(1969 - 1972)

Formally known by the AMOC as V8 series 1

The DBS was obviously designed to accept the V8 engine that AML had tried out unsuccessfully at Le Mans in 1967. But it wasn't until the Spring of 1970 that the Tadek Marek designed powerful V8 engine was available in the William Towns styled DBS V8.


One of the few external differences from the six cylinder model is the larger front air dam. Another distinguishing feature of the V8 are the alloy wheels, the wire wheels could never handle the mighty torque of the engine. One must remember that a certain six cylinder car also had alloy wheels and DBS V8 badges. The gold car (BS1) as driven by Roger Moore in the series The Persuaders. So that it appeared that Roger was driving the recently unveiled car, the DBS was modified just for filming even though the V8 was already then available. Demand for the new car was so great that all production cars were allocated to eager buyers and AML could not spare a single one for the TV programme.

The 5340cc V8 engine, initially fitted with Bosch fuel injection, was powerful enough to propel the car to almost 160mph; and 0 to 60mph in 5.9 seconds. Power outputs were not quoted but was probably around 310 to 320bhp. At the time this was one of the fastest production cars in the world.

The side profile of a DBSV8 shows clearly the coke bottle shape of the rear. The tail lights are from the humble Hillman Hunter. The DBSV8 (once retrospectively known by the AMOC as the Series 1), built between April 1970 and May 1972 managed 402 examples before being replaced by the restyled AM V8 (Bosch f.i. or Series 2).

  • Body/Coachwork:
    • 2 door 2+2 coupe
    • Steel platform chassis with handcrafted aluminium alloy body panels
    • Four Lucas 5.5 ” quartz-iodine headlamps within full width grille
  • Interior:
    • Connolly or Bridge or Weir leather interior, optional Parkertex (Draylon)
    • Standard interior heater. Coolaire air-conditioning system initially optional then standard fitment from late 1971
    • Adjustable seats with tilting squabs to allow access to the rear seats
    • Stereo radio, optional Voxson 8 track stereo
  • Engine:
    • Front mounted all-alloy 90° V8, 5,340 cc, two-valves-per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per bank. Engine number prefix V540/
    • Bore 100 mm. Stroke 85 mm. Compression ratio 9.0 : 1 (8.3 : 1 on /EE engine)
    • Bosch PES 8KL mechanical fuel injection system. Fuel supplied by Bosch OF 602 electric, vane type, pump
    • Maximum power: not quoted at the time but now believed to be upto 320 bhp @ 5,800rpm (250 bhp with EE engine)
    • Maximum torque: 360 lb.ft @ 4500 rpm
    • Ignition System: Lucas ‘OPUS’ Mk 2 electronic. 12 volt coil and engine driven Lucas 35D8 distributor Ignition advance/retard system on /EE engine
  • Transmission:
    • Automatic :Chrysler Torqueflite 3 speed automatic
    • Manual: 5 speed ZF. Hydraulically operated 10½” Borg and Beck single dry-plate diaphragm clutch
    • Final drive: Salisbury hypoid bevel with Powr-Lok limited slip differential. Final drive ratio: 3.33 : 1. manual cars 3.54 : 1. Optional alternative axle ratio for manual cars 3.33 : 1 Automatic box 2.88 : 1
  • Steering:
    • Power assisted Adwest rack and pinion, 2.85 turns lock to lock. Turning circle 11.58 metres
  • Wheels and tyres:
    • Bolt-on, 5 stud GKN Kent 15 x 7 ” light alloy wheels
    • Pirelli Cinturato GR70 VR15 radial low profile tyres
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Independent, unequal transverse wishbones, coil springs and co-axial Armstrong telescopic shock absorbers with an anti-roll bar
    • Rear: De Dion axle tube located by parallel trailing links and a Watts linkage. Coil springs and damped by Armstrong ‘Selectaride’ DAS 12 PXP double-acting lever shock absorbers (to 1971)
  • Brakes:
    • Front: Girling, ventilated discs, 10.75″ diameter
    • Rear: Girling, Inboard ventilated steel discs, 10.38” diameter
    • Tandem master cylinders and dual vacuum servo assistance
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 4,585 mm
    • Width: 1,829 mm
    • Height: 1,327 mm
    • Wheelbase: 2,610 mm
    • Front track: 1,499 mm
    • Rear track: 1,499 mm
    • Kerb Weight: 1,727 kg
    • Fuel tank capacity: 95.4 litres
  • Performance:
    • Acceleration: 0-60 m.p.h 5.9 seconds (manual)
    • Acceleration 0-100 m.p.h 13.8 seconds (manual)
    • Maximum speed: 162 mph (manual, 1 : 3.54 back axle)
  • Price at launch:
    • 1969: £6,897
    • 1970: £7,501
    • 1971: £7,797
    • 1972: £8,749