1971 Aston Martin DBS Vantage

Highlights 


  • One of only 317 RHD manuals made
  • Only 58,950 miles from new
  • Three owners from new
  • In family ownership for 39 years
  • Impressive history file including build sheet
  • Matching numbers


The Appeal


Based on a widened Aston Martin DB6 platform, the DBS’ elegant, crisp styling was an evolution of Aston Martin's iconic Grand Tourer. Debuting in 1967, it was a revelation compared to previous Astons and brought the company bang up-to-date with a package that could offer four full-sized seats in a stylish fastback design. It was powered by the DB6's silky 4.0-litre engine and featured the trademark Aston bonnet scoop, knock off wire wheels, side air vents and quad headlamps

Viewed as an introduction to the brand, the DBS Vantage allowed many more to appreciate the charms of an opulent, spacious tourer wearing the iconic Aston Martin badge.

This 1971 DBS Vantage manual is the Series 2 version, distinguished by the rear ventilation grille, and is further enhanced by the factory-optioned Weber carbs. It has only seen two documented previous keepers and has been with the same family since 1983. 

With an estimated £20,000 spent over that period, including a paint strip and respray in 1988, the car has also seen £1,600 worth of spending this year, including service and brake servo rebuild. 

The History and Paperwork


  • First registered in 1971
  • An impressive array of invoices stretching back to 1983
  • £1,600 spent this year
  • Three owners since new
  • Owned by the same family for almost 40 years, passed from father to son in 2008

The current keeper’s father bought the car with around 36,000 miles on the clock after it had spent a period of time in dry storage. Following the purchase in June 1983, it was given a little light recommissioning and used as a daily driver. Prior to this, it had spent its entire existence in the neighbourhood; the previous owner, who was listed as the car's second owner in 1976 was also known to the current owner.

The DBS comes with a fascinating body of invoices, including old V5’s stating all of its previous owners, a current V5, its original handbook, a copy of its original build sheet confirming its original HR Owen registration, as well as a handful of curious artefacts, that the owner has kept including a cigar stub belonging to the cars former mechanic, which is still in the driver's side astray as well as his father's sunglasses! 

The first registered keeper lived in nearby Aylesbury. The car has around £600 worth of maintenance invoices from the mid-80s, along with evidence of a Falcon stainless steel exhaust fitted later that decade. It was also subjected to a complete paint strip and new sills, which replaced its original special order Garrison Green finish to a Balmoral Metallic green, at a cost of £6,300 in 1988 by Hightone Restorations of Enstone.

The car was later resprayed again in the Almond Green finish you see now. Used until the mid-’90s, it was placed in storage until 2005. 

Around £15,000 was spent on the car to get it back to an acceptable working condition, with Chiltern Aston taking on the main share of the work. This included substantial brake, suspension, steering, clutch, fuel, carb and welding work. 

The maintenance and renewal of parts continued into the 2010s, with further welding taking place in 2013. The car was also treated to a set of wheels in 2015, courtesy of MWS at a cost of £2,200. The most recent work carried out includes £1,600 worth of brake overhauls and a service. 

Confirming its mileage and history, the car comes with all of its MOTs since 1983 – proving the vehicle has only covered approximately 23,000 miles since 1982. In fact, it has only covered around 300 miles during the last 6 years. Throughout this time it has been stored in a dry, sealed environment.

As the family is unable to now use the car as it should be used, it is surplus to requirements and so they are looking for a new owner to continue this lovely DBS' story. Please note that the private plate will not be part of the sale. 

The Interior


  • Very original interior
  • Tan leather upholstery
  • Original period LW/MW radio
  • Electric windows

This period cabin is a fantastic place to be, run through with the evocative aroma that only comes from decades-old luxury leather interiors. The dashboard is in good shape, with minor signs of age creeping in places, but nothing that would worry us. Clearly, the car has been carefully stored throughout its life, helping to maintain the interior quality. There are a few blemishes on the fascia, with some of the trim beginning to loosen, but with the exception of a minor split on the top of the dashboard, it is free of damage. 

The centre console presents in good condition, with very minor scuffs. The dials are all legible, with the switches and controls looking presentable. Wonderfully, the car retains its period LW/MW radio. 

All of the functions are said to work, although the owner has pointed out that the speedometer and rev counter can be erratic while the car is in motion and the dash-mounted clock does not function. The gear shifter and steering wheel have worn well and reflect well the vehicle's low mileage. The electric windows are fully operational.

Throughout the cabin, the upholstery is in fine condition, with expected levels of wear commensurate with the vehicle's age and use. The leather has seen periodic feeding over the years and there are no rips or significant damage noted. Some years ago, a slight tear in the driver's door leather was repaired – this could now be redone to a better standard, but still presents well.

Complementing the leather, the tan carpets are complete, clean and damp-free. Of course, they show signs of wear commensurate with their age as they are the original items, and the owner remarks that they could probably do with replacing. Similarly the door cards are in good shape, with only minor signs of age to be seen. Unusually for a car of this period, the headlining is in good shape, with no damage to the ribbed padding.

