1969 Aston Martin DB6
- Year of manufacture1969
- Chassis numberDBVC/3737/R
- Engine number400/4189
- Lot number220
- Number of seats2
- Exterior colourOther
- Fuel typePetrol
1969 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
Registration no. YPD 6G
Chassis no. DBVC/3737/R
Engine no. 400/4189
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 wheelarches 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 David Brown-era Aston Martins.
The third from last of the 140 DB6 Volantes Mark 1s made, this beautiful right-hand drive example has the desirable ZF five-speed manual-transmission. '3737/R' was originally completed in June 1969 finished in Roman Purple - a very rare colour - with red Connolly hide interior. It was equipped with power assisted steering while other items of non-standard equipment fitted by the factory include chrome road wheels, three-ear hubcaps, power operated aerial, front seat belts, two detachable headrests and a Bray immersion heater. The Aston was supplied via H W Motors Ltd and registered 'YPD 6G'.
Its first owner was the distinguished parliamentarian the Rt Hon Sir Bryant Godman Irvine MP, at that time resident at Ote Hall, Burgess Hill, Sussex. Born in Canada, Bryant Godman Irvine practised as a barrister until WW2 when he enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, serving as a Lieutenant Commander. Resuming his legal career at the war's end, he was elected the Conservative MP for Rye in 1955 and went on to occupy various junior governmental positions over the succeeding 27 years. His finished his parliamentary career as Deputy Speaker and, having left parliament, was knighted in 1986. He died in 1992 and the DB6 was inherited by his daughter, Mrs Carola Law. The history file contains some interesting correspondence between Sir Bryant Godman Irvine and HWM.
Mrs Law kept the Aston for the next 12 years, entrusting its care to local marque specialists Newlands Motors of Forest Row, East Sussex; she was clearly a most fastidious owner, as evidenced by the well over 30 invoices from Newlands contained within the history file. These invoices show the mileage total increasing from 32,713 in 1994 to 43,996 in 2004, a total of only 11,283 miles in ten years. Works carried out include a re-spray in the original colour in 1994.
In 2004 Mrs Law sold the Aston to the proprietor of Newlands, Mr Bill Goodall, who kept the car until December 2007 when it was sold to Mr Anthony Connolly of Carlton Village, Stockton-on-Tees. Mr Connolly concluded the deal at Newlands' premises, using the occasion to propose to his future wife, and in July 2008 'YPD 6G' was used for the Connolly's honeymoon trip around the Lake District and on to Edinburgh, performing without fault. The DB6 remained with the Connollys for the next five years, seeing relatively little use towards the end of their tenure as a result of poor summers and its owner's overseas work commitments. It passed to the current owner early in 2013 and currently displays a from-new total of only 51,000-or-so miles on the odometer.
Maintained in recent times by Aston Workshop, this unusual DB6 Volante remains in remarkably original condition, the wonderfully patinated red leather interior particularly so, right down to its optional factory fitted headrests, while the power operated red Everflex roof is likewise original and in full working order. Maintained with no expense spared but never subject to the upheaval of a full restoration, this unmolested and fully documented DB6 Volante is truly a car for the connoisseur, having been cherished in the same family's ownership for 35 years of its life. As well as the aforementioned Newlands invoices, the history file also contains subsequent bills; a copy of the original guarantee; the original warranty card and instruction book; BMIHT certificate; photographs of the 1994 re-spray; current MoT certificate; V5C registration document; and a quantity of expired MoTs dating back to 1988. Ready to be driven, this elegant soft-top Aston Martin is surely the perfect way to enjoy the wonderful summer we have been promised.