With development of the second-generation of DB 6-cylinder sports cars nearing its end, Aston Martin turned to the Italian Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, creator of the original DB4 of 1959, for the next model. Touring built a pair of two-seater prototypes, one right- and one left-hand drive (2661R and 2662L, respectively) which were displayed at the Paris, London, and Turin Motor Shows in 1966. The struggling Italian firm was already in receivership and would close at the end of the year, making these unique Aston Martins the last of its important commissions. Touring's Superleggera-bodied prototype 2662L had appeared on the Aston Martin stand at Earls Court, alongside the DB6 Volante, wearing DBS number plates, this break with existing nomenclature being justified by the fact that the "fast two-seater" was intended for only limited production. Logically, the mainstream production model that followed should have been called the DB7, but by the time it appeared in 1967, the press and public had got used to the name DBS, which was duly retained for the William Towns-designed four-seater. To avoid confusion, the Touring two-seaters were subsequently redesignated DBSC by the factory. Aston Martin's first two-seater since the DB4GT, the DBSC used a shortened and modified DB6 chassis, which had been re-engineered to accept the DeDion-type rear suspension that would appear on the production DBS. According to the AMOC, the stock wheelbase was retained but the 6-cylinder engine was mounted 10.5 inches further back in the chassis, while ZF supplied the 5-speed manual transmission. Nearly seven inches shorter and 5.5 inches lower than the DB6, the DBSC Coupe was said to weigh around 400 lb less than its progenitor. Intended to offer the ultimate in effortless high performance, it was fitted with the Vantage specification engine and easily eclipsed the larger and heavier DB6, itself no slouch, with a top speed in excess of 150 mph. Exhibited at the 1966 Turin Motor Show, Touring's right-hand-drive prototype, 2661R, is fitted with the 365-hp Vantage C-specification engine, while 2662L has the "ordinary" 325-hp Vantage unit installed. The DBSC Coupe was purchased by the current owner, who had gone to HR Owen to sample the current Aston Martins and was offered a drive by the chief salesman. He immediately realized that it was superior in every way to his DB4GT-faster and possessing better brakes and lighter steering, yet at the same time affording greater practicality thanks to the opening rear hatch. The sale was finally concluded in April 1969, at which time the odometer reading stood at about 8,000 miles, since when the vendor has added a further 6,000 or so. Teething troubles meant that the DBSC Coupe had to be returned to the Newport Pagnell factory three times to get the brakes set up correctly, but given its prototype status, that is hardly surprising. Driven regularly for the first few years of ownership, the Aston has spent the past 36 years in careful barn storage. Finished in Dubonnet Rosso with tan pigskin leather upholstery, this unique piece of Aston Martin history comes with a copy of the old-style logbook, copies of Aston Martin correspondence, current MoT certificate and Swansea V5 registration document. A new spare windscreen is included in the sale.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1966 Aston Martin DBSC
Years Produced:1966
Number Produced:2
Tune Up Cost:$900
Distributor Caps:$83
Chassis Number Location:Plate riveted to left side of scuttle
Engine Number Location:Stamped on right side of engine block
Alternatives:1966 Lamborghini Flying Star II, 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Drogo, 1962 Maserati 5000 GT Frua coupe
Investment Grade:B

This 1966 Aston Martin DBSC Coupe sold for $522,415, including buyer’s premium, at the Bonhams Goodwood Revival auction in Chichester, Sussex, England, on September 18, 2009.

Let’s not be blinded by the price tag here. The Italians never improved on Jaguar or Aston designs, with the exception of Zagato’s DB4GT. This is one of two prototypes built, before the factory shelved the project in order to concentrate its limited resources on developing the four-seater DBS.

As Bonhams said: “Any special coachbuilt motorcar is rightly regarded as highly coveted and desirable. It is even more so when connected to one of the most famous marques in the history of the motor car industry.” But let’s not run away with ourselves here. When new, it cost £8,900(about $29,000)-considerably more than a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, and the owner had to sell six other cars to finance it.

In a more attractive color than its sister, which is currently painted in a dowdy shade of maroon, this Aston Martin DBSC Coupe exuded a certain charm, from the Mazda Cosmo-like front end to the Virgil Exner-style taillamps. But a cocktail of ’60s design cues does not automatically improve on the original-in this case, a cohesive, elegant coupe designed by William Towns (with a nod to the first Camaro, as Towns admitted-park them together, and in profile they’re creepily similar).

Not much more than the dust blown off

As viewed at the sale, it was not long out of storage, with not much more than the dust blown off and was therefore unmolested, apart from time and the atmosphere, and was still largely as it had been put away almost four decades before. That storage must have been careful-or just lucky-because it was in much better shape than your regular barn find. The paint was mostly still on the car, just peeling a little at the edges, no serious corrosion was apparent, and the interior was un-mildewed. It looked as though you could have clipped a battery to it, fired up the straight-6 and driven it home. As is usually the case with notable, or “cherished” registration numbers, the one attached to this DBSC Coupe was retained by the vendor, though this makes no difference here, as the car left the U.K.-the big money is abroad right now.

Now, the big issue: This Coupe fetched about ten times the price of probably the best DBS on the planet. Why? Partly because it’s a real coachbuilt rarity and partly because the market’s not quite in its right mind at the moment. Another Aston, also unmolested and with long-term ownership, but this time the most historic example of a most popular and sought-after model, the DB2-and with cast-iron Le Mans class-winning history-brought only $388k more when it sold at RM London the following month. And that’s for a certified piece of motoring history.

As Dan Aykroyd’s Elwood said in “The Blues Brothers” of the Cadillac/microphone trade: “I can see that.” What I can’t see is this much money for an ugly duckling hiding an unloved engine/chassis combination. Dynamically, this might have been an improvement on the original, but I doubt this was really much lighter than the Newport Pagnell offering. And there is a tenuous Twiggy connection-she was supposed to have test-driven it-but not firm enough to make a difference here. Its perceived value must come from the fact that there are only two of them, and one of those isn’t for sale, the left-handed 2662L being tied up in long-term ownership. I’d call this extremely well sold; however, it must be said that if you think it’s too expensive, go find another.

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