SOLD – 1969 Aston Martin DB6

  • 1969 Aston Martin DB6
  • Silver Birch with black interior
  • Upgraded 4.2-litre straight-six engine
  • Harvey Bailey suspension kit

The fabled bloodline of DB4, DB5 and DB6 represents many enthusiasts’ idea of the archetypal Aston Martin. The blend of Italian styling and British engineering make them among the most recognisable and coveted of all classic cars.

The Aston Martin DB6 being offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub left the Newport Pagnell factory on 14 February 1969 and was sold via the HR Owen dealership. Chassis number DB6/3550-R was fitted with engine number 400/3969, and when new it would have cost its first owner the princely sum of just over £4000 including taxes.

Originally supplied in black with matching trim, the DB6 was fully restored during the early 2000s. As part of that extensive process, which is documented in the history file, the car was stripped to bare metal and repainted in the iconic Aston Martin shade of Silver Birch.

The Borg Warner automatic gearbox with which it had left the factory in 1969 was replaced with a genuine S5/325 ZF five-speed manual unit, while in the cabin the headlining was replaced and a full set of black Wilton carpets was fitted.

Further work was carried out in 2009, when a Harvey Bailey suspension kit was fitted in order to improve the car’s roadholding. The upgrades comprised new springs and dampers all round, including the adjustable Armstrong Selectaride rear dampers that had been optional extras on the DB4 and DB5 but were standard on all DB6s.

The DB6 was then sold by Oselli Classic & Sports Cars in 2015 and was treated to further restoration work by the same company. The job list included a respray – once more in Silver Birch – as well as rechroming the brightwork, replacing the windscreen and fitting all new rubbers and seals, a complete retrim, and a rebuild of the front suspension. The steering geometry was reset at the same time.

A modern high-torque starter motor dramatically improves starting performance, and the original engine has been upgraded to 4.2-litre specification. The cylinder heads have been converted so that it will run on unleaded fuel, too.

Electric power steering completes the package and the result is an Aston Martin that drives beautifully, as befitting its status as the ultimate development of the original DB line.

Model history

When it was launched in 1958, the DB4 represented a fresh start for Aston Martin. Seeking to replace its aging DB2 line, it combined a new platform chassis with a sharp body that was designed by Touring and built using that company’s lightweight Superleggera system.

Beneath the bonnet was Tadek Marek’s new 3.7-litre twin-cam straight-six, and the DB4 progressed through Series I to Series V variants – as well as the short-wheelbase, competition-focused DB4 GT.

In 1963, the DB4 was replaced by the DB5, for which the engine was enlarged to 4 litres. There were myriad detail differences, but in essence this newest variant was a logical development of the last DB4s. It became the most famous of the DBs, however, thanks to its big-screen association with James Bond.

More fundamental changes came with the 1965 introduction of the DB6. In order to increase cabin space, the wheelbase was extended by almost four inches and the rear end was redesigned with a Kamm-style tail and integral lip spoiler.

The Superleggera construction was dropped, with the result that the body was considerably more rigid for a weight penalty of only 17lb.

The 4-litre engine was carried over from the DB5 and produced 282bhp, or 325bhp in Vantage specification – enough to give that model a top speed of 150mph. There was a choice of five-speed ZF manual gearbox or three-speed Borg Warner automatic, disc brakes were fitted all round, and for the first time there was the optional extra of power assistance for the rack-and-pinion steering.

A total of 1786 Aston Martin DB6s were built before the model was replaced in 1970 by the DBS, which heralded both a new design direction and the end of a glorious era.

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