With No Time to Die, the name of the next Bond film, recently announced, cast your mind back to 2006. It was actor Daniel Craig’s debut outing as 007 but also the year his then new car, the Aston Martin DBS, was first glimpsed.
The film did wonders for sales of the DB9-based coupé. (One dealer recalls taking 30 orders but with only eight cars earmarked for his dealership.) Of course, a couple of years later, there was the 2008 recession but, even so, demand remained strong and values of used DBSs held firm – until now.
The number of unsold DBSs is rising for the first time, forcing down their prices. The reason? Faltering market confidence, heavy discounting of less well-received newer Astons and the fact that, compared with something like the new and competitively priced Vantage, the DBS seems dated.
As an example, Stefan Jordan, sales manager of Fisher Performance Cars, says that in February 2018, he was advertising a customer’s 11,000-mile 2011 DBS Carbon Black Touchtronic II for £118,000. He was offered £110,000 and advised his client to accept it, but the chap wouldn’t accept anything less than £115,000. Last week, Jordan finally sold the car to a collector, a man who knows his Astons and the market, for £85,000.
“Right now, it’s a buyer’s market,” says Jordan. “One major classified site is showing around 40 DBSs for sale, well over twice the number you’d have seen advertised a year ago. That’s pushing down prices and any seller who hasn’t woken up to that is in for a shock. However, it’s hard to believe they’ll fall much lower, which is why that collector snapped up my customer’s car.”
But enough economics. The DBS was launched in 2007 and the first cars hit the road in 2008. Although based on the DB9, the DBS was lighter, had ceramic brakes, adaptive damping and 20in wheels and its 5.9-litre V12 produced 510bhp, 40bhp more than the DB9 had at the time.
The first DBSs were coupés with a manual gearbox, two seats and a parcel shelf. A 2+2 cabin was an expensive (£11,000) and rarely requested option. The last manual car was produced in 2011. The six-speed Touchtronic II automatic variant arrived in 2008 and had a 2+2 interior as standard. It was the bigger seller but today it’s the rare manual variant that commands the higher prices. A Volante convertible version landed in 2009 but enthusiasts prefer the coupé.