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Aston Martin DB6: Buying guide and review (1965-1970)

Aston Martin DB6: Buying guide and review (1965-1970) Classic and Performance Car
Aston Martin DB6 buying guide Aston Martin DB6 buying guide Aston Martin DB6 buying guide Aston Martin DB6 buying guide
The DB6, when it was launched in the autumn of 1965, held out the promise of 150mph motoring for the family man – and this in the days when Britain’s motorways had no upper speed limit. The thought of racing up the M1 from London to the shires at 100mph-plus in the latest Aston Martin must have been a very seductive one indeed. 
 
The definitive Aston shape was born with the DB4 in 1958, the work of the design house Touring in Italy, with its Superleggera (‘superlightweight’) aluminium bodywork wrapped around a light superstructure and steel platform. The DB4 was a sensation with fabulous looks and excellent performance from its 3.7-litre Tadek Marek-designed all-alloy, twin-cam inline six-cylinder engine. The ultra-rare DB4GT and Zagato models are the ultimate collector Aston Martins, adding the all-important motor racing provenance. 
 
The DB4 evolved into the DB5 in 1963, with more power from its enlarged 4.0-litre engine and a five-speed gearbox. Again the DB5 was raced and the Bond franchise turned the model into solid gold (sorry) in terms of desirability, even if most were usually painted the aforementioned silver. 
 
Once again Aston at Newport Pagnell evolved the car, this time into the DB6 – but this was in 1965, straight into the jaws of the newfangled and very well-priced Jaguar E-type. Though blessed with similar power, the lighter E-type was a whole generation ahead of the DB6 in terms of engineering, with its lightweight tub and independent suspension all-round. And by ’65 Jaguar had improved the E-type with a proper, modern synchromesh gearbox and more grunt from its enlarged 4.2-litre straight-six.
 
By comparison, the more spacious DB6 remained very conservative and almost old-fashioned, even though it had adopted a slightly flashy ‘Kamm tail’ to aid high-speed stability, which some Aston types found rather outré. Changes to the DB6 included an increase in the wheelbase to 101.5 inches, a higher roofline, that tail, power steering, plus the options of air-conditioning and an automatic gearbox. The previously sporting Aston approach had moved firmly into Gran Turismo territory, and the gorgeous DB4 and 5 were very hard acts to follow. But against 1023 DB5s and 1210 DB4s, a total of  1967 examples of the DB6 were sold over a long seven-year run.
 

Which DB6 to buy?

 
To start, it’s worth pointing out that while the DB5 had been, in reality, no more than another evolution of the DB4, the DB6 was a genuinely new model. By adding almost four inches to the wheelbase and raising the roofline over the rear seats, it was now a passable four-seater. Shortening the twin trailing suspension arms on each side freed up some extra seat width, too. 
 
Under the new skin, the basic structure and mechanical package were pretty much carried straight over from the DB5. Remarkably, though, the Vantage version of the 4-litre straight-six could now be specified at no extra cost. With triple Webers and slightly racier cams, it gave 325bhp (up from the 314bhp of the DB5 Vantage) while the regular engine made 282bhp on SUs, this ‘softer’ state of tune being marketed as more suited to town driving. 
 
Also available at no extra cost was a Powr-Lok limited-slip differential and the choice of either Borg-Warner three-speed automatic or ZF five-speed manual transmission. Aston claimed a top speed of over 150mph, while most tests reckoned a maximum of around 145mph with 0-60 in circa 7sec with the manual ’box was representative. 
 
Best spec? Manual ’box, definitely. The auto was a pretty dreadful device even in the late ’60s, power-sapping and ponderous. It would maybe suite a Volante for just pottering around the lanes. Alternatively, Works can fit a modern four-speed self-shifter. If you’re thinking of buying an original auto and converting it to manual, though, be warned, the manual ’boxes are virtually unobtainable. 
 
In late 1969 the Mk2 version arrived with lightly flared wheelarch lips to accommodate wider wheels and tyres (shared with the recently introduced DBS model). Power steering was now standard and there was the option of electronic fuel injection, a first on a British car. The AE-Brico system was reckoned to give better fuel consumption though no more power than the carb-fed Vantage engine. In fact it proved troublesome, and most have long since been converted to triple Webers. 
 
The DB6 Volante was launched at the 1966 London Motor Show. Only 140 were built, and of those just 29 were Vantages, so finding one of these can be difficult, and expensive! 
 
