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Aston Martin DBS twins emerge from barn

Wed, 02 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Forgotten Aston Martins still turn up in barns and garages all over with world with some regularity, though rarely are they identical twins. This pair of DBS coupes emerged from more than a decade of storage in a barn just recently, and if it weren't for the license plates, we'd have trouble telling them apart.

These two come from a large private collection, but both were tucked away after being acquired in largely original condition more than 10 years ago. The consignor is selling the pair due to health issues, and they've just been wheeled out of the barn and taken to a garage to be examined on the lift, which is where they were photographed for the first time in a decade.

The first car, plated CAU 128H, is a 1969 DBS Vantage and happens to be a rare manual-transmission example. Only 70 were built in right-hand drive coupled with a manual transmission -- after all, these were large touring cars preferred by European playboys for long drives to the south of France, and automatic transmissions were a popular option. This particular example is claimed to be largely untouched, and despite the lengthy storage, its engine is said to turn over. Included with the car is a very detailed history file that dates back to the car's delivery date, along with an original warranty card and an owner's handbook.

Silverstone Auctions
The DBS cars started out with straight-six engines from the AM DB6.

This is a straight-six version of the DBS, and it's had just two prior owners in its history. First registered in August of 1969, it was a dealership demonstrator for HR Owen in London, before it was first purchased by a Mr. J. Boneham in December of 1969. He kept the car for 28 years, having the Aston Martin factory in Newport Pagnell perform scheduled services until the late 1970s. In the 1980s, it was serviced by a well-known specialist shop, Robin Hamilton Ltd. This example was passed on to its second owner in 1997, who kept the car for five years until it found its way into the stash of the current consignor. This example is expected to fetch between $33,000 and $42,000.

Silverstone Auctions
The paint is in good condition, whether all of it is original or not.

The second car, plated EGU 29H, is a 1970 DBS equipped with the 5.0-liter V8 engine that the company didn't have ready for the initial debut of the model in 1967. This is another early example, this time from the fourth year of production, and it has just 27,700 miles on the clock. Finished in Dubonet Rosso over tan leather, this DBS has survived its dormancy remarkably well, but will obviously need a few things attended to after the dust is cleaned off. The most recent work performed on this car included bodywork repairs like new doorsills and a new floorpan, which were mended in 2001, and a gearbox replacement in 1999. This car still presents well in photos, though will obviously need a thorough recommissioning. This V8 example is estimated identically to the straight-six DBS above: between $33,000 and $42,000, and should be a bit of a bargain if it's snatched up anywhere near the bottom estimate.

Silverstone Auctions
The interior of the V8 has held up nicely.

"Twins" appear at auctions quite a bit, but we don't see too many barn-stored cars with similar histories and colors, and we don't dismiss the possibility of these going to the same buyer who might choose to flip them after a thorough reconditioning. DBS values have been inching up, and a few thousand dollars thrown at these might yield a nice return in a couple years time, especially if they're picked up for a bargain. The reserve for each car is set at

By Jay Ramey