Building The Ultimate DBS

1971 DBS Receives Restoration & Updates

In 1967 Aston Martin introduced the DBS. Powered by the same straight-six all-alloy, twin overhead cam 4-litre engine from its predecessor, producing a quoted 282 bhp. This larger GT car featured more modern styling and the wider body was better able to accommodate four adults.

Its increased weight reduced the performance somewhat over its sibling DB6 however it did offer refined handling with a near perfect 50:50 front:rear weight distribution. The DBS which offers a generous, opulent interior and boot space has spent much of its life viewed as an inferior model but as the value of classic cars continues to rise, the 40 year old model is becoming much more desirable. We believe their value will continue to rise significantly over the coming years as its lines appear evermore elegant.

We were approached in 2008 by a client with a tired example in faded red paint with the unrefined 3-speed automatic gearbox. A plan to build a very special DBS was drawn-up and work commenced immediately. What you see in these pictures is what we believe to be the ultimate specification DBS.

The engine and gearbox were removed and the engine bay stripped of parts. The body was taken back to bare metal and the chassis exposed for repair. All chassis and body repairs were carried out and an immaculate metallic black repaint was carried out. The suspension was rebuilt and engine bay restored. The car was then shod with new wheels and Avon’s superb road-legal CR-66Z historic race tyres. While this was being carried-out, an original ZF manual gearbox was sourced and rebuilt to replace the ageing Borg Warner automatic unit. The engine was uprated to Vantage specification on Weber carburettors with our 4.7 litre conversion. The car’s interior was renovated with Connolly treatment for the leather and re-trimmed with new black carpets. The original radio was rebuilt to offer FM frequencies and an mp3 player input. The addition of the all-important clutch pedal completed the car’s readiness for its muscular engine installation.

Originally RSW Specification
Power: 282 bhp 371 bhp
Torque: 288 lb-ft 371 lb-ft
Weight: 1588 kg 1588 kg
Power-to-weight: 177 bhp/ton 237 bhp/ton

Once complete and finished, it’s apparent upon turning the key that the old DBS has been transformed into a very different machine. Back was the crisp handling and improved markedly with new Koni dampers and Avon tyres. Cars with automatic transmission were built with taller differential ratios than that of the manual cars and so this car’s increased power and torque is complimented greatly by the longer legs offered by the differential. The Weber carburettors’ snarl hint at the potency of the engine when in light traffic and when the full performance is unleashed it’s soberingly apparent the continent-swallowing capabilities of this praiseworthy car. All this performance takes nothing away from the luxury of the smart cabin in the DBS which is a welcoming place to be. In the new restrained colour which accentuates the bright chrome trim, the elegance and sharp lines really highlight the exclusivity of the DBS and put it firmly amongst its older stable-mates as a highly desirable collectors’ car. Our client has recently taken delivery of his car and has given a glowing report of his car and delight. In fine fettle, it will continue to offer many years of thrilling motoring.

4 thoughts on “Building The Ultimate DBS

  1. Extremely nice and well executed. If it was mine I would have gone further. I would have updated the instruments with the current DBS’s instruments and seats. But that’s just me.

  2. This car should have a place as Bond’s ‘retro’ car in the new film. Imagine a knee-high camara shot of it pulling away on full throttle! And the sound….

  3. How lovely this car looks. My father ran a 1971 DBS Vantage from 1972 – 1977, covering about 50,000 miles over that period. Originally it was red, but he had it resprayed black in about 1975 – seeing these pictures evokes the best memories!

  4. Very nice to see the DBS being appreciated by an enthusiastic owner – I owned one in the 70’s, as did my late father, mine was serviced by RSW at Coldharbour Lane; great car and many fond memories!

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