The Mk2 with its bigger wheels and tyres and flared arches – and that shorter production run – is also favoured, as is the Vantage engine (many regular DB6s have been converted to ‘Vantage spec’ but they tend not to have the correct camshafts and use Spanish reproduction carburettors. Referencing the chassis number will quickly confirm the car’s original spec. 
 
Worthwhile upgrades include adding electric power steering, while replacing the rear lever-arm dampers with modern coil-overs improves both ride and handling. Thus equipped, a DB6 can be the equal of any of its Newport Pagnell brethren. 
 
If you think that a regular DB6 is just too common, and not quite practical enough, then there is of course the option of finding a Shooting Brake model. Six were initially built by coachbuilder Harold Radford with a full tailgate and the same 282bhp and 325bhp engine options of the saloon. A further three Shooting Brakes were built by FLM Panelcraft, with slightly more awkward styling and a split tailgate. Prices will be significantly higher than a regular DB6, if and when one of these is offered on the open market.
 

Performance and specs

 
 
Aston Martin DB6 Mk1 Vantage
Engine In-line 6-cylinder, 3995cc 
Power 325bhp @ 5750rpm 
Torque 290lb ft @ 4500rpm 
Transmission Five-speed manual/three-speed automatic
0-60mph c7.0sec 
Top speed c150mph 
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2584mm
Length 4623mm
Width 1676mm
Height 1359mm
Weight 1498kg 
 

Common problems

 
• These are 50-year-old cars now, so unless they’ve had a recent restoration or they've been incredibly well looked after, they’re going to need restoring. 
 
• The construction was essentially the same as for DB4 and 5 – a steel platform chassis, to which a tubular steel framework was attached, in turn supporting aluminium coachwork. Any – or all of it – can rust, particularly the steel platform. 
 
• Restoration costs, consequently, are just the same as for a DB4 or 5. Independent specialist Desmond J Smail charges £200-250,000 plus VAT. If you want a Works body-off restoration, you’re currently looking at £350,000. Plus VAT. 
 
• A well-documented history is highly prized, and will always add significant value to any DB6. Along with a great history, you can now get Aston Martin to verify the authenticity of any car under its Assured Provenance scheme.
 
• Even cars that have been restored need careful examination. If the doors don’t shut cleanly there’s something wrong, particularly if it’s had a lot of chassis work done. 
 
• Look for signs of accident damage. There’s a lot of bodging been done over the years, even as late as the ’90s. 
 
• Mechanically, DB6s are generally robust. Engine-wise look out for oil and coolant leaks from the block and cylinder head. 
 
• A lot of people fit the later 205-section tyres and wider wheels onto Mk1 cars. Although when jacked up they may appear to rotate freely, under load or cornering they foul the rear bump-stop brackets. They upset the handling a bit too, and they don’t look right. 
 
• Cars that don't tend to get a lot of use can develop minor issues such as slow or completely failed electric windows. This is the down to condensation and corrosion of the motor contacts. Although repairs are generally simple, it's best to check that everything is functioning correctly. 
 

Model history

 
October 1965: Aston Martin reveals the first DB6 saloon at the London motor show.
October 1965: Aston Martin Volante launched. Although based on the DB5, this 'short chassis' car featured DB6 bumpers, tail lights, oil cooler and leather stitching. The first car to wear the Volante name. 
October 1966: Updated DB6 Volante model goes on sale.
October 1967: Much more modern looking DBS goes on sale. DB6 continues to be produced along side. 
July 1969: Mk2 DB6 introduced, with flared wheel arches and a number of improvements taken from the DBS, and the option of AE Brico fuel injection. 
November 1970: Production comes to an end.

Owners clubs, forums and websites 

 
• www.amoc.org 
• www.amocna.org 
• www.astonmartinworks.com
• www.djsmail.co.uk

Summary and prices 

 
Unsurprisingly, the most expensive models are the Volantes. Reckon on more than double the price of any other DB6. The saloons, on the other hand, are rather more attainable. You can still find very presentable examples for around £250,000, rising to £300,000 for a car with good history, but the crucial thing is to investigate the car’s condition beneath the glossy coachwork. 
 
As specialist Desmond Smail says: ‘Even if you’re paying £250-300k for a DB6, if you want to get it fully restored, it’s still going to cost you at least £200k on top. You might as well pick the worst one you can find for £130k! The car you finish up with is still going to be worth the same.’ 
 
