Family owned since 1979 and 58,000 miles from new 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Volante to 'Vantage' Specification Registration no. YTU 345J Chassis no. DB6Mk2VC/3771/R Engine no. 400/4000
'I have driven most of the Aston Martin models that have been produced, from the racing twin-cam 1½-litre of the 1920s onwards. For years my favourite has been the DB3S sports-racer, but now my allegiance is wavering. There can be little doubt that the DB6 is the best Aston yet and it is a credit to British engineering.' - John Bolster, Autosport, 21st October 1966.
John Bolster's 1966 test car was a Vantage model, which despite its heightened state of tune surprised the veteran journalist with its good road manners. 'On taking over the DB6 one is immediately astonished by its flexibility. In spite of multiple carburettor chokes, it will idle through traffic like a dowager's limousine and will accelerate on a high gear in a manner which is rare even among the biggest V8 power units.'
Considered by many to be the last 'proper' Aston Martin, the DB6 was launched at the London and Paris Motor Shows in 1965, updating the DB5. Although recognisably related to the Touring-styled DB4, which had founded this particular line of Aston Martin six-cylinder sports cars back in 1958, the DB6 abandoned its predecessors' Carrozzeria Touring-designed Superleggera body framework in favour of a conventional steel fabrication clad, as previously, in aluminium panels. The wheelbase was now 4" longer than before, resulting in an extensive restyle with more-raked windscreen, raised roofline and reshaped rear quarter windows. Opening front quarter lights made a re-appearance but the major change was at the rear where a Kamm tail - named after its inventor, the German automobile engineer, Professor Wunibald Kamm - improved the aerodynamics. 'The most obvious difference from the DB5 is the anti-lift tail end beautiful to the eyes of today, but how odd it would have seemed 10 years ago,' remarked Motor, while observing that 'slightly raising the roofline and a somewhat longer wheelbase make the DB6 a genuine four-seater.' Although apparently a bigger car than its predecessors, the weight of the new model was in fact only fractionally increased.
Designed by Tadek Marek and race tested in the DBR2 before its production debut in the DB4, Aston's twin-cam six-cylinder engine 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 on triple Webers. Borg-Warner automatic transmission was offered alongside the standard ZF five-speed manual gearbox while for the first time power-assisted steering was an option.
Introduced at the same time as the sports saloon, the DB6 Volante convertible marked the first occasion that this evocative name had been applied to a soft-top Aston Martin. The stylish Volante offered four-seat accommodation and was generously appointed with leather upholstery, deep-pile carpets and an electrically operated hood. After 37 Volante's had been completed on the shorter-wheelbase DB5 chassis, the convertible model adopted the DB6 chassis in 1966 and was first displayed in this form at that year's London Motor Show in October.
In the summer of 1969 the Mark 2 DB6 was announced in saloon and Volante versions. Distinguishable by its flared wheel arches and DBS wheels, the DB6 Mark 2 came with power-assisted steering as standard and could be ordered with AE Brico electronic fuel injection. When DB6 production ceased in 1970, a total of 1,575 saloons had been made, plus 178 of the long-wheelbase Volante convertibles, of which only 38 were to Mk2 specification like this example.
Retaining its original engine, right-hand chassis number '3771' is one of only 17 DB6 Mk2 Volante's delivered with the ZF five-speed manual gearbox. The Aston was first registered on 17th November 1970 and from invoices on file it would appear that the original owner was a Mr C Adams, initially of Chelmsford, Essex and latterly Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire. He was followed by a Mr Leeson of Ludlow, Shropshire (from 1975) then Nick Shrigley-Feigl of Knutsford, Cheshire and finally Sir Antony Pilkington, who acquired the car on 5th June 1979. Mr Shrigley-Feigl remembers the Aston very well and recalls fitting the Weber carburettors (replacing the original SUs). It is not known whether any other upgrades to Vantage specification were made.
There are as many as 30 past MoTs on file, the earliest issued in December 1973, recording the mileage increasing from 27,546 to the current figure of 58,000 (substantiated), a total of approximately 30,000 in 38½ years. Some of these were covered on the Haynes Publishing RACMSA Two-Day Classic, which Sir Antony entered and completed in April 1998. Additionally, there is a bill on file from DK Engineering, which carried out an extensive service on the car in 2009 (around 200-300 miles ago) plus other bills and correspondence from the 1970s to the 1990s together with expired tax discs.
Finished in Kingfisher Blue with black leather interior and matching hood, '3771' looks and feels very original and, as it has covered minimal mileage in recent years, would benefit from an engine tune. Fundamentally the car is in lovely order, with otherwise straight bodywork showing some minor dents, and is very good underneath. One of the rarest and most desirable of post-war Aston Martin's, this superb DB6 Mk2 Volante is offered with the aforementioned history, Swansea V5 document and MoT to April 2013.