• Year of manufacture 
    1970
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Chassis number 
    DB6MK2VC3774R
  • Engine number 
    400/4523
  • Lot number 
    18394
  • Reference number 
    REC11497-1
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Performance 
    313 PS / 231 kW / 309 BHP

Description

Premiered at the 1965 London Motor Show, the DB6 Volante 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. By 1969, however, Aston was winding down production of the DB6 which was now over a decade old and, as attention turned towards the newer, more modern-looking DBS, Aston Martin unveiled a final swan song, the DB6 Mk 2. Distinguishable by its flared wheel arches and DBS wheels, the Mark 2 was fitted with power-assisted steering as standard and could be ordered with AE Brico electronic fuel injection. When DB6 production ceased in 1970, a total of 1,575 saloons had been made, plus 178 of the long-wheelbase Volante convertibles (140 Mk 1 versions and only 38 Mk 2s) with one of these later cars being allocated to Her Majesty the Queen who gave it to Prince Charles on his 21st Birthday. It received international admiration once again in 2011 when it was used as a wedding car by Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the occasion of their marriage.

The Royal DB6 undoubtedly enjoyed its ‘15 minutes of fame’, however, the remarkable Mk2 Volante, #DBMK2/VC/3774/R, on offer here has played a much more significant role in the ‘story’ of the DB6. It’s a home-market, right-hand drive car originally ordered by its first owner finished in Aquamarine with black leather and fitted with an automatic gearbox, however, in the early-eighties it was returned to the ‘Works’ and the original engine was upgraded to factory ‘Vantage-specification’ with the automatic transmission being replaced by a manual, five-speed gearbox around the same time.

The car subsequently enjoyed the hospitality of the Newport Pagnell ‘Works’ once again in 2005/06 when it was refinished in Old English White with a glorious red leather interior and a new black hood. During 2007, Aston Works were instructed to discreetly source the best Mk2 Volante available for the recently appointed Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, H.H Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah. This very car was chosen and supplied through Mr Kingsley Riding-Felce, an Aston Martin main board director at the time. It remained in the Kuwaiti Collection, lightly used, until 2018 when the ‘Works’ were able to buy it back and return it to Newport Pagnell.

For some time, Aston had been working on an ‘EV’ solution for their ‘Heritage’ models as part of their wider EV strategy by creating the first reversible EV powertrain concept. It was important that development of the reversible ‘Cassette’ concept for the older cars was sympathetic, enabling the cars originality and provenance to be maintained. As Aston stated at the time, “Given the historical significance of these collectors’ cars, it’s vital that any EV conversion is sympathetic to the integrity of the original car”.

In 2018, development was quite advanced and this very car, DBMK2/VC/3774/R, was selected to demonstrate this technology due to its outstanding condition and appearance and was the very first car to be fitted with the radical new EV powertrain. The original running gear was obviously kept securely at the factory whilst the car made its way around Europe in 2019 demonstrating Aston’s exciting new EV technology. There are many YouTube videos and press releases during this period where 3774 features, wearing the world-famous plate ‘1 AML’ and it was also greeted with much enthusiasm when paraded around the circuit in Monaco.

After the DB6’s illustrious promotional life in 2019 was over, Aston Works set about returning the car to its original running gear thanks to the fully reversible ‘Cassette’ powertrain concept. There are internal invoices in the accompanying history file showing the significant amount of work and expenditure that went into the car to get it running as was originally intended. The quality of this reinstatement was such that the finished car enjoyed a class win in that year’s AMOC Concours d’Elegance. Subsequently, #3774 went into private ownership where it has been enjoyed ever since.

In March 2022, just over £5,000 was spent with Aston Works again with invoices on file for new suspension bushes, new engine damper, a major service and an MOT. The current mileage is just under 54,000.

Finally this particular car is without doubt one of the very best driving Astons of the 1960s and 1970s. The electric hood works perfectly, it starts instantly and ticks over very smoothly on its triple Weber twin chokes and all the controls work, even the electric aerial! It is absolutely ‘on its toes’ and driven regularly by its highly enthusiastic owner.

One of only (effectively) 37, still fitted with its original engine which was upgraded to Vantage-spec by the factory, totally refreshed and retrimmed by the ‘Works’, a decade in the ownership of an important Middle Eastern politician, developed by the factory as their flagship ‘Heritage’ electric demonstrator, an extensively documented European Tour proudly bearing ‘1 AML’ and now carefully returned to its original motivation by the development department at Newport Pagnell – as we said before, 3774 is undoubtedly “a significant part of the DB6 story”.