It could be some time before you might see a return on your investment, so you’ve got to really want a DB6 – and want to keep it and enjoy it – to be able to justify this sort of outlay. No harm in that, of course, and as Smail says: ‘The values will keep rising, so you’ll get your money back eventually. Look at DB5s, getting close to a million pounds now for the best…’ 
 
Words: Peter Tomalin // Pictures: Matthew Howell
Aston Martin DB6 buying guide Aston Martin DB6 buying guide Aston Martin DB6 buying guide Aston Martin DB6 buying guide
Last updated: 9th Jan 2017
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Aston Martin DB6 cars for sale

15 Search results
Aston Martin DB6
219950 749995 GBP
  • Aston Martin DB6 MK1

    £399,950 £399,950

    Registered 2103 Mileage 86,950 miles Engine Size 4l Transmission Manual Fuel Type Petrol Fuel Consumption N/A Registered 2103 Registration WBY51F Previous Owners 5 Fuel Consumption N/A Tax Band N/A Tax Cost N/A Colour Silver Interior Trim N/A Exterior Colour Silver Birch Doors 2 Fuel Type Petrol Bodystyle Coupe Mileage 86,950 miles Engine Size 4l Transmission Manual MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. They are unlikely to represent real world efficiency. Left Right Tailor Your Finance Vehicle Features Warranty Technical Spec Tailor Your Finance Vehicle Features Fitted Options Factory Built Original Silver Birch Car 5 Speed Manual ZF Gearbox Rare Adwest Power Steering From New Factory Electric Windows Chrome Wire Wheels Engine Number: 400/3241 Chassis: DB6/3203/R Standard Specification This is the manufacturer's list specification for this model, please verify the details when you view the vehicle. The list below will not include any additional options fitted to the vehicle or modifications. Warranty We offer a comprehensive range of warranty, finance and insurance products for personal and business customers. All of these

    • Mileage: 86950 mi
    For sale
    HWM Aston Martin
    01932 506947 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Aston Martin DB6 MK1

    £219,950 £219,950

    This Aston Martin DB6 MK1 was first delivered to the dealer in London on the 20th July 1966 with the following factory options; Chrome Road Wheels, Heated Rear Window, Three ear Hubs, Power Assisted Aerial & Avon Turbo Speed Tyres! The first owner was a Mr Powell of London W11 who purchased the DB6 in November of the same year for the princely sum of £3,344 plus tax. It has a very extensive history folder with lots of MOTs and bills etc documenting much of the car’s history. In Aston Martin Navy Blue with Burgundy Hide interior, it comes complete with DB6 instruction book and a British Motor Industry Heritage Certificate. Cherished for much of it’s life (as can be seen from a letter from a previous owner outlining his tenure and that of previous owners) it is just out of hibernation and now in need of re-commissioning. This particular DB6 has enormous potential and represents a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to enter the world of Aston Martin DB6 ownership at a sensible price. Please contact us to discuss the work required to bring this iconic beauty back to it's former glory. We anticipate a great deal of interest from Aston Martin collectors and enthusiasts alike and re

    • Year: 1966
    • Mileage: 62615 mi
    For sale
  • ASTON MARTIN DB MKIII

    €235,000(£215,189.50) €235,000(£215,189.50)

    OVER 260.000,- EURO INVESTED TO RESTORE THIS ASTON MARTIN Brand Aston Martin Type DB2/4 MKIII Color Green Interior Tan Year of build 1958 Price Price On Request 1958 ASTON MARTIN DB MKIII Over 260.000,- Euro invested in restore this Aston Martin Rare and collectible; one of 462 built 1957-1959 The ultimate development of the DB2, the first “true” postwar Aston Martin Impressively nice restored in Holland Fitted with desirable overdrive since new Fitted with hydraulic power steering The landmark DB2, considered the first “true” postwar Aston Martin, was introduced in May 1950. The ultimate and most highly refined variant, the DB Mark III, debuted in March 1957 and was produced through July 1959, when the DB4 ultimately succeeded it. Legendary Aston Martin engineer Tadek Marek thoroughly revised the existing six-cylinder W.O. Bentley/Lagonda engine design, with output rising to 162 bhp or 178 bhp with the optional twin-exhaust system. Front disc brakes supplemented “Alfin” finned aluminum rear drum brakes, with the upgrade optional on the first 100 DB Mark IIIs and standard on the final Mark IIIB variant of 1958-1959. Styling and body fittings were updated, most notably with a revise

    • Year: 1958
    For sale
  • Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante. Manual

    POA POA

    1 of 29. Finished in California Sage with Natural Hide. Matching Numbers car with original factory build Power Steering, ZF Gear Box, Vantage Engine, Chrome Wire Wheels and three ear wheel spiners. Extensive history file including original build sheet and Heritage Certificate. Complete with its original Registration Number. Stunning Car in Superb Condition.

