1969 Aston Martin DBS Vantage Manual


∙Three-owner DBS Vantage manual in stunning condition
∙Original bill of sale and loads of history
∙Factory-fit Webasto roof
∙One of 70 RHD cars made

The Background

Replacing a legend is never easy, but that was the task that Aston Martin set for Touring of Milan in 1966. The styling house was commissioned to design a replacement for the DB6, which carried the grace of a long lineage of David Brown-styled Astons. 

Alas, Touring went out of business before the redesign was complete, leaving Aston stuck with no replacement. It hastily commissioned William Towns to create a new car instead, which would begin a new long-term relationship for the company and lead to a generation of Aston Martins like none before. 

The new DBS was unveiled at Blenheim Palace on September 25, 1967, and was initially only intended for limited production. The DBS was planned to replace the DB6, but production of the latter did not stop until 1970, giving traditional Aston Martin fans some time to get used to the new square-edged styling. 

In its original guise the DBS retained Aston Martin’s six-cylinder, 3,995 cc engine, available in Standard or Vantage form as used in DB6. The original plan had been to use an all-new V8, but this was not ready in time.

The clean, modern lines of the new DBS found favour with many owners who required more interior space, and the car was a full four-seater. The adoption of a De Dion rear axle was a departure from previous models and the striking grille design was still unmistakably Aston Martin.

In order to counter the increased weight of DBS, the Vantage version boasted revised camshafts to boost performance by a further 60bhp, giving a total output of 325bhp. That’s impressive even by today’s standards!

The DBS also continued where the DB models had left off, with a starring role in the 1969 James Bond movie ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, starring George Lazenby as Bond. This was a one-off Bond appearance for both actor and car; and it would be another 18 years before 007 would drive an Aston Martin again.

This example is an absolute stunner – a genuine three-owner car with a comprehensive history and of a pedigree rarely offered on the open market.

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The History

Originally registered as VGX 4G, this car was supplied by HR Owen London to its first owner and is presented today more or less exactly as it left the factory, resplendent in Goodwood Green. It’s a matching numbers car (Chassis No DBS/5304/R Engine No 400/4030 SVC), which is backed up by the typewritten original bill of sale that comes with it. 

This states the car was a factory order DBS Vantage Saloon, specified with Fiamm Air Horns, Power Assisted Steering, a Radiomobile eight-track stereo and a sliding Tudor Webasto sunroof. All are still present.

The order also states that the car was to be Goodwood Green with Black Connolly hide – again, exactly as presented today. 

As well as the bill of sale, the same folder contains typed-up records of the car’s first two services with HR Owen in 1969 and 1970. It covered almost a third of its total mileage in that short period. 

The second owner acquired the vehicle in 1979, re-registered as MVU 773G and now in Hyde, Cheshire. Through two decades of ownership (and a move to Malvern, Worcestershire), he covered just under 10,000 miles but maintained it to the standard its pedigree deserved, something that was continued by his widow on his passing. The work lavished on the car included a bare metal respray and an engine rebuild, both by highly regarded marque specialists. 

It was purchased by the current owner last year with a view to long-term ownership and in the past 12 months he has ensured the car has received the same exacting level of care and maintenance, as evidenced by some more recent receipts. However, an overseas work posting has seen an unexpected change of plans, so the Aston is being offered to market. 

The Paperwork

We’ve already referenced the original bill of sale, but that’s only a small part of the stack of paperwork that comes with this car, all of which is stored in a Samsonite bag for the full James Bond effect. 

There are piles of bills, along with MOT certificates dating back to 1979. The fastidious second owner kept almost all of the papers relating to the car, and the Samsonite bag is full of artefacts. 

In recent years, there are receipts for the bare metal respray (£13,000+) and the £20,000 engine rebuild, while the most recent receipts are from April this year, when the car received an engine service, tune-up and fluid change. It has also recently had four new Continental tyres. The current keeper has spent over £4,000 on recent maintenance alone, adding to the car’s incredible provenance.

There’s a V5C in the current owner’s name showing the low ownership, and one from the previous owner backing this up. It also comes with the original operation manual. 

The Exterior

Those striking William Towns lines have aged beautifully, but no photograph can prepare you for how imposing this car is in the metal. It looks absolutely amazing, with its vast, flat bonnet, angular tail and C-pillar air vents. 

It looks absolutely stunning in Goodwood Green, the bare metal respray of a few years ago still retaining a beautiful finish, backed up by a recent deep clean and polish by a reputable bodyshop to bring out the best in its shine. 

There are a minimal number of imperfections on the car's brightwork, the rear bumper having some slight ripples. There are no dents or marks of any note elsewhere on the exterior though and the chrome wire wheels are absolutely superb. 

The underside of the car has a good application of underseal to continue to protect it, and it remains solid and sturdy with no evidence of any rot. 

All of the lights and badges are in good order, including an Aston Martin Owners’ Club grille emblem, while the Webasto roof is in similarly good condition and still operates perfectly.

The Interior

There’s a gentle patina to the interior, but it’s one of pure charm rather than wear. The seat facings are all superb and the current owner spent a fair chunk of money last year having all of the carpets retrimmed to original specification.

The dash is lovely, free from any cracks or damage, while the switches, door cards and wood inserts are all in good order, with only the very slightest signs of wear. 

Sadly, the eight-track player no longer works, but could easily be recommissioned by a classic car audio specialist for a very small outlay compared to the value of a car like this. The electric windows still function, while the twin cigar lighters (with two ashtrays per door, one for the front and one for the rear passengers) are a characterful sign of pre-‘woke’ times. 

The Mechanics

The previous owner’s widow barely used the car after the engine rebuild, so the current keeper has had the enjoyment of running it in and it runs beautifully and sounds amazing. It registers oil pressure of around 80psi just at idle (over 110psi in operation) and doesn’t smoke or rattle. 

It performs brilliantly on the road, and the vendor reports that there are no issues with the steering, suspension, brakes or manual transmission.

The twin exhaust system was supplied by PJ Longford ( Nottingham ) and was supplied with a lifetime guarantee. Although some years ago now, it remains leak free and amplifies the fantastic roar from the Vantage's four-litre straight-six.

The vendor also notes that even though it has a new Bosch battery, the car comes complete with a CTK battery conditioner to ensure car always starts the first time!

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The Appeal

The DBS is a car that has most definitely come to prominence in recent years, as one of the coolest and most desirable post-DB Astons. It was a car that marked a sea change for the company, moving away from tradition and towards a striking and brave new era, but with all of the long-standing Aston Martin virtues still well and truly apparent.

As such, it has become a collector’s car with pedigree of its own and there can be no mistaking the provenance of this example, which must be one of the most original, remarkable and historied DBS Vantages ever to appear  on open sale. 

The vendor is gutted that he has to sell and has even considered putting the car into storage until he returns to the UK, but has decided it deserves to be used and enjoyed by someone else. Whoever they are, it’ll leave them both shaken and stirred. It’s a stunner. 

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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1969
  • Make Aston Martin
  • Model DBS Vantage
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 89,452 Miles
  • Engine size 3995
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Norfolk
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
21 bids
  • Ma•••• £105,000 05/07/21
  • er•••• £100,000 05/07/21
  • vi•••• £97,500 05/07/21
  • er•••• £95,000 05/07/21
  • an•••• £90,000 05/07/21
  • er•••• £82,000 04/07/21
  • Su•••• £80,300 04/07/21
  • er•••• £75,000 01/07/21
  • vi•••• £72,500 01/07/21
  • er•••• £70,000 01/07/21

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