1968 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante
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The details of this Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante
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Silverstone Auctions - The Salon Privé Sale 2015
4th Sep 2015
1968 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante
Considered by many to be the last 'real' Aston Martin, the DB6 was launched in 1965 and replaced the DB5. The wheelbase was now 4" (100mm) longer than before, resulting in an extensive restyle with a 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 tail with spoiler improved the aerodynamics, greatly enhancing stability at high speeds. "The tail lip halves the aerodynamic lift around maximum speed and brings in its train greater headroom and more luggage space", declared Motor magazine, concluding that the DB6 was one of the finest sports cars it had tested. Famed employee, Tadek Marek, designed the six cylinder engine, which 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.
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. A mere 140 DB6 based Volantes were manufactured, and of these only 29 were specified with the more powerful Vantage engine. Presented here today is an original, UK-supplied DB6 Vantage Volante.
Chassis number DBVC/3698/R was first delivered on 27th July 1968 to Sundridge Park Motors Ltd. in Bromley, and the original purchaser was a Mr G.L. Hicks of Mayfield, Sussex. According to a copy of the original build sheet, it left the factory as a Volante Convertible and featured a 5-speed manual ZF transmission, Vantage engine, power assisted steering, chrome road wheels, 3 ear knock-off wheel spinners, an electric aerial, two seat belts and 7 pints of antifreeze. It was issued with the registration number XHV118G and subsequently sold to its second owner, a Mr P. Bloomfield of Ealing, London in July 1969 who owned the car for a number of years until it was exported to Japan, where it resided in a large private collection. The car was then acquired by an American collector in 2011 and was repatriated by the current registered keeper in 2013, when it was reunited with its original registration number.
Once back in the UK the car was taken to Aston Martin experts Goldsmith and Young Ltd, who carried out a major service. This included recommissioning the suspension and a large number of mechanical works, the cost of which totalled £4,650. Prior to the auction, this DB6 was delivered to Heritage Aston Martin expert Desmond J Smail, who has conducted a complete inspection, service and carried out any remedial works that were required. A glowing inspection report from Desmond Smail will be available to prospective purchasers.
Finished today in California Sage Green with a natural tan hide interior, this delightful DB6 presents very well indeed. The bodywork is in very good order with consistently even panel gaps and doors that shut with a reassuring thud. The brightwork is all in superb condition and the paint retains an excellent shine. The interior is in very good order with no rips, tears or fading to the leather seats or bolsters. The engine bay presents beautifully and the original chassis plate is a joy to behold. The engine numbers stamped on the block read 400/3650/VC and are easily recognisable by the faded red paint that surrounds them. The chassis number is stamped on the front suspension trailing arm and is also clearly visible.
Being 1 of only 29 examples ever made, this stunning Aston Martin would make an impressive addition to any international collection and would be welcome at the most prestigious classic car events around the world. Silverstone Auctions are honoured to be selling such an important piece of Aston Martin history - immortalised when Prince William drove his new Bride to their wedding reception in his father's example, which was his 21st birthday present from Her Majesty the Queen. It would be difficult not to feel like Royalty in this wonderful Aston Martin.
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