Fans of the classic British TV series ‘The Persuaders’ will likely be bemoaning the fact that the DBS V8 pictured here is not finished in the same Bahama Yellow paint as the car that Lord Brett Sinclair — played by the late great Roger Moore — drove in the show. This one is Dubonnet Rosso, but, the 1970 Aston Martin was so beautiful that in fact any colour did it complete justice.
Designed by William Lyons and built at Newport Pagnell, the DBS was launched in 1967 with a squared off front grille and quad headlights and a new fastback style rear section but it retained a host of Aston’s traditional trademarks such as the bonnet scoop and side air vents. The four-seater should have left the factory with a new V8 but production problems put paid to that so it got the same 4.0-litre straight-six which was being used in the concurrently produced DB6, and it made 283 horsepower.
People loved its muscular looks, the luxurious fit and finish of the interior and the thrilling driving experience it afforded. The handling was excellent thanks to the independent suspension, coil spring/wishbones at the front and de Dion tube at the rear with Watt’s linkage and twin radius arms making it sporty but comfortable too. It was the perfect grand tourer which got even better once the long awaited V8 was finally ready and shoehorned into the engine bay in 1970 giving the world the DBS V8.
The new 5.3-litre boasted four overhead camshafts and Bosch electronic fuel injection making 315 ponies. For a while, the DBS V8 was the fastest four-seater production car in the world. The new V8 proved to be so good that it formed the basis of all Aston Martin power plants for the next two decades.
However, in spite of its newfound power, the DBS V8 essentially remained a classy GT rather than an out-and-out sportscar.
Other differences to the DBS included specially designed 15in’ GKN alloys (as opposed to wire wheels), ventilated brake discs and a Chrysler Toqueflite automatic offered as an alternative to the ZF five-speed manual. The model was replaced by the Aston Martin V8 in 1972.
Incidentally, the actual car from ‘The Persuaders’ fetched just under Dh4 million at auction in 2014 — but less famous versions can be had for around Dh700,000.