The culmination of Aston Martin’s long-running line of ‘DB’ six-cylinder sports saloons and thus considered by many to be the last ‘real’ Aston, the DB6 had been introduced in 1965, updating the DB5. Although recognisably related to the elegant, Touring-styled DB4 of 1958, the DB6 abandoned the Carrozzeria Touring-developed Superleggera body structure of its predecessors in favour of a conventional steel fabrication while retaining the aluminium outer panels.
Increased rear-seat space was the prime DB6 objective, so the wheelbase was now 4” longer than before, resulting in an extensive re-style 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. These many dimensional changes were integrated most successfully, the DB6’s overall length increasing by only 2”.
Indeed, but for the distinctive Kamm tail one might easily mistake it for a DB5.
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, complete with triple Webers. Borg-Warner automatic transmission was offered alongside the standard ZF five-speed gearbox, and for the first time there was optional power-assisted steering.
Autocar magazine found much to commend in the DB6 Vantage, remaking on the car’s much improved handling, outstanding adhesion, and exceptionally good braking figures. A mean maximum speed of 148mph was achieved, while the standing quarter-mile time of 14.5 seconds was the fastest the magazine had recorded for a four-seater. At 120mph the Aston was as effortlessly relaxed as other powerful cars at 80. ‘For high-speed open-road touring this Vantage DB6 is practically ideal,’ enthused Autocar’s scribe, and few would disagree.
It is an irony that, having brought the original DB4 concept to perfection in the form of the DB6, Aston Martin chose to change direction with the larger DBS and successor V8-engined models. Today the accomplished DB6, despite being the most evolved and practical of the original DB family is also, somewhat paradoxically, the most affordable.
This DB6 sports saloon, chassis number ‘3072/R’, was sold in May 1967 to its first owner, none other than Mr R Thomas , of Pinewood studios. Both Ralph and his brother Gerald are probably best remembered for the Carry On… film series, and his son is the Academy Award-winning film producer, Jeremy Thomas. Ralph is also is also known for directing the Doctor series of films, and other timeless classics including The 39 Steps (1959) – director and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1979).
Delivered new in Oystershell with red Connolly hide it was fitted with power steering and chrome wire wheels when new and fitted with automatic transmission.
According to the Aston Martin service records it returned to works service for a variety of warranty issues in 1968 at 5,700 miles and again in 1970 for a defective road wheel! New shock absorbers were fitted the same year.
The car changed hands to a D.A. Nicholas of Hertfordshire before changing hands again to its current registered keeper Dr Broadman in 1977. Purchased by him on the 3rd April 77 with 36,535 miles on the clock, Dr Broadman kept a petrol log of mileages and gallons consumed. This record extends to 1984 at 63,900.
Discovered by Coys specialists and with over four decades of single ownership this matching numbers DB6 is being offered on the open market for the very first time, it is a very rare beast indeed, and runs and drives.
With a little time and care this will be back on the road in all its glory , and with such a significant film star first owner , and such long-term single ownership this would make a rewarding restoration project for any collector or enthusiast.