1966 Aston Martin DB6
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The details of this Aston Martin DB6
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RM Sotheby's - Monterey
20th Aug 2016
1966 Aston Martin DB6
282 bhp, 3,995 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with triple SU carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear coil-spring suspension with front telescopic shock absorbers and anti-roll bar, rear double-acting lever arm shock absorbers, and four-wheel Girling disc brakes. Wheelbase: 101.75 in. Not to be satisfied with the success of the DB5, David Brown continued striving for excellence—and many enthusiasts think he found it in the DB6. Better performance, increased stability, and improved cabin space meant that the DB6 outclassed its predecessors in every way. Although the DB6 looks remarkably similar to the DB4 and DB5, underneath the body it was almost an entirely different car. The steel-platform chassis was lengthened by 51 millimeters, and the wheelbase by 102 millimeters. Touring’s Superleggera body was dropped, and instead, aluminum alloy panels were placed over a frame of steel box-sections. This allowed for an increase in stiffness without adding significant weight. Indeed, despite looking much larger, the DB6 weighed less than eight kilograms more than the DB5. The most noticeable change, of course, was the raised roof and re-profiling of the by-now classic shape, including the addition of a sporting Kammback tail. The entire seating plan received an overhaul; the seats were slimmed down, the shape of the seats was improved for comfort, and the placement of the rear suspension was moved to allow more room. The result was a true grand tourer fit for four. From the outside, its minor details are what distinguish the DB6. Harold Beach, Aston Martin’s head designer, added split front and rear bumpers with overriders for the American market. He also included opening front quarter lights, square rear quarter lights that echoed the design of the DB4GT, and a more upright windscreen. Many of the additional equipment that was offered on the DB5 came as no-cost options. The best of these, by far, was the inclusion of the Armstrong Selectaride dampers, which were controlled by a dial on the dashboard. Mechanically, the DB6 is nearly identical to the DB5. Powered by Tadek Marek’s six-cylinder inline engine with three SU carburetors, the DB6 produces top speeds of 150 mph and records 0–60 in six seconds. The factory record for chassis number DB6/2409/L shows that the car was delivered to the United States Aston Martin distributor Kjell Qvale’s British Motor Car Distributors of San Francisco. Completed on 5 December 1965 and delivered three days thereafter, this Mk 1 DB6 was one of the first 100 off the line, and one of less than 200 exported to America. The factory record reports that the car was ordered with nearly every option available at the time, including Normalair air conditioning, heated rear screen, front seat safety belts, and a power-operated aerial. Apart from a warranty service report on 2 February 1967, no other information about the car appears until the fall of 1991, when it was offered for sale in the San Francisco area. Listed as a single-owner vehicle in “original, unrestored” condition, the car was purchased for a private Japanese collection. After a complete restoration, DB6/2409/L was exported to Japan in July 1992, where it remained until returning to California. This DB6 has recently undergone a refreshing by Kevin Kay Restorations, marque specialist in Aston Martins. Finished in Aston Green with green leather interior, the car is pristine inside and out. Far from being outshone by its famous predecessor, the DB6 has always held its own in terms of famous owners and enthusiasts. Owners include the likes of Twiggy, Mick Jagger, Peter Sellers, and even Paul McCartney. The royal household even retains a rare DB6 Vantage Volante, a gift from the Queen to HRH Prince Charles for his 21st birthday. Less secret agent and more distinguished royal, the Aston Martin DB6 saloon is a true gentleman’s express.
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