Representing the top end of the luxury performance car market as a Grand Tourer, the Aston Martin DB6 was launched at the London Motor Show in October 1965 to replace David Brown's DB5 and was a further refinement to the DB4. The DB6 utilised a slightly longer wheelbase than the DB5 to accommodate the young family and make it more comfortable for adults, too. A taller, more steeply raked windscreen and 4" of extra rear legroom was provided, together with larger instruments, squatter seat cushions, and a raised roof line to give 2" more headroom. Total weight also increased by 17lbs to 3,250lbs. To provide more seating width in the back, the mounting points for the rear suspension trailing arms were moved back and away from the seating area.
More noticeable were the lighter split front and rear bumpers, the enlarged grille under the radiator grille for the enlarged oil cooler, and the re-styled tail that improved high speed stability. Fuel tank capacity was 19 gallons or 16 gallons with the optional air conditioning. A de Dion rear axle was proposed but in the interests of time a live rear axle was used. Code named project MP219, this model was a breakaway from Touring of Milan's DB5 design.
Production lasted from September 1965 to January 1971 in Mk1 and restyled MkII forms. More than 1300 Mk1 saloons were built to July 1969, with a further 240 MkII saloons made until November 1970, before it was replaced by the DBS. DB6 Volante models numbered 215 over the production period.
The DB6 was the first Aston Martin to be made at Newport Pagnell after their move from Feltham in 1964. The initial price was £4998 in manual or 3-speed Borg-Warner automatic forms for the coupe and the only extras available were air conditioning and power steering. Interestingly the Volante was less expensive at £4194, which was still a huge sum when compared to a 2+2 E-Type at £2245. Electric windows and tinted glass were standard, often an extra on other cars. Girling servo-assisted brakes with front and rear solid discs were fitted.
The Armstrong Selectaride cockpit-adjustable rear shock absorbers continued on from the DB5, considered a high-tech fitting in those days. Revised tail lamps were fitted, and quarter light windows were fitted to the front windows giving better ventilation, and the new Kamm tail added 2” to the boot space.
Interestingly the first DB6 convertibles were made from the last remaining 37 DB5s but with the Volante name—known as Short-Chassis Volantes—but a year later in October 1966 the longer wheelbase was adopted for the Volante from the London Motor Show, complete with power hood.
Over the years, the MkII with its flared wheel arches, wider tyres, standard power steering, better seats, and optional AE Brico fuel injection with the higher compression ratio cylinder head, has become the more sought after and desirable model.
Mechanically it remained much the same as the DB5, with the 6-cylinder double overhead cam 3995cc 240bhp triple SU carburettor engine and also a triple side-draft Weber 45DCOE carburetor Vantage edition with 270bhp at 5750rpm in 5-speed ZF manual or automatic forms. The Vantage could reach almost 150mph (241kph) and the yardstick 100mph or 161kph in 15 seconds, and an impressive 6.3 seconds to 60mph (97kph). At the time The Autocar's fearless John Bolster managed a two-way average of 152mph in a DB6 Vantage.
Lastly, 67 DB6 shooting brakes were constructed at Harold Radford coachbuilders, the engine options being the same as for the coupe.
The DB6 caught the moment of the period perfectly, attracting famous owners such as Paul McCartney, Twiggy, and Peter Sellers. HRH Prince Charles was given a DB6 Volante for his 21st birthday in 1969, and the car was later and notably used as the going-away car after the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Parts availability for the DB6 is good, thanks to Aston Martin Works Service. A multitude of modifications are also available, including transmission upgrades, power steering installations, and air conditioning. Likewise there are a number of top quality restorations available and a very keen following for these cars. The Aston Martin Owners Club looks after enthusiasts and owners all around the world, with regional monthly UK meetings in all areas. There are many different events for the Aston owner to take part in, suiting all pockets that can afford an Aston Martin in the first place.
|Year||Make||Model||Submodel||Body Type||Average value|
|1965||Aston Martin||DB6||Mk I||2dr Saloon||£ 119,000 169,000 197,000 285,000|
|1965||Aston Martin||DB6||Mk I||Shooting Brake||£ 590,000 680,000 770,000 880,000|
|1965||Aston Martin||DB6||Mk I Vantage Volante||Convertible||£ 476,000 588,000 909,000 1,000,000|
|1965||Aston Martin||DB6||Mk I Volante||Convertible||£ 432,000 540,000 623,000 770,000|
|1965||Aston Martin||DB6||Short Chassis Volante||DHC||£ 1,200,000 1,300,000 1,600,000 2,000,000|