The Author's DB6 MkII ARP 489J
"Why did you paint it orange?" I didn’t paint it, and it is not orange! Let’s face it, nobody in his or her right mind would take a perfectly sound Aston Martin DB6 and spray it yellow (or orange), would they?
By the end of the '60s however it seemed like a grand idea for three rebellious individuals to order their brand new DB6Mk2 saloon cars in the factory option of Bahama Yellow instead of the more usual silver, green or red. I believe these were the first Aston Martins delivered from the factory in this colour and it was then only continued with a few DBS cars, one of them being driven by the redoubtable Brett Sinclair in 'The Persuaders' [A British TV programme of the '70s starring Roger Moore (Aston), and Tony Curtis (red 246 Dino) - Ed]. Another Bahama Yellow DBS is still residing in Paris I believe, and a DBSV8 lives in Connecticut.
A similar butterscotch yellow was a popular colour with Porsche in the late sixties, with many a 912 model so finished with paint code No.6805. Aston's Bahama Yellow is a slightly peculiar colour in that it changes from bright yellow on a nice sunny day to an almost blood red orange according to the lighting conditions.
My Car: DB6Mk2/4312/R with Engine Number 400/4720
A home market DB6Mk2 saloon with SU carburetors and standard cams converted from automatic transmission to a ZF five-speed manual gearbox in 1998. Built 24th August 1970 and dispatched on 9th December 1970 to A&B Cars (Distributors) Limited, Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire. The price when new was £3,140 19s 3d plus purchase tax of GBP1,160 7s 0d. She was first registered in Northamptonshire. The windscreen carries a dealer sticker for Ian Anthony (Sales) Ltd in Lancashire but I am not quite sure of the connection here.
Agatha, the only one of these three cars with a dark brown interior, was purchased by me through Peter Stratford of Aston London in December 2001 from a well-known European Aston Martin collector. The car benefited from a great deal of work to improve her long distance continental touring ability, and that is precisely what I do with it. In hindsight, a left hand drive car would have made a bit more sense but I had been dreaming of owning a 6Mk2 since a teenager, so when this one came up, I just had to have it, irrespective of the colour.
Further work including sills and floor sections etc. has been carried out by Marksdanes Restorations during the winter lay-up periods. A number of modifications improve its real-world driveability and these include: Koni/Leda shock absorbers, stiffer springs and anti-roll bar, heat and sound insulation, original radio converted to FM with an MP3 jack for the iPod, fully stainless wheels and exhausts, unleaded, xenon lights, hazard flashers and negative earth. She is not a show car but not too shabby either.
ARP 489J next to Ian Marr's UKX 644J
Ian Marr’s Car: DB6Mk2/4241/R
An original manual Vantage Specification DB6Mk2. Built 13th March 1970 and dispatched on 7th December 1970 to Maurice Leo Ltd. Note the gap between these two dates. Ian bought his car with 31,000 miles from Mr. C.A.R.Elwell in 1975; it has now covered a total of 38,000 miles. Mr. Elwell who commentated and competed at Wiscombe Park then bought a V8 for his hill climbing exploits.
I tracked Ian down with the aid of the AML Millennium Calendar, which featured his car, and also with help from the AMOC register. I learnt that in 1999 the late Roger Stowers had asked Ian Marr if he could borrow the car for a photo shoot back at the factory in Newport Pagnell, believing it to be the only Bahama Yellow DB6Mk2 still in existence. I saw the calendar at Aston Service Hamburg whilst my car was being fettled for a thrashing down to Austria, Switzerland and France in 2003. We got our two cars back together for some photos at Ian’s house in Newport (Gwent) and then went to the pub for a chinwag and a very nice lunch; thank you. Ian’s car is one of those wonderful untouched time capsules with the only real modifications being a pair of Kenlowe fans, a couple of hoses and an AMOC badge.
Gus Pope’s Car: DB6Mk2FI/4232/L
This is the 1970 Geneva show car, originally built to AC Brico Fuel Injection specification with engine number 400/4559/FI and owned by Peter Livanos, subsequently built to VC Vantage specification with engine number 400/4941/VC. Built 20th February 1970 and dispatched on the same day to Perrin Imortateur, Aston Martin.
Tom Papadopoulos of Autosport Designs in New York was the previous owner and has provided a wealth of information on this car. Tom remembers Rex Woodgate driving it to the AMOC Lime Rock event in the late 1970s when he was still part of Aston Martin Lagonda North America. They even put a New York taxi monitor on the roof for photos. Prior to Tom’s ownership, the previously mentioned collector owned it from 1992 to 2001, as well as owning my car from 1997 to 2001. The RHD Bahama Yellow car was kept for his use in and around London whilst the LHD Bahama Yellow car was stationed in Hamburg for his continental driving. This has to be the ultimate in dedication, both to the marque and to the colour.
Gus Pope now owns this superb LHD car, which is in show condition and benefits from some further sensible modifications such as air-conditioning. Gus resides in the Cayman Islands and keeps the car at his other residence in Miami, Florida. Gus also has a Yellow (non original colour) early DB6 that he uses as a rally car in the UK and Europe.
Aston Services in Hamburg confirm that this LHD car was on Webers all the time they knew it. It could be Aston Martin Vintage Racing Services (Livanos) who converted it or maybe the factory did it right from the start, along with most of the other 46 cars so equipped with fuel injection.
I have been tempted to spray my car in a sensible colour but the Bahama Yellow has grown on me now and it usually gets a laugh, which has to be a good thing these days. If and when I do eventually grow up, I shall probably spray it silver.
Story/Photos - Robert Bennett with the kind help of Peter Stratford, Tom Papadopoulos and Ian Marr.
Editor's Note: Robert's DB6 is (reluctantly) for sale via Peter Stratford of Aston London. Click HERE for full details and...STOP PRESS...Tom Papadopoulos is selling #4232/L. Click HERE for a complete specification.