Considered by many to be the last ‘real’ Aston Martin, the DB6 was launched in 1965, updating the DB5. Although Royal patronage of the marque undoubtedly helped DB6 sales, the car arrived at a difficult time for Aston Martin, with the home economy in a parlous state and the US market subject to ever-more restrictive legislation.
Though recognisably related to its Touring-styled DB4 ancestor, the DB6 abandoned the underlying Superleggera body structure of its predecessors in favour of a conventional steel fabrication while retaining the aluminium outer panels. Somewhat confusingly, ‘Superleggera’ badges continued to be applied for a time, presumably until stocks ran out. The wheelbase was now 4” (100mm) longer than before, resulting in an extensive restyle with more-raked windscreen, raised roofline and reshaped rear quarter windows. Opening front quarter lights made a reappearance but the major change was at the rear where a Kamm-style tail with spoiler improved the aerodynamics, greatly enhancing stability at high speeds. ‘The tail lip halves the aerodynamic lift around maximum speed and brings in its train greater headroom and more luggage space,’ declared Motor magazine, concluding that the DB6 was one of the finest sports cars it had ever tested.
The Tadek Marek-designed six-cylinder engine had been enlarged to 3,995cc for the preceding DB5 and remained unchanged. Power output on triple SU carburettors was 282bhp, rising to 325bhp in Vantage specification. Borg-Warner automatic transmission was offered alongside the standard ZF five-speed gearbox, and for the first time there was optional power-assisted steering.
Premiered at the 1965 London Motor Show, the convertible DB6 marked the first occasion the evocative ‘Volante’ name had been applied to a soft-top Aston Martin. After 37 Volante convertibles had been completed on the DB5 short-wheelbase chassis, the model adopted the longer DB6 chassis in October 1966, first appearing in its definitive form at the London Motor Show.
The stylish Volante offered four-seat accommodation and was generously appointed with leather upholstery, deep-pile carpets, an aircraft-style instrument cluster and an electrically operated hood.
In the summer of 1969 the Mark 2 DB6 was announced in saloon and convertible versions. Distinguishable by its flared wheel arches and DBS wheels, the DB6 Mark 2 came with power-assisted steering as standard and could be ordered with AE Brico electronic fuel injection. Between 1965 and 1970 when production ceased a total of 1,575 DB6 saloons was completed. During this time the factory made only 178 of the long-wheelbase Volantes and today these rare cars are among the most sought after of David Brown-era Aston Martins.
One of only 140 Volante-specification examples of the DB6, this wonderful motor car was first registered by H.R.Owen to a Mr. I.M. Stoller of London W1 in September of 1968, ordered in Platinum with a Dark Blue leather interior and convertible roof. It is believed Mr. Stoller exported his beloved Aston abroad for a number of years before the car was repatriated in 1979 and via Mr. Philip Hatulja sold to a Mr. Graham Wilkins, who owned the DB6 for a further 7 years before selling to specialist R.S. Williams in 1986. R.S. Williams sold the DB6 in 1987 to a Mr. Giles Swarbeck, who owned the Aston for a further 7 years before passing to Mr. Mogens Skjelmose, who enjoyed his Aston for a further 5 years before selling to Richard Meins, a well-known participant in historic motorsport, who went on to own the car into the 2000s. The current owner, a prolific collector and enthusiast with a comprehensive collection, has decided after a few years of enjoyable ownership to hand his DB6 over to a new custodian.
Finished in Oxford Blue with a matching blue leather interior and hood, the DB6 has enjoyed an older restoration which has mellowed beautifully in the intervening years.
The Aston is offered with a comprehensive history file containing a number of current and older registration documents, a copy of the original build sheet, current and older MoT certificates, and copies of invoices for previous works completed (from the likes of specialists such as Desmond Smail, and Ken Shergold amongst others).
Ready to be driven and enjoyed, this elegant soft-top Aston Martin is surely the perfect way to enjoy the wonderful summer months.