Car driven by Roger Moore's character Lord Brett Sinclair in the classic TV series
The Aston Martin DBS that featured in the British television series The Persuaders!, estimated at £350,000-550,000, will be offered at the Bonhams Aston Martin Works Sale on the 17th of May, 2014.
This famed Aston Martin was manufactured in 1970, with special modifications made specifically for its role in The Persuaders!, in which it featured prominently in almost all of the show's 24 episodes. Co-starring Roger Moore and Hollywood legend Tony Curtis, this TV series was to become the most expensive ever filmed to that time, shot in various glamorous European locales.
Both of the show's stars have autographed the car inside the boot lid – Roger Moore in 2003 and Tony Curtis in 2008 – and in each case the moment of signing was recorded.
Back in 1970, Aston Martin was invited by the producers to provide a car for Roger Moore in his role as Lord Brett Sinclair. Moore had expressed interest in the brand's DBS model, feeling it would be ideally suited to the character. With the decision made that Curtis' character was to drive a Ferrari, the cars were intended to be important elements within the show and central to much of the action.
Naturally, Aston Martin was only too happy to provide a car for such a high-profile actor and project, even providing a works mechanic throughout the production to make sure the car was always capable of performing at its best.
Since Aston Martin had so recently launched their latest DBS V8 model, it made sense that this was the car that should feature in the show. However, full production of this new V8 version had not yet got into its stride and one could not be made available in time for the start of filming. The decision was made to use a standard DBS six-cylinder engine, but build the car as a DBS V8 in all visual respects, as if wearing "make-up" for its starring TV role.
One standard DBS was at the time nearing completion on the production line, in the rare color of Bahama Yellow, and this was deemed an ideal candidate. The factory modifications were limited to V8 wheels and hubs, and V8 badging.
Fans of The Persuaders! will recall that the car always wore the personalized registration plates "BS 1" (for Brett Sinclair). However there was one scene in the episode "The Gold Napoleon" when the production team forgot to switch the plates, thereby revealing the car's real-life registration number "PPP 6H".
The Persuaders! was popular worldwide and remains so to this day with regular satellite TV re-runs. Roger Moore's DBS and Tony Curtis' Ferrari became a huge and distinctive part of the show and indeed many Aston Martin fans can trace their love of the marque back to watching the TV series in their youth.
After filming 24 episodes, Roger Moore was invited to take the role of James Bond and so The Persuaders! was concluded. By this stage, the series' DBS had covered about 5,000 miles and taken a fair amount of punishment during filming. It was returned to Aston Martin Works for servicing and then sold to its first private owner in 1971. Today, the car has had five owners in total, and has only ever changed hands via private sale without advertising, never via a dealer nor auction.
After 24 years and 70,000 miles at the hands of the first three private owners, by the mid-90s the car was looking rather the worse for wear. Its fourth owner consequently commissioned a total restoration by Aston Martin itself, requesting that the car be returned to the exact specification that had existed at the commencement of filming The Persuaders!. The car retains all its main original components and even the leather interior did not require replacement- and most notably it has been serviced every year since 1997 by Aston Martin Works engineers.
The Persuaders! DBS was one of only 49 cars worldwide (one of five Aston Martins) to be invited to participate in the 2013 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este at Lake Como, Italy. It has also participated at Salon Privè in London 2011 and 2013 and has played a key role in several Aston Martin Centenary events. To the best of the current owner's knowledge, the Persuaders! DBS had never been displayed in public prior to the Aston Martin Owners' Club Spring Concours in May 2011.
Offered on the open market for the first time in its 44 year history, the Persuaders! Aston Martin embodies the precious assets of truly iconic status, unique original specification, impeccable restoration by its own manufacturer (with whom it has also accumulated a perfect maintenance record), and superb running condition. One of the most famous and most desirable cars ever to carry the Aston Martin emblem, this sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a true automotive icon which is also of popular cultural significance.
The Bonhams Aston Martin Works Sale is held annually at the factory in Newport Pagnell, and is now in its 15th year. Last year's sale achieved a 100% sold rate and a record total of £10 million.