1969 ASTON MARTIN DBS Vantage .View vehicle description
The timeless elegance and curvaceous beauty of the DB series took a dramatic turn in a new and angular direction with the introduction of the DBS in 1967. The flowing curves of the DB6 were ditched in favour of far more contemporary ‘origami’ lines. Though it wasn’t initially planned that way. Touring of Milan had been commissioned to pen the new Aston and yet the two prototypes it made were deemed a disappointment. Old fashioned and lacking the impact demanded of a Newport Pagnell product. Instead, a competing design from Aston’s own William Towns was chosen. Shortly after this, Touring went belly up.
Designed from the off to be powered by an all-new and revolutionary double-overhead camshaft V8 engine – the crowning achievement of Aston’s master engineer Tadek Marek – the new motor wasn’t ready until 1969. That left the new DBS six-cylinder powered for the first two years of its production. Said six-pot was the DB6’s old twin-cam engine. Hardly a lump but not quite up to the 160mph potential that the DBS V8 would soon achieve.
First registered on August 29th 1969, this DBS features several desirable options, first and foremost being it’s a Vantage; that means a heavily tuned engine. An upped compression ratio of 9.4:1, spikier camshafts and triple 45DCOE Weber carburettors all amount to 325bhp. Boxes were also ticked by the first owner for power steering, a Radiomobile err radio and Fiamm horns.
This DBS Vantage has been the subject of a full metal repaint and restoration in the late-1980s and a further and extensive mechanical refresh in 2020. The history shows that it’s returned to Aston Martin Works Service in the early days (1971 for a full service under its second owner) with frequent trips thereafter to marque specialists The Aston Workshop and Adrian Johnson; the former actually sold the car to its fourth owner in 2006. The vendor reports that the car remains ‘delightfully original’ despite the remedial work carried out to date.
On the Outside
Finished in an exceptionally attractive shade of Pacific Blue, this DBS presents very well, especially when considering its bare-metal repaint was conducted more than thirty-years ago. The sills were replaced at the same time as the body was painted, curing this common rust trap. We weren’t able to see under the sill trims but a look under the car didn’t seem to reveal anything untoward. Having covered precious few miles and remaining in dry storage for the majority of the intervening decades, we doubt there’s anything to worry about.
The front valance has taken a few knocks over the years and has some correspondingly small areas of surface corrosion and paint dulling. The front bumper has a similar dent to its offside that’s caused it to bend a little. This is most evident by the fit being clearly tighter to the headlight on the nearside than the offside. It’s also easily seen looking at the offside profile as both front and rear bumper wraparound sections aren’t hanging straight. Though the chrome finish isn’t perfect on the rear, the front is in largely good shape, as is grille and the brightwork in general.
The paint still has a deep shine as does the chrome on the majority of those stunning wire wheels (the spare is showing its age a little) with the overall impression exuded by this Aston being one of beauty and care. However, we did find a couple more marks around the body worth noting. There’s a small dent to the nearside front wing and another tiny section of damage to the right-hand edge of the bonnet where it meets the scuttle.
On the Inside
‘Natural’ Connolly leather hide upholstery to the front seats and rear bench is complimented by ‘Fawn’ carpets in a shade called Woburn Sand. The cabin has clearly benefitted from being kept away from too much sun, as its plastics and vinyl remain in excellent shape. The switches, dials, console and vents also all appear in excellent condition. The only real wear worth noting in the cabin can be found on the front seats. The bases of which have that lovely creased patina that old leather gets. The back rest on the driver’s side has started to crack, however, but it’s up to you to decide whether that’s something worthy of a retrim or simply feeding and leaving exactly as it is.
The nearside rear ‘door card’ edge shows a couple of small marks from careless entry or exit of back-seat passengers. There’s also a tear to the door rubber on the same side and a similar torn patch of fabric on the closing section of the nearside door card. The pleated headlining still looks wonderful. Really, we’re picking somewhat minor faults with what is overall a very fine cabin indeed and does its five previous owners proud. Even a glance under those lovely carpets doesn’t reveal any nasties, though we did find a little surface rust to the front of the nearside floor.
There’s a little corrosion peeking out of the underseal on the boot floor, in between the exhausts, and some further surface crud and overspray on the front subframe. Elsewhere it’s a little harder to tell if there’s any additional corrosion as there’s still a lot of underseal in place, likely from the car’s 1980s bare-metal restoration. Koni suspension has been fitted throughout and there’s evidence in the history of this vital handling upgrade.
A note in the history from a previous owner – who went to the trouble of totalling up the expenditure of both the cosmetic (1987) and mechanical (2020) refresh – put the total spent on restoring this car in excess of £50k. The latter work, carried out by Adrian Johnson, was to ensure that the car drove exactly as Aston Martin intended, and that it wanted for nothing. As a result of this mammoth £15,135.22 recommission, the car is now a delight to drive.
Further back in the history, but still recent enough to be relevant, Aston Workshop went through the car top to bottom in 2006 with an accompanying invoice for £7912.39. Bringing things up-to-date, a genuine Mota-Lita steering wheel was purchased for the princely sum of £288 in 2020. Also last year, a new set of tyres were purchased. These period-correct but brand-new boots cost a far from inconsiderable £1329.30.
What We Think
This Aston Martin DBS Vantage seems to have led a charmed existence. Its previous owners all used it sparingly, keeping its mileage low and at least two of them dug deep to give it the care a car of this pedigree deserves. The paintjob appears to have been carried out to a high standard as the finish remains eye-catching today.
The big bills for the mechanical work are very heartening to see especially as they’ve been done by some of the big names in the world of vintage Aston Martins. The remaining imperfections don’t detract from the pleasure of beholding and driving this glorious British brute and as a result, we’ve no qualms in placing the reserve on this fabulous DBS Vantage at between £120,000 and £140,000.
Viewing is always encouraged, within Govt. guidelines of course, and as stated this car is located at our Abingdon headquarters; we are open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm and to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing to make an appointment. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
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