Aston Martin DB6 Mark I Volante
When the new DB4 model debuted in 1959, an all-new and very powerful 3.7-litre alloy six, designed by Polish-born Aston Martin engineer Tadek Marek, was placed under the bonnet. Versions of this torquey and versatile unit in various displacements and output levels powered the succession of DB4, DB5 and DB6 Aston Martins for 13 years, until the launch of Marek’s own 5.3-litre, quad-cam V-8 in 1971.
Of these models, the DB6 unquestionably advanced the many attributes of David Brown’s “gentleman’s express” concept of a luxurious, high-speed Grand Touring motorcar. The DB6 received the attractive DB4GT/DB5-type nose with covered headlamps, while the rear was designed with an aero-efficient “Kamm tail” featuring a small upswept spoiler. The chassis was extended by three inches in order to accommodate a pair of small but now-usable rear seats, and the body panels were, as always with an Aston, made of hand-formed aluminium.
The comprehensive assortment of standard DB6 equipment included air conditioning, adjustable shock absorbers, electric window lifts, power-assisted Girling four-wheel disc brakes, a “Power-Lok” limited-slip differential, a radio and wire-spoke wheels, with ZF power steering optional. Inside, the cockpit was richly trimmed with the finest Connolly leather hides and Wilton wool carpeting. These luxurious appointments belied the race-bred performance of the DB6 and its eager 4.0-litre six, which produced 282 bhp in standard tune and propelled the DB6 from rest to 60 mph in about six seconds, en route to top speeds of 148 mph or more depending upon the rear-axle ratio selected.
As production of the new Aston Martin DB6 was heralded by the marque’s display at the London Motor Show in October 1965, an initial batch of 37 “interim” convertible models were initiated on the last few remaining DB5 chassis that were slated for production. These cars were simply christened “Volante,” a name coined by Kent Monk, literally meaning “flying” and marking the first such open Astons to carry this nomenclature. Ever since then, this elegant designation has been used to identify Aston Martin’s open cars.
After this initial group of DB5-based convertibles, production of the new DB6 Volante commenced, of which just 140 examples were built from 1966 through 1969. Of those, 102 Mark I models were produced between 1966 through late 1969, which are easily distinguished from the later “Mark II” variants by their non-flared wheel arches and more delicate styling.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Battersea Evolution, London.
282 bhp, 3,995 cc inline six-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts and triple SU carburettors, ZF five-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with Watt linkage, radius rods and coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 101"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Benson Chiu