The Bonhams auction is one of those rare times of the year when some of the most exotic classic vehicles are awaken from hibernation for whole world to see. This year, a special Aston Martin DBS was showcased at Bonhams and judging by its history as the DBS used in the British television series "The Persuaders!", you could understand why the car fetched for more than just a pretty penny.
The famed 1970 Aston Martin DBS that starred in the hit British television series was a popular model at Bonhams and the final price really validated its status as one of the most significant TV cars of its time. After all, nobody pays £533,500 for just any other Aston Martin from the 1970’s.
That figure also established a new world record for an Aston Martin DBS sold at auction. That’s a fitting designation for one of the few Aston Martins in history that people grew up watching on TV, beginning a love affair with the marquee that in its own way, has lasted the test of time and generations.
Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DBS.
The car still looks like a classic, doesn’t it? First built in 1970 to serve as Roger Moore’s vehicle in the Persuaders, this special DBS was given its first restoration in 1995 after 24 years on the road and 75,000 miles on the odometer.
Knowing just how rare the car was, the owner at that time, Mike Sanders, sent the DBS back to where it was originally created — Newport Pagnell — where it stayed for two years to undergo a complete overhaul. In its current setup, the DBS is now well over 40 years old yet it still commands the proper amount of respect.
The Bahama Yellow color of the body is still intact and the details of the car, particularly that sporty hood scoop and the V8 badging, remain looking good as new.
There aren’t a lot of 1970 Aston Martin DBS models still in existence today but this one is more than just a DBS. It has the iconic history of playing a pivotal role in the hit British show and to this day, it still looks as sharp as it was when Roger Moore drove it back in the day.
Exterior of the 1970 Aston Martin DBS
The first generation Aston Martin DBS was built with the intention of evolving Aston Martin’s lineup to have a more modern look relative to its predecessors, including the DB4 and the DB6. The latter, in particular, ended up becoming the predecessor of the DB6 and while the two models existed together for three years, the DBS was unique in its own right.
For one, it was designed with a fastback style rear section that was a new design characteristic of Aston Martin. The squared off front grille with the quad headlights set-up was specifically a new style for the company, largely used because of the seemingly growing fascination in the industry of that particular style in that particular time.
But even if Aston ventured into new design territory with the DBS, the model still carried a host of trademark company features, including the bonnet scoop, the side air vents, the larger air dams, and the noticeable absence of wire wheels.
The interior of the "Persuaders" DBS looks like what we also thought. All the pertinent features of its 70’s design are still there. The fancy leather seats and the enormous steering wheel are two that pop out the most. The distinctive dials are also present, evoking memories not only of the show, but of a time when Aston Martin was king of the automotive world.
On the flip side, this car doesn’t have all the technological gizmos and gadgetry that a lot of today’s vehicles have. Understandably so, because when you’re talking about a car with the history of this particular DBS, you’d want it to look as close to what it originally was when it was one of the world’s most influential celebrity TV cars.
Interior of the 1970 Aston Martin DBS
Take away the uniqueness of the Persuaders! DBS, a standard 1970 DBS still had that bespoke nature to it, a testament to the cache Aston Martin had as a premium car maker even back in those days. An interesting note was that the interior of the DBS was originally attributed to the Lagonda luxury saloon, but Aston Martin eventually decided to use a shorter but similar design on the DBS to accommodate its coupe-like architecture while also incorporateing individual fancy stitching throughout the cabin, particularly the dashboard cover and the seats.
Here’s a bit of history about the DBS from "The Persuaders!" While it did come with the look of a V-8-powered DBS back in the 70’s, it actually had the standard six-cylinder engine under its hood. Aston Martin did this because production of the new V-8-engined DBS was not completed in time for the start of the filming. So instead of just sending a six-cylinder DBS to the show, the British automaker decided to build the car using all of the looks of the V-8 model, even going so far as using V-8 elements like those 15-inch GKN alloy wheels and of course, the V-8 badging.
Yet for all of its V-8 attributes, the DBS from "The Persuaders" actually had a 4.0-liter, six-cylinder engine under its hood, one that produced 283 horsepower and and 288 pound-feet of torque. For comparison’s sake, the DBS V-8 carried a 5.3-liter eight-cylinder with 315 ponies.
Drivetrain of the 1970 Aston Martin DBS
Unlike the Persuaders DBS, V-8 powered 1970 DBS models also came into the scene around that time. These models carried a 5.4.-liter V-8 engine that produced around 315 horsepower, allowing it to hit 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds with a top speed of 168 mph. At one point in time, the DBS V8, as it came to be known, was the fastest four-seater production car in the world.
