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 the David Brown-era Aston Martins.
One of only 140 Volante-specification examples of the DB6, this wonderful motor car was supplied new by official Aston Martin dealer HW Motors Limited of Walton on Thames. Acquiring the car in 1973 a Mr Streeter of London was the second custodian for 43 years until the current vendor acquired the car more recently in 2016.
The current owner, a prolific collector and enthusiast with a comprehensive collection, has decided after a couple of years of enjoyable ownership to hand his DB6 over to a new custodian.
Originally ordered in Pacific Blue with a natural beige leather interior and tan hood, the DB6 has been meticulously maintained with bills and invoices of work from 1975.
This wonderful matching numbers Aston is offered with the original factory jack and factory toolkit. Also accompanying the DB6 is a comprehensive history file containing a copy of the original build sheet, current and older MoT certificates, original workshop and instruction manuals and copies of invoices for previous works completed (from the likes of specialists such as Ian Mason, and Aston Martin amongst others).
Offered with its original registration number, the example on offer is ready to be driven and enjoyed, this elegant soft-top Aston Martin is surely the perfect way to enjoy the wonderful summer months.