The culmination of Aston Martin's long-running line of 'DB' six-cylinder sports saloons, and thus considered by many to be the last 'real' Aston, the DB6 was introduced in 1965, updating the DB5. Although recognisably related to the Touring-styled DB4 of 1958, the DB6 abandoned the Superleggera body structure of its predecessors in favour of a conventional steel fabrication while retaining the aluminium outer panels. Increased rear-seat space was the prime DB6 objective so 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 reappearance but the major change was at the rear where a Kamm-style tail with spoiler improved the aerodynamics, greatly enhancing stability at high speeds. These many dimensional changes were integrated most successfully, the DB6's overall length increasing by only 2". Indeed, but for the distinctive Kamm tail one might easily mistake it for a DB5.
'The tail lip halves the aerodynamic lift around maximum speed and brings in its train greater headroom and more luggage space,' revealed Motor magazine, concluding that the DB6 was one of the finest sports cars it had tested. 'The DB6 with its longer wheelbase and better headroom makes an Aston Martin available to the far wider four-seater market, and the design is in every way superior to the previous model. A purist might have though that the longer wheelbase would affect the near-perfect balance of the DB5, but if anything the DB6 is better.'
The Tadek Marek-designed 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. Borg-Warner automatic transmission was offered alongside the standard ZF five-speed gearbox, and for the first time there was optional power-assisted steering. Motor clearly appreciated the power and poise of their test Vantage: 'In an effortless way that few other cars can match, the DB6 makes an overall speed limit of 70mph look quite ridiculous. At its maximum speed of more than twice this, it is reassuringly stable, probably more so than many cars struggling to maintain their 70mph convoy speed. If you need to stop from high speed the brakes are outstandingly powerful, a point which really needs remembering if there is a less well endowed vehicle behind; and the handling in both wet and dry conditions is superior to all but a couple of the production two-seater sportscars we have tested.'
It is an irony that, having brought the original DB4 concept to perfection in the form of the DB6, Aston Martin chose to change direction with the larger DBS and successor V8-engined models. Today the accomplished DB6, despite being the most evolved and practical of the original DB family is also, somewhat paradoxically, the most affordable.
Chassis number '2909/R' was sold new in February 1967 via Lex Garages (H R Owen) and first owned by a Mr R Rashbrooke of Rashbrooke Chemicals, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1. Its accompanying copy build sheet records that the car was delivered fitted with an alternator, while chrome wheels, a heated rear screen, 3 ear hub caps, power operated aerial, the Vantage engine and a 3.73:1 limited slip differential are listed as non-standard equipment. Mr Rashbrooke kept the Aston for only six months, the warranty passing to one James Slidders Buntin in August 1967.
'2909/R' was extensively restored between 1996 and 1998 by B Hodson Cars of Twyford, Leicestershire including repainting and major rebuilds of the front end, engine and gearbox with the assistance of R S Williams, who converted the engine to 'unleaded' specification at the same time. All new parts were supplied by Aston Engineering.
Previously owned by one Peter Keeling of Leicester, who had acquired it in August 1994, the Aston was purchased by the present owner in July 1998 and has seen little use since, being carefully stored while benefiting from ongoing maintenance and improvement. In 1999 a new flywheel and Borg & Beck clutch were fitted by Aston Engineering together with new propeller shaft, starter motor and battery. A Harvey Bailey Engineering handling kit was installed in 2001 by Aston Engineering, new radius arms, rubber bushes, Koni front dampers, brake hoses, etc being fitted at the same time. New chromed wire wheels and correct Avon Turbospeed tyres were fitted earlier this year. Receipts are available for most of the above work. Finished in Olive Green with original natural tan leather interior, 'VDF 44' is described as in generally excellent condition and offered with aforementioned receipts, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 document.