    • Year: 1968
    • Mileage: 92000 mi
    For sale
  • 1970 ASTON MARTIN DB6 MK 2 VANTAGE COUPE

    POA POA

    --Moss Green with Black leather interior and Black carpets, Restored, Original Color Combination, Matching Numbers, 1 of 71 rare factory Vantage specifications, 4.2 liter, 5 speed ZF transmission, Air conditioning. This rare DB6 Mk 2 Vantage Coupe has been in the ownership of a Long Island, New York collector for the past several years having been sold and maintained in the past by Autosport Designs Inc. In August 1969, just before the introduction of the all new DBSV8, the last in a long line of classic Aston Martin grand touring cars was announced – the DB6 Mark 2. An improvement on the already well-received DB6, the Mark II was equipped with slight fender flares on both the front and rear wheel arches to accommodate the new DBS sized wire wheels and tires, this also gave the DB6 MK II a wider appearance. For the interior, the Mark II received more comfortable seats, sourced from the DBS, making an already capable grand touring car even more appealing. This DB6 Mk 2 has beautifully restored by Aston Martin specialists in both the UK and Canada, it was converted properly from original RHD to LHD specifications by well-respected Aston Martin marque specialist Adrian Johnson’s Post

    • Year: 1980
    • Mileage: 1500 mi
    For sale
  • Aston Martin DB6 Mk I Vantage

    £399,995 £399,995

    1966; 5-Speed Manual; Navy Blue with contrasting Tan Leather & matching Blue Wilton Carpets throughout. Comes with exceptional comprehensive history files containing details of previous owners, detailed invoices dating from the 1970’s including recent invoice of work carried out in July 2015, MOT certificates and original DB6 Instruction Book. A Certified Copy of Factory Record shows the vehicle build date of March 1966 and it being supplied new to H R Owen for Eton Garages of Kensington. MOT runs until August 2016. This vehicle has been fitted with Electronic Assisted Steering and Air Conditioning. Pls call with your enquiries & to make an appointment to view - 020 8418 9191 or 07836 522234

    • Year: 1966
    For sale
  • ASTON MARTIN DB6

    POA POA

    Description This beautiful Aston Martin DB6 is currently undergoing the metal fabrication stage of restoration and will be completed to a very high standard. Information from Heritage Certificate – Make/Model: Aston Martin DB6 Saloon Car/Chassis Number: DB6/2962/R Engine Number: 400/2961 Body Number: Not recorded Specification: RHD, Home Market Colour: Mink (exterior) Dark Blue (Trim) Date Of Build: 21 September 1966 Date Of Despatch: 31 March 1966 Destination (Dealer): Plough Motors (Stroud Valley) Limited Other Numbers (where recorded): Gearbox 10240, Rear Axle Number F66/145, Key FS.888, FS.918 Details Of Factory Fitted Equipment: Automatic Gearbox, Power Assisted Steering, Chrome Roadwheels, Heated Rear Window, Three Eared Centre Locking Hub Nuts, Limited Slip Differential, Powered Aerial, SU HD8 Carburettors Other Information: Rear Axle Ratio: 3.54-1. The registration mark KDF 400E (quoted by you) was issued in Gloucestershire. Date Of Issue: 21 August 2009 Upgrades being fitted during body off restoration – Electronic Power Steering (tbc) Wider Chrome Wire Wheels Rolled Arches (to clear the above – subtley executed) Big Brake Kit T5 Gearbox (5 speed manual)

    For sale
  • Aston Martin DB6 MKI Vantage Volante

    POA POA

    Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Mark 1 Vantage Volante RHD This DB6 is an exceedingly rare motorcar being one of just 29 examples built with the desirable Volante drop head body and finished to Vantage specification. The Vantage models featured a number of upgrades including power steering, power operated hood, electric windows, front seat belts as well as an uprated engine fitted with three twin choke Weber DCOE 45s, which delivered an increased power output of 325 bhp versus the 282 bhp of the standard model. The example offered here is particularly important in view of its well documented ownership history that includes the legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. According to the factory build sheets this car was originally supplied in the U.K. to Mr B.M. Lee of Hadleywood in April 1967. As delivered, it had the options of 3.73:1 limited slip differential, chrome wire wheels with three ear knock-off spinners and a power aerial. After a brief period with Mr Lee, the factory records note two further British owners, the first being a Mr S. Newman of the architecture practice Newman Levison & Co while the second is simply listed as the '

