Image credits: © Aston Martin.

1965 Aston Martin DB6 Volante

Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin created the Aston Martin Company in 1913 for the sole purpose of racing. They built a car which sat atop an Isotta-Fraschini chassis. The name of the company was in honor to the Aston Clinton Hillclimb race combined with Lionel Martin's surname. After World War One they created their own cars which quickly gained a reputation for reliability and speed by setting many speed records. In 1924 the company was taken over by new ownership, which began a series of ownership changes for the company that lasted for many years.

After World War Two, the company was in financial distress and production was slow to resume. David Brown purchased the company in 1947, also purchased the Lagonda automobile company. Though his financial support brought the company back into existence, it was his charismatic designs that are responsible for its longevity and success. The DB series, David Browns initials, first appearing in 1957 are some of the most memorable and skillfully crafted designs of all time. They offered superior handling and power than most of their competitors. The aluminum body panels of the DB4 were part of the reason they were given the 'supperleggera' name, meaning superlight.

The DB6 was produced for a short period of time, lasting from 1965 through 1970 with only 1327 examples being created. They are the climax of David Brown's expression of a gentleman's ultimate touring motor car.

The DB6 was given styling cues from the DB4GT and DB5 but sat atop a chassis that had been extended by 3.75 inches to give extra room for the rear passengers. The DB5's followed the success of the DB4's and featured similar body work as the 2 door, 4 seater Saloon. Under the hood of the DB5 was a six-cylinder engine of 3995 cc displacement and capable of producing over 280 horsepower. The Vantage option increased the output rating to 314 bhp. Most of the DB5s featured a new ZF five-speed transmission. Unlike the DB4's, the DB5's were equipped with Electric windows and Selectaride type Armstrong Dampers. These were luxuries, but they also increased the weight of the vehicle and decreasing the overall performance. The zero-to-sixty time was 8.1 seconds with the top speed being in the neighborhood of 143 mph.

Instead of using a gracefully rounded DB5 tail, the DB6 now featured a rear spoiler. 1966 was the final year for Carrozzeria bodied Aston Martins. Instead of utilizing assembly lines, the Aston Martins were hand built. The specialized process of creating a vehicle took around 2900 man-hours, thus the low production figures.

A 4 liter six-cylinder engine could be found under the hood. The Vantage option included three twin-choke Weber 45DCOE9 carburetors and produced 325 horsepower. Top speed was just under 150 mph while zero-to-sixty took just 6.2 seconds. A five speed manual gearbox was standard as was the limited slip differential. The vehicle was suspended by an independent front suspension with coil springs and shocks. Stopping power was provided by disc brakes located on all four wheels. The interior continued the appeal of sophistication with Connolly leather and Wilton wool seats.

The DB6 was the final phase of evolution for the DB series. It is the pinnacle of style and performance and encompasses both form and function. The lightweight body, aggressive stance, potent engine, and perfectly tuned suspension continued the Aston Martin racing heritage without sacrificing care or comfort. It is the ultimate gentleman's sport car.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006

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