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Aston Martin DBS and DBS V8 (1967 - 1972)

Last updated 3 April 2013

Great styling, and a very cool image; V8 engine a masterpiece
Those looking for old-school sporting Aston Martin thrills might be disappointed


Aston Martin headed into the 1970s with a bold new look. After years wedded to the DBs, and a series of evolutionary cars, a brand new coupe styled by William Towns was launched in 1967, initially to sell alongside the DB6. But the new car was more in keeping with Aston Martin's future direction - muscular looks, luxury equipment, and a driving experience more focused towards long distance (high speed) touring than racing round the English countryside.

The four-seat DBS was designed for a V8, but Aston’s own engine wasn’t ready in time for launch, so it ended up being powered by the DB6’s 4.0-litre straight-six. There were some complaints that with an additional 250kg on board, performance was blunted compared with the DB6, but as a GT coupe for four, the 140mph DBS was still more than adequate.

But the DBS truly arrived in 1969, once Tadek Marek’s impressive new quad-cam fuel-injected 5340cc V8 was shoehorned under the bonnet. Performance was lifted to DB6 Vantage levels, but with added V8 mid-range muscularity. But the DBS V8 remained a grand tourer than out-and-out sports car, and it was this car that Aston Martin would - essentially - stick with until 1989.

The DBS V8 was a proper Q-car, with little external difference between this and the straight-six. Alloy wheels and a discrete front air dam were the only giveaways. Although the V8 model was available from 1969, the six-cylinder
continued until 1973 as the entry-level Aston Martin.

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