    • Year: 1967
    For sale
  • Aston Martin DB6 MKII RHD

    POA POA

    Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 1970 Aston Martin DB6 MKII This delightful MKII DB6 was constructed in late 1970 and as such is one of the later examples of just 248 cars produced. It was originally registered UB3 on 16th December 1970 by its first owner, a Mr Blume of Salcombe Devon, who cherished it for almost 40 years. During his ownership Mr Blume fastidiously maintained the car, as evidenced by the numerous invoices and items of correspondence included in the history files and only used it sparingly, which has contributed to its excellent overall condition. The car was only sold to its second owner in November of 2010 who decided that the time had come for a full restoration, which was duly undertaken by noted specialists Desmond Smail. Detailed invoices and photographs documenting this work accompany the car and attest to the high standard of the restoration. Recently acquired by JD Classics this car is currently in excellent overall condition and presents wonderfully in its Cumberland Grey paintwork and Red interior. With full matching numbers, factory original electric windows, only two private owners and original mileage of just 45,121 miles it provides a fanta

    • Year: 1970
    For sale
  • Aston Martin DB6 Saloon to Vantage spec.

    £299,950 £299,950

    Chassis Number: DB6/3044/R Engine Number: 400/3067 UK Registration Number: ABW 220 E Date of first reg: 20th March 1967 Exterior colour: Black Pearl Metallic Hood: Interior colour: Black Leather Current Odometer reading: 75,560 Mileage Warranty: Steering: Right Transmission: Manual Options: Engine capacity increased to 4.5 litre, Vantage Specification Background Background: After rejecting proposals for a replacement for the DB5 from Touring of Milan, the decision was made by Aston Martin to focus on their own development car, registered, 4 YMC. Testing it in a wind tunnel for the first time in February 1965, showed the need for work to counteract the test car’s rear end lift. So the final development phases saw a DB5 chassis, suitably lengthened and titled MP219, with a rear spoiler and abbreviated Kamm tail that Aston Martin had previously incorporated in sports racers. The decision was made to progress MP 219 as the Aston Martin DB6 although its de Dion rear axle was replaced with a live axle on cost grounds. So the new car, announced at the London Motor Show in October 1965, had a wheelbase extended by 3.75 inches with the extra inserted just ahead of the rear wheel arches and

    For sale
  • 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Volante

    POA POA

    Registration No: JOY 229K Chassis No: DBVC/3615/R Engine No: 400 3059 In short this is a nicely original, right-hand drive DB6 Volante with the highly desirable manual gearbox. It has matching numbers and has come from long-term ownership. Running and driving properly and displaying a lovely patina that is always lacking on a recently restored car. A full description will be posted shortly.

    • Year: 1967
    For sale
  • Z Aston Martin DBSZ

    POA POA

    The DBSZ Concept Coupe. Developed from a union of the Aston Martin DB4 GTZ’s lines and the platform of the later, improved Aston Martin DBS models, the DBSZ concept can be described more as a silhouette rather than a replica. Nevertheless it is a true Aston Martin in appearance, luxury and performance. For more information please click here Please feel free to contact us for any further information.

    • Year: 1969
    For sale
  • Aston Martin DB6

    £749,995 £749,995

    This stunning matching numbers DB6 Volante was sold new via H R Owen to Town and Commercial Developments Ltd of London W1, originally finished in Olive with Champagne Connolly hide interior and is now attractively presented in California Sage. The car comes with a very detailed history file, including concours results, MOTs and invoices, highlights of which include: •matching numbers •original factory manual gearbox •an appearance in the ITV series, 'The Ruth Rendell Mysteries' •featuring in Neil F Murray's book 'On Aston Martin' •full engine rebuild by Ian Moss (at approximately 88,000 miles) •new hood made by an ex-Aston Martin coach trimmer •full bare-metal re-spray in California Sage, carried out in 2005 •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 2005, the car was sold to an owner in Belgium where the speedometer was changed from mph to kmh and has been serviced regularly since then. In its current LHD form, it drives beautifully. We can of course re-convert it to its original RHD configuration for a nominal cost, if this is preferred.

    • Mileage: 106300 mi
    For sale
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