Chassis #: DBVC/2330/R
Engine # 400/2361
As the new DB6 was being unveiled to the world it would be realized there were still some 37 DB5 chassis in the factory, unused. Given the popularity of the DB5, a use for the remaining chassis needed to be found. If the DB5 wasn't already highly sought-after, the remaining chassis would become a small series of ultra-exclusive cars known simply as the—Volante.
Each model Aston Martin built upon its predecessor. The styling of the DB4 would be found rather easily in the Touring model of the DB5. Other components and mechanicals of the DB4 would also be carried over, just improved upon with the DB5. In the case of the Volante, however, nearly the entire car would be a copy of the convertible version of the DB5, just with a different nameplate.
In many respects, the Volante offered the best of both worlds. The love affair with the DB5 was obvious. However, the advances of the DB6 were also especially desirable. Therefore, what better thing to do than to combine the advantages of both into the remaining DB5 short chassis? And so, the exterior of the car would look nearly the same to the convertible version of the DB5. However, the interior would take from the DB6, including the larger Smith instruments, Wilton wool carpeting and even the stitching pattern.
Nearly all of the proven DB5 mechanicals would be carried over to the Volante. This would include the Girling disc brakes, all-alloy, triple-carburetor engine and either the Borg-Warner automatic or the ZF gearbox. Additional options on the Volante even included limited-slip differential and air-conditioning.
Using the remaining 37 DB5 short chassis, production of the first Short Chassis Volante would last just the year, but it would prove, in the minds of many, to be the finest and most exclusive model ever offered by Aston Martin to that point in its history.
The opportunities to come and own one of the original Aston Martin Volantes are normally very rare in the occurrence. However, in March of 2013, at the Gooding & Company event in Amelia Island, just such an occurrence is slated to happen. DBVC/2330/R was purchased by John Jennings of Gerrards Cross. Finished in Pacific Blue with beige upholstery, the Volante would originally come with such features as a Motorola radio, Borg-Warner automatic transmission, chrome wire wheels, Marchal fog lamps and a power-operated aerial.
Registered HYR 999 C, the Volante would appear for regular early service intervals and would eventually come in at 1,000 miles for scheduled service and paintwork, but also, to receive a new rear axle. Throughout 1966, the car would almost regularly return to Aston Martin as Mr. Jennings would complain about the car's shifting. This would lead to the factory replacing the gearbox, torque converter, transmission and even having the throttle linkage adjusted.
Late in 1966, Jennings would suffer an accident with the car and would return it to the factory for the necessary repairs. The work would be completed, but the car would continue to return for updates or new parts. Indeed, in December of 1967 the car would receive a new engine, gearbox, rear axle and axle shafts and would also have the brakes and electrical systems checked.
In 1970, the Short Chassis Volante was to be found in Cape Town, South Africa. Unfortunately, the car fell into disuse and in bad condition and would end up not being used at all. For nearly 30 years the car would be nearly lost until discovered by Peter Stratford of Goodwood Green Classics. Overall, the conditions of the chassis and the body panels remained in good condition. A thorough restoration had more than a mere hope then to return the car to its former glory.
A collector in Carmel, California would come to own the car, and, with the help of Mr. Stratford, the restoration would get underway. The engine would be rebuilt to 4.2-liters. The Borg-Warner gearbox would be replaced with a correct ZF five-speed and the steering would be converted from right to left-hand drive. When finished, there was practically nothing, not even a nut or a bolt, that had not been addressed and the result would be nothing short of excellence.
The excellence of the car could not be more obvious than when, in 2005, Lawrence Macks would willing trade his DB4 and Mercedes-Benz 3.5 Cabriolet as a partial payment to own the incredible and exclusive Volante. In 2010, the car again would be sold. This time, well-known collector Jim Patterson would be the owner and the car was to take its place in a collection already filled with some of the finest European classics.
Although already a stunning example of the Short Chassis Volante, Mr. Patterson would determine to have Steel Wings perform a concours quality repaint. Additionally, Mr. Patterson would have all of the mechanicals on the car checked and brought into superb condition and function. Finished in a period-correct Winchester Blue with dark blue leather interior, the car is absolutely striking and is certainly eligible for countless rallies and concours events.
This particular Short Chassis Volante would be drawing estimates truly deserving of its pedigree and exclusivity. Those estimates would only be made available upon serious request as it was very clear this is a truly special, original Aston Martin Volante. Just one glance and it is more than obvious Aston Martin made good use of its resources it had just lying around.Sources:
'Lot No. 61: 1965 Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante', (http://www.goodingco.com/car/1965-aston-martin-short-chassis-volante). Gooding & Company. http://www.goodingco.com/car/1965-aston-martin-short-chassis-volante. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
'1966 Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z14438/Aston-Martin-Short-Chassis-Volante.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z14438/Aston-Martin-Short-Chassis-Volante.aspx. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
'Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/4860/Aston-Martin-Short-Chassis-Volante.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/4860/Aston-Martin-Short-Chassis-Volante.html. Retrieved 7 March 2013By Jeremy McMullen