If you’re still looking to own this one-of-a-kind DBS, you’re out of luck. The car just fetched a handsome amount at a recent Bonhams auction, going for £533,500, which is about $900,000 based on current exchange rates.
Original Price of the 1970 Aston Martin DBS
When it first burst into the scene, the 1970 Aston Martin DBS sold for a price of $16,550.
The DBS’ Tag-Team Partner in the Persuaders
This isn’t so much a competitor as a nod towards this DBS’ own tag-team partner on the show, Tony Curtis’ Ferrari Dino 246GT. Similar in the way Roger Moore and Tony Curtis were partners in the show, the series was also famous for its two exotic vehicles, one of which is the Dino 246GT, a car that traces its roots as Ferrari’s tribute to Enzo’s son Alfredo Ferrari, more commonly known as Dino, who died in 1956 from muscular dystrophy.
The Dino 246 GT made its official debut at the Turin Show in November 1969, although the production run had already commenced. Like most of the Ferrari models it was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti at the Maranello assembly facility.
The 246 GT Dino used a 2.5-liter, V-6 engine with a total output of 195 horsepower. The engine was mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Gallery Ferrari Dino 246 GT
TV and movie cars are often very desirable, depending on how famous the show or movie was. Some are forgotten pretty quickly and then some last the test of time, retaining their relevance with pop culture and auto enthusiasts years after their time in front of the cameras.
The Aston Martin DBS from the Persuaders falls in the latter category, which is why it wasn’t surprising that the car fetched almost $1 million in Bonhams.
People pay good money for Aston Martins, especially those driven by Roger Moore.
- Looks like a beauty
- Well-kept restoration
- Still has some power under its hood
- Already sold for a lot of money
- If you have $1 million, would you really spend it on this model?
- Maintanence would be a pain in the pockets
Gallery Aston Martin DBS
In its 15th year Bonhams Aston Martin Works sale totals at £8.7 million Roger Moore’s ’The Persuaders!’ Aston Martin DBS sets world record for DBS sold at auction, selling for £533,500. Elsewhere ’Barn Find Corner’ sells out, and a project car sells at four times its estimate totaling £393,500
In its 15th year, Bonhams annual auction at the Aston Martin Works totaled £8.7 million, selling over one hundred lots of collectable automobilia alongside almost 50 motor cars, the largest number Bonhams have ever had at the Aston Martin sale.
The top lot, a very rare DB6 Mark 2 Volante sold at £757,500. An unsurprisingly popular model from the marque, the Volante sold is one of only 21 examples built.
The famed 1970 Aston Martin DBS which starred in the hit British television series The Persuaders! held pride of place at the front of the auction hall, attracting immense interest from fans of the show and Aston Martin enthusiasts alike, selling at £533,500 and setting a new world record for an Aston Martin DBS sold at auction.
The famed DBS was specially modified specifically for its role in The Persuaders!, in which it featured prominently in almost all of the show’s 24 episodes. Co-starring Roger Moore and Hollywood legend Tony Curtis, the car was arguably the third ’star’ of the hit series, a motoring icon from the 70s.
Meanwhile, lot 216, the factory Vantage prototype ’DP217’ 1963 Aston Martin DB5 project exceeded all expectations. Selling for £393,500 – over four times its highest estimate – as the gavel came down the closing bid was met with applause from the room.
James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director, said: "We’ve had glorious weather, excellent hospitality, and some truly stunning motorcars starring in today’s auction.
"The sale has been one of surprise and delight. From selling a DB5 Sports Saloon project at four times its estimate, to setting world records with ’star’ car, The Persuaders! Aston Martin DBS.
"As ever, in its 15th year the Aston Martin Works sale has been truly tremendous. After 15 years of running this sale we still continue to enjoy our very special partnership with Aston Martin, working collectively to deliver the right results for the brand and our clients."
Paul Spires, General Sales Manager at Aston Martin Works, said: "The Bonhams auction weekend has once again more than lived up to expectations. The uniquely sociable ’garden party’ atmosphere certainly seems to have helped some of the 2,500 or so people who joined us here at Newport Pagnell take the plunge.
"With many exceptional sports cars sold, and bids coming in from right around the world, it’s clear that Bonhams’ Aston Martin Sale is, more than ever, a key fixture of the classic car world."