When launched in the mid sixties, the DB6 may have been marketed as a new car but its origins were firmly from the DB4 of 1958. The next car in the DB line needed to be a distinct leap into the future and address all of the failings of the older car.
In 1966, the Touring company showed their interpretation of a two seater spin-off of the DB6 called the DBS (retrospectively called the DBSC to avoid confusion) but is was not adopted by Aston Martin. A year later, another car also called the DBS was launched and this became the foundation for all Aston Martins for the next 23 years.
The 1967 DBS had been designed in house and powered by the familiar straight six 4 litre unit from the DB6 but with William Towns styling the car was a huge departure from the DB6. The look took obvious cues from American muscle car styling, its additional width was in readiness for a new V8 engine and the accommodation was for once actually large enough to accommodate 4 adults.
Despite these changes the DBS didn't sell quite as well as might have been hoped for. Performance was blunted by increased weight and frontal area and the knowledge that the DBS, as it was, was only a stop-gap until the V8 engine was ready for production didn't help sales. The car did prove a comfortable GT and remained available alongside the much more expensive DBS V8 until 1972.
The launch of the restyled AM V8 in 1972 also coincided with a stay of execution for the six cylinder engine. Contemporary styling and relative affordability allowed the AM Vantage another year of production.