesign of Aston’s venerable, Bentley-derived straight-six, to the development of the 5.3-litre V8 for the DBSV8 in 1969.

The Aston Martin DBSV8 was manufactured between April 1970 and May 1972. It featured Bosch fuel injection and was capable of accelerating the 1727kg gentleman’s express from 0 - 60mph in 5.9 seconds.

The Aston Martin V8 Series 2 was the first of the line to be known simply as the V8 (its predecessor, the DBSV8, was effectively the Aston Martin V8 Series 1, although it never bore that moniker).

Every car took around 1,200 man-hours to build and each was every bit as handmade as a Savile Row suit.

These Aston Martin muscle cars may have had more than enough testosterone to compete with the Mustangs, Chargers and Corvettes of their trans-Atlantic cousins, but they did so with all the unmistakably British pedigree and class of a St. James’ club.

The Vehicle

This motor car is being sold as part of an overseas collection. It has been imported under the Bonhams temporary admission customs bond and is therefore subject to the lower rate 5% import tax if the car is to remain in the UK & purchased by a private individual. The 5% is calculated on the final selling price. Cars less than 30 years old will pay 10% duty + VAT as well as VAT (a company buying the car will always have to pay VAT on the hammer price, as well as duty + VAT).

The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, and proof that HMRC fees are paid. If the car is subsequently exported abroad within 30 days then these fees are refundable.

Lastly, there will be a nominal administration fee of £350 for processing the NOVA application, and payable direct to the shipping company. A completed and processed NOVA will provide you formal proof that all duties & taxes are paid in UK and thus allow you to register the vehicle with the DVLA

In common with the majority of cars in this collection, this vehicle has been on static display for a number of years and there is no history available beyond that displayed in our photography section.

The car will require recommissioning prior to full road use and is sold ‘as seen’. We cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality.

It is available for view and inspection at our HQ near Abingdon and we will be delighted to show the car to you and/or your appointed engineer.

This car’s chassis number is DBSV8/10285/R.

The engine number is V540/522 and is recorded as such on an old V5 dating from August 1989. This is the number that’s stamped on the engine block.

A plate inside the engine bay matches this car’s chassis to engine No. V540/238, which we’re assuming was the car’s original engine. This earlier engine, therefore, must have been replaced by V540/522 sometime prior to August 1989.

It was first registered in the UK on 1.8.71.

It is RHD with an auto gearbox and has 65,172 miles on the odometer.

In common with many cars from the vendor’s collection, it comes with very little in the way of history or service records.

What we do have, however, are the Bonhams auction notes from 2012 when, we think, the car was bought for the vendor’s collection.

Those notes are as follows.

‘This DBS V8 was purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams' sale at The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in September 2005 (Lot 699). Re-sprayed a number of years previously and offered from a deceased's estate, the car displayed a total of 65,155 miles on the odometer at that time and had been off the road because of a split fuel line. Works cared out while in the vendor's care include replacing the boot floor and overhauling the Selectaride rear shock absorbers at a cost of more than £800. Off the road for the last 12 years, 'RYY 237K' is offered for re-commissioning/restoration and sold strictly as viewed. A Swansea V5 document comes with the car, which is sold without reserve. Air conditioning, fitted by the previous owner immediately prior to its sale in 2005, is the only notified deviation from factory specification.’

On the Outside

While the bodywork is free of any dinks, dents, ripples, folds or creases of note - save for a split at the bottom of the front valance - there are some issues with corrosion in a few places.

Accordingly, the maroon paintwork is good in parts and less so in others.

There is significant bubbling and flaking at the base of the o/s/f wing, at the bottom of the doors and rear wings on both sides, and at the base of both ‘A’ pillars.

There are patches of missing paint and lacquer on both sides of the bonnet and on top of the o/s/f wing.

The passenger door is currently proving reluctant to open and much of the external rubber trim on the car is cracked and perished.

The front bumper, in particular, is foxed and pitted.

Paint is cracked, missing and replaced by rust above the boot lid and on and around both filler caps.

There is some bubbling and micro-blistering in evidence on the roof.

The wheels appear to be OK, if a little tired-looking.

On the Inside

The interior is a match for the exterior in that it’s also good in parts.

It certainly appears to be largely authentic and original, as far as we can tell.

The beige leather upholstery is actually in very reasonable condition, both front and back, and the seats are comfortable, supportive and functional.

The headlining, while intact, is spotted with what looks like mould.

Elsewhere, the principal observation is that some particularly voracious moths (and their offspring) have dined well in here.

The carpets that remain are very moth-eaten and thread-bare. At the time of writing, the carcasses of the deceased lepidopterous culprits were both evident and numerous.

The carpets that are missing were, presumably, in an even more parlous state.

The door cards are pretty good, except right at the bottom, where the moths have clearly found the strip of carpet to be an irresistible amuse-bouche.

The dashboard, steering wheel, handbrake and gear selector are in reasonable condition.

We can’t make any claims about the functionality of the knobs, switches, dials, buttons, levers or other electrics as we haven’t tried to start the vehicle.

The boot is in fair condition, too, and contains a spare wheel and some tools.


In general, the undersides seem to have a decent amount of structural integrity, although there’s a lot of wax/bitumen in place so it’s difficult to be sure what’s underneath.

You’ll want to see for yourself and reach your own conclusion.

The engine and engine bay, although a bit dusty, are clean and dry, and everything appears to be in its right and proper place.

History Highlights

While there is no service history to go with the car and very few bits of paper attesting to the car’s history, it does have some previous tax discs and old V5s.

The car doesn’t come with a current MoT certificate or V5.

If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.

What We Think

With the proviso that we can’t vouch for the car’s mechanical and electrical status, we think this is a decent, low mileage example of both the marque and the model.

Yes, there are some cosmetic issues to attend to, but the underlying quality, rarity and pedigree of this 1971 DBSV8 should more than justify the time and effort required to help this fine vehicle reclaim all, most or some of its former glory.

We’re confident to offer this car for auction with an estimate of £35,000 - £50,000, plus Bonhams bond payment and £350 NOVA fee.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 65172
  • Chassis Number: DBSV8/10285/R
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Steering position: Right-hand drive
  • Colour: Red
  • Interior: Beige Leather
  • Estimated Price: £35,000 - £50,000

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