The boot is furnished with black carpet which displays a little more wear than the front items but is similarly dry and well-kept.

The leather, carpets and headlining would benefit from a valet, but other than this everything is in good shape.

The Exterior 


  • Overall excellent exterior finish
  • MWS knock-off wire wheels
  • Beautiful Almond Green paintwork

The DBS Vantage has always been a great looking vehicle - handsome, well-proportioned and muscular. This example appears to be in great shape too. Some elements of the structure have been welded over the years, the sills, jacking points and inner wings have all had some attention. 

Underneath, the floorpan has been coated with black inhibitor, which appears to have really protected it. There are minor signs of age coming through some of the underside, most notably light surface blemishes on the top of the wheel well in the engine bay, the bottom edges of the inner wings and the bottom on the sills, but overall this looks to be a very solid car. 

The front cradle and boot floor appear to be solid, with no issues noted on the suspension mounts either. Both the rear and front lower valances are in fine condition. The hand-formed aluminium exterior tells a positive story, with no significant worries in terms of the body. 

Usual areas that may cause concern (the base of the A-pillars, wings and door edges) all look solid and present well. In fact, all of the car's panels present very well and look straight, clean and undamaged. We saw no evidence of dents or scuffs, and the doors open and close without issues. It should be noted that the boot lid is unable to remain open without support, however. 

The paintwork has lasted exceptionally well, suggesting that the respray was money well spent. The finish reveals a decent lustre, with an even finish and equal coverage throughout the car - we saw no evidence of flat spots or significant age-related wear. 

There is very little in terms of chip damage too. The chrome is of a good standard, although both bumpers would benefit from re-chroming, with the underside of the front item in need of attention and the rear bumper showing a loss of sheen. 

The rest of the trim, including the sill covers, grille and window embellishments, look very good. All of the light lenses and glass elements are in good condition, although the bottom O/S corner of the windscreen has a small crack. 

Another notable highlight of the exterior condition is the stainless steel MWS-sourced knock-off wire wheels. They are in exceptionally good order having not seen much more than 1,000 miles of road use in their lifetime. They are complemented with a full set of Avon tyres, which are over 15 years old, but have similarly not done much more than 1,500 miles and therefore display plenty of tread. 

The Mechanics 


  • Manual SF 5-speed transmission
  • 4.0-litre DOHC straight-six
  • 325bhp twin-Weber option
  • Recent service and engine compression test
  • Well maintained 
 
While the car has seen only about 2,000 miles of open road over the last 15 years, the owner has kept on top of the mechanical aspects of the car, with around £2,500 spent on servicing and maintenance over that period. 

Starting well after a few turns, the owner tells us that the car has been tuned up, as well as having had an engine compression test and service earlier this year.

The 4.0-litre straight-six engine sounds robust, with the owner not reporting any engine temperature woes or issues with low oil pressure. They have used it on longer journeys at higher speeds and report that it cruises smoothly with no unwanted noises or vibrations. 

It idles with no undulations and with minimal exhaust fumes after the initial condensation. The owner also reports that the brakes have seen a considerable amount of recent attention (the servos have been removed, stripped and rebuilt) and now effectively stop the car without any issues. There are said to be no other problems with the car's ride, steering or handling.

The manual transmission slots through the gears without issues, with the clutch having been given some attention just 2,000 miles ago. The engine presentation is in line with the age of the car. Many of the hoses and ancillaries have clearly been replaced over the years, and there is only the slightest sign of some light oil weeping.

Some components, such as the air box, do show their age, but overall the engine is tidy. The 35-year-old Falcon stainless steel exhaust is still in good condition, and the car has been fitted with a set of bespoke polished tailpipes.

Summary


When it comes to stylish, captivating British cruisers with genuine touring capability for four - only a few names come to mind. Aston Martin is, of course, top of that tree. 

Finished in a unique and beautiful colour, with a great history, excellent original specification and that intoxicating straight-six with its heady exhaust note, this DBS Vantage is a cut above the rest. If you love your classics to be original, characterful and deeply handsome, you simply cannot do better than this. It's thrilling, it's gorgeous, it's desirable – quite simply, it's an Aston.



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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1970
  • Make Aston Martin
  • Model DBS Vantage
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 58,950 Miles
  • Engine size 3995
  • Town Worminghall
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Buckinghamshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
17 bids
  • rapidel•••• £76,000 12/08/22
  • ross.ch•••• £75,000 12/08/22
  • libero.•••• £72,000 12/08/22
  • Astrobo•••• £70,000 11/08/22
  • rapidel•••• £65,000 11/08/22
  • Astrobo•••• £62,000 11/08/22
  • ross.ch•••• £60,000 10/08/22
  • Anthony•••• £57,000 09/08/22
  • martin-•••• £56,500 08/08/22
  • rapidel•••• £55,000 08/08/22

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