1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage
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RM Sotheby's - Santa Monica
24th Jun 2017
1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage
In 1958, Aston Martin introduced its revolutionary grand touring sports saloon, the DB4, while its close successor came roaring onto the world stage in 1963 as the famous DB5. By 1965, the series had reached its ultimate development with the DB6, which was produced in first series form until 1969. In the uprated Vantage state of tune, the Tadek Marek-designed and race-proven inline six-cylinder was perfected to produce 325 horsepower, while Touring of Milan’s celebrated coachwork design was by now stretched to accommodate a wheelbase 3.75 inches longer than its predecessor, offering a more refined ride with room in the back for actual adult passengers! The addition of its advanced and pleasing Kamm-style tail crowned the DB6’s ravishing presence. Many enthusiasts consider this final series of Touring-designed Aston Martins to be the best of all, as they offered the most sublime combination of gentlemanly luxury, sophisticated street manners, and superior straight-line performance. As ever, starting with the DB4, the world standard design features remained first-rate with its overbuilt and understressed aluminum engine block and head, triple Weber carburetors in Vantage form and four corner disc brakes, with interior appointments of Connolly leather trim, Wilton wool carpets belying its handbuilt nature. Now more fully refined in the DB6, it is clothed in aluminum alloy panelwork, as every post-war Aston Martin until the introduction of the DB7 some 20 years later. Eye-wateringly expensive then, the DB6 offers superb value today in comparison to its predecessor models. According to its factory build sheet, a copy of which is on file, the DB6 offered here is a factory left-hand-drive model, delivered new to Captain E.D. Smith of St. Neots, Cambridgeshire. The build sheet notes the 3.54:1 limited-slip rear differential, heated rear window, Fiamm horns, Britax safety belts, Marchal fog lamps, chrome wheels, and, notably, the desirable Normalair air conditioning, a typical high-specification configuration for the Continental market, despite its original English delivery location; it is believed to have been used in France. Further attachments to the build sheet note regular and conscientious service at the factory during its first five years and 24,719 miles of the car’s life. It was thereafter upgraded, as suggested by the factory service records, with the installation of a correct factory Vantage-specification engine. In combination with a ZF five-speed transmission, replacing the sluggish original Borg-Warner automatic unit. This, along with its original A/C unit, is considered the most desirable specification for a DB6. Thereafter, in the 2000s, the car was restored to its present appearance, in a beautiful, lustrous black, with a rich red leather interior. The restoration has been exceedingly well-preserved and shows only minor signs of wear, suggesting driving enjoyment throughout, in particular in the care of its current owner, a longtime and well-known enthusiast. An ideal DB6 in the most desirable specification and superb presentation, complete with an owner’s handbook, this car is perfectly suited for the tours and rallies of its new owner’s choosing, even show-worthy at AMOC or regional concours. It is passionate British performance with elegance to match.
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