1968 Aston Martin DB6
- Year of manufacture1968
- Chassis numberDBVC/3668/R
- Engine number400/3357
- Lot number236
- Number of seats2
- Exterior colourOther
- Fuel typePetrol
1968 Aston Martin DB6 'Mark 1' Volante
Registration no. FLG 516F (to be reapplied for)
Chassis no. DBVC/3668/R
Engine no. 400/3357
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.
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.
This manual-transmission DB6 Volante was sold new via H R Owen to Town and Commercial Developments Ltd of London W1. Its accompanying copy order form shows that the car was originally finished in Olive with Champagne Connolly hide interior trim, while chrome road wheels, 3-ear hubcaps, power aerial and a Motorola radio are the only items of non-standard equipment listed. The form records only one additional owner: W H Summers of Hampton Hall, Malpas, Cheshire. The original registration mark was 'SGT 641F'.
The Aston then passed through the hands of four further owners (all known), the colour being changed from Olive to red in the process, before being repurchased in February 1981 by the third of these: John Anthony Armstrong of Kerridge, Macclesfield. The registration was changed to '656 JAA' and the car comes with a full detailed history file relating to Mr Armstrong's ownership, including mileage, expenses, repairs and concours events attended from 1980 to 1987. The latter include Loton Park, Goodwood, Birtsmorton and Newport Pagnell, with 1st-in-class awards achieved at Loton and Birtsmorton.
On 1st June 1988 the DB6 was sold to its next owner, John Simcock of Compton Martin, Bristol and issued with another UK registration: 'FLG 516F'. The odometer reading at this time was 69,648 miles and all MoT certificates from 1987 to 2002 are on file. In February 1994 the car was sold to the next owner, Colin Sanders of Winchester (at 85,551 miles) and in 1995 underwent a complete re-spray in silver. In 1996 the Volante was used in the ITV series, 'The Ruth Rendell Mysteries', featuring in the episode 'Bribery and Corruption', screened in 1997. It also features in Neil F Murray's book 'On Aston Martin' (page 211). While in Mr Sanders' ownership the engine was full rebuilt by Ian Moss (at around 95,000 miles), a new rear axle installed, the front seats re-upholstered and a new hood made by an ex-Aston Martin coach trimmer. The DB6 was used regularly by Mr Sanders for trips to France and Spain.
In May 2002 the car was purchased by the immediately preceding owner, Philip Edwards of East Molesey, Surrey, at Bonhams' sale at Aston Martin Works Service (Lot 205), by which time the recorded mileage total had risen to 103,118. In 2003 the Aston underwent a full bare-metal re-spray in California Sage, an extremely expensive process that took seven months. At the same time the suspension and brakes were overhauled, the car converted from right- to left-hand drive, five new wire wheels fitted and a high torque starter motor added.
In August 2005 '3668/R' was sold to the current owner and imported into Belgium where the speedometer was changed from 'mph' to 'km/h', a legal requirement. At time of replacement the odometer reading was 106,300 miles and currently is 3,411 kilometres (original speedometer with car). Serviced regularly since then, the DB6 is described as in generally good condition with very good paintwork. Accompanying paperwork consists of an old-style logbook, expired MoT/tax (2002), Belgian registration papers, letter of conformity (issued by Aston Martin Belgium), V5 registration document slip, and a substantial history file of invoices, many dating back to 1968.