1969 Aston Martin DB6
- Year of manufacture1969
- Chassis numberDB6/4012/R
- Engine number400/4060
- Lot number217
- Number of seats2
- Exterior colourOther
- Fuel typePetrol
1969 Aston Martin DB6 'Mark 1' Vantage Sports Saloon
Registration no. VDB 6
Chassis no. DB6/4012/R
Engine no. 400/4060
'If you want a truly British driver's car, the ultimate development of a continuous line of thoroughbreds from the Vintage era to the present day, there is nothing in quite the same field as the Aston.' The Motor on the DB6, 26th November 1966.
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 had been introduced in 1965, updating the DB5. Although recognisably related to the Touring-styled DB4 of 1958, the DB6 abandoned the Carrozzeria Touring-developed 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 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, complete with triple Webers. Borg-Warner automatic transmission was offered alongside the standard ZF five-speed gearbox, and for the first time there was optional power-assisted steering.
Like Motor, Autocar found much to commend in the DB6 Vantage, remaking on the car's much improved handling, outstanding adhesion and exceptionally good braking figures. A mean maximum speed of 148mph was achieved while the standing quarter-mile time of 14.5 seconds was the fastest the magazine had recorded for a four-seater. At 120mph the Aston was as effortlessly relaxed as other powerful cars at 80.
A home-market model manufactured to Vantage specification complete with the five-speed manual gearbox, chassis number 'DB6/4012/R' was ordered with a Waso steering lock, front seatbelts, fog lamps, chrome road wheels, heated rear window, three-ear spinners, a 3.73:1 limited-slip differential, power aerial and Avon tyres. Manufactured in April 1969, the car was delivered to Wilmslow Garages Limited of Wilmslow, Cheshire and registered shortly thereafter to its first owner, Mr John Henry Parry.
Clearly an enthusiast, Mr Parry not only ordered his car to this enhanced specification but also appears to have moved in Aston Martin circles, as there are records and photographs on file confirming that his father owned Astons pre-war, while a then current friend owned a DB5. The box of cleaning equipment still in the boot, with Mr Parry's name and address clearly marked, indicates that the car was well cared for during his ownership. In 1977 the registration 'VDB 6', eminently suitable for a DB6 Vantage, became available and so the original registration 'KEY 240G' was taken off the car.
In 1983 Mr Parry reluctantly decided to sell and an advertisement was placed in the then popular 'Classic Car' section of the Sunday Times. The mileage noted and registration number listed in the advertisement caught the attention of the current owner's father, and a deal was done subject to inspection by the factory, which subsequently only confirmed the car's quality. The only mechanical work suggested was a 10,000-mile service (appropriate for the car's then current mileage). However, this was added to by the replacement of external rubber components as well as a complete repaint at Newport Pagnell in the original Dark Oyster livery. In all other respects the car remains 'factory original'.
Used sparingly over the intervening 30-plus years (the current odometer reading is only circa 15,000 miles) the Aston has been maintained by the factory and more recently by Goldsmith & Young, whose principle, John Goldsmith, is chairman of the AMOC. As well as regular servicing, Goldsmith & Young have undertaken a cylinder head rebuild to insert unleaded valve seats, the opportunity being taken to increase the size of the valves and to gas flow the head at the same time. On a subsequent visit Goldsmith & Young rebuilt the suspension, which included fitting upgraded springs all round, conversion to telescopic shock absorbers at the rear, and the installation of an improved front anti-roll bar. Throughout its time with the current owner's family the DB6 has been stored in a climate-controlled garage beneath a fitted cover, and is presented today in essentially the same condition as when purchased.
Approximately 20 years ago the car's purchaser passed it to his son, who offers it today with a full file including registration documents going back to, and including, Mr Parry's original green logbook; the owner's manual, service book and warranty card supplied with the car when new; correspondence with Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd and various independent marque specialists; a substantial quantity of expired MoT certificates and tax discs; and all invoices for works carried out while in the current family ownership.