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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

17 Search results
Aston Martin DB6
329995 749995 GBP
  • 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
    Howard Wise Cars
    020 8418 9191 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Aston Martin DB6 MK1

    £399,950 £399,950

    Registered 2103 Mileage 86,950 miles Engine Size 4l Transmission Manual Fuel Type Petrol Registered 2103 Registration WBY51F Previous Owners 5 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 Warranty We offer a comprehensive range of warranty, finance and insurance products for personal and business customers. All of these products are available from

    • Mileage: 86950 mi
    For sale
  • 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Mk. I Restoration

    POA POA

    The DB6 was launched at the London Motor Show in 1965 following on from the highly successful DB5 immortalised by the 1964 James Bond film 'Goldfinger'. The front end of the DB6 was visually similar to the DB5 but closer inspection revealed quite a different car. The wheelbase was lengthened allowing additional passenger space in the rear along with a raised roof line. The profile of the rear quarter lights echoed those of the DB4GT Zagato, a styling theme that continued through to the DBS and V8 models until production finished in 1990. Both front and rear bumpers were split into two pieces and the rear of the car was re-styled with a Kamm tail which helped reduce aerodynamic drag and gave the car more stability at speed. The engine remained the same as the Tadek Marek-designed DB5 unit, a 3,995cc twin overhead cam, straight six with triple SU carburettors producing a claimed 282bhp. '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.' - Motor Magazine on the Aston Martin DB6, 26th November 1966. Flicking through the classic car maga

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 1969 ASTON MARTIN DB6 4.2 MARK I

    POA POA

    Stratton Motor Company are pleased to offer this lovely example of David Browns DB6. Finished in Dubonnet Red, Black leather trim, Manual transmission, The engine has been uprated to 4.2ltrs and also has been converted to run unleaded fuel, Heavy duty starter and Kenlowe fan, Converted to negative earth, Power assist steering, Heritage Trust Certificate. For further details please contact Roger Bennington on 07836215560 or Jonathan Potts on 01508 530491.

    • Year: 1969
    • Mileage: 15929 mi
    For sale
  • 1971 Aston Martin DB6 MK2

    POA POA

    DB6 MK2 We are proud to offer for sale this superb, matching numbers example of the iconic and much sought after Aston Martin DB6 MK2. This particular Aston was first registered on 3rd June 1971 and is well known to Aston Workshop having been sold by us to a very discerning buyers some 9 years ago, remaining in his possession ever since and completely cherished during that time. Looking absolutely splendid in period British Racing Green with Oatmeal Hide and Full Webasto Sunroof it also handles superbly out on the open road. With an excellent service history it has also had the following work & enhancements undertaken; Engine rebuild New cylinder head All sills and chassis work attended to Bare metal respray in 2006 Full re-trim Plus Handling kit, Suspension kit & Brake overhaul Photographs Media Additional Details Enhancements available Convert to R Hand or L Hand drive Fit Auto or Manual gearbox Fit Sat Nav Tweet Services Aston Car Sales Body Centre Enhancements Aston Gifts Aston Parts Enginology Aston Art Servicing Crash Repair Restoration Aston Bespoke Transport Information How to find us Free Publications Watch our Videos Browse the Gallery News Newsletters 2017 Calendar About

    • Year: 1971
    • Mileage: 103000 mi
    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 16 th 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 Tudor 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 fantastic

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

    £340,000 £340,000

    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
  • 1967 Aston Martin DB6

    $449,500(£348,407.45) $449,500(£348,407.45)

    1967 Aston Martin DB6 Chassis No. DB6/2770/LN Engine No. 400/2758 Verified by British Motor Industry Heritage Trust & Aston Martin Heritage, Rare and Desirable Factory LHD, Manual Transmission, Air Conditioning Example, Numbers-Matching and Fully Loaded with Factory Options, Complete with All Books, Manuals, Tools & Accessories. Built on the June 3, 1966, 2770LN was dispatched shortly after on the 11 th destined for Aston Martin Lagonda Inc. for J.S. Inskip Inc., New York, USA. Wearing Mink over Dark Blue upholstery, options included Normalair Air Conditioning, Chrome Roadwheels, Heated Rear Windows, 3.73 : 1 Limited Slip Differential, Three ear Hubcaps, Avon GT Whitewall Tires, Fiamm Horns, Two Safety Belts, Two Marchal Fog Lamps, Bosch Koln TR Radio and Power Aerial. From recent enthusiast ownership, this particular DB6 has been displayed, driven and toured quite successfully over the past few years, including the VSCDA Elkheart Lake Vintage Festival at Road America. It remains ideal for continued enjoyment and use - complete with all drivers accessories such as correct DB6 Instruction Book, concours correct Tool Roll, lead hammer, original Jack and accessories. Furthermore, the

    • 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

    £329,995 £329,995

    •Includes fitted indoor cover •Extensive history files included •Benefitted from significant specialist attention •Drives extremely well This immaculate Aston Martin has benefitted from significant specialist attention in recent years, including chassis, suspension and body restoration, engine rebuild, and the fitment of a correct ZF 5 speed gearbox. All of this work is detailed in the extensive history files which accompany the car. This has resulted in a DB6 which not only looks stunning but also drives extremely well. Fitted with a desirable Becker Mexico stereo/navigation system and a Webasto sunroof. Complete with its original handbook and a fitted indoor cover. A great opportunity to purchase a fully sorted DB....

    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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