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1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon
Registration no. JJW 100D
Chassis no. DB6/2650/R

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 was introduced in 1965, updating the DB5. Although recognisably related to the Touring-styled DB4 of 1958, the DB6 abandoned the 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 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. 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 tail lip halves the aerodynamic lift around maximum speed and brings in its train greater headroom and more luggage space," revealed Motor magazine, concluding that the DB6 was one of the finest sports cars it had tested. "The DB6 with its longer wheelbase and better headroom makes an Aston Martin available to the far wider four-seater market, and the design is in every way superior to the previous model. A purist might have though that the longer wheelbase would affect the near-perfect balance of the DB5, but if anything the DB6 is better."

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.

Motor clearly appreciated the power and poise of their test Vantage: "In an effortless way that few other cars can match, the DB6 makes an overall speed limit of 70mph look quite ridiculous. At its maximum speed of more than twice this, it is reassuringly stable, probably more so than many cars struggling to maintain their 70mph convoy speed. If you need to stop from high speed the brakes are outstandingly powerful, a point which really needs remembering if there is a less well endowed vehicle behind; and the handling in both wet and dry conditions is superior to all but a couple of the production two-seater sports cars we have tested."

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 was ordered new by Arthur White of Wolverhampton. A well-to-do gentleman, Mr White wanted a powerful yet relaxed Grand Tourer so he specified the unique combination of the more powerful Vantage engine and the optional automatic transmission. According to the original buff logbook, the Aston was first registered on 7th April 1966.

Mr White was fond of road trips and often drove the DB6 down to Dover, took the ferry to Calais and then drove to Paris for a weekend on the town. Wear in the passenger-side carpet (since repaired with new Wilton carpeting) was evidence of the many rides taken by the stiletto-wearing Mrs White to the next dinner party or other engagement.

According to expired MoTs on file, by 1976 the Whites had covered nearly 52,000 miles in the DB6, and they continued to add some 2,000 miles annually until Mr White's death in 1984, at which time the car was transferred briefly to his nephew before being acquired by a James Moody of Ithaca, New York State. Upon acquisition, the DB6 was shipped to the USA's East Coast in September 1986. While Stateside, only some 200 miles were covered.

The current owner acquired the Aston in November 2013 and used it for several years, adding only a few hundred miles to the total covered. Having restored previously a DB5 and a DB6, and preferring the feel of a restored car, he undertook a three-year, bare-metal restoration which was completed in 2018; he brought the car home to the UK in the summer of that year.

During restoration, the colour was changed from Sage Green to Silver Birch while the engine was rebuilt and enlarged to 4.2 litres capacity by the renowned engineering firm, Steel Wings of Pennsylvania. Steel Wings also rebuilt all the mechanicals and swapped the automatic transmission for an original ZF manual gearbox. They also fitted an upgraded radiator, upgraded brakes, and a handling kit, transforming the DB6 Vantage into a better-than-new example of this famous model. Possessing a beautiful patina of age, the original black Connolly leather interior has been retained. The steering wheel has been renewed and the original radio brought up to date by London Chrome with new electronics, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay. The original steering wheel accompanies the car together with the original toolbox and an owner's manual. Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned original logbook and expired MoTs; a current V5C Registration Certificate; and receipts relating to the three-year renovation.

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