Announced in 1965 as an evolution of the DB5, the DB6 was four inches longer than its predecessor to give the rear seat occupants a bit more space. However, the most obvious design difference is the flat vertical tail panel with the slight kick up on the bootlid – this was not mere flattery but actually a functional aerodynamic aid to improve high speed stability. Wind tunnel testing in 1955 on the DB5 highlighted a tendency towards high speed aerodynamic lift which reduced rear wheel traction – not exactly ideal for a rear wheel driven machine!
While the overall styling was very reminiscient of the DB4 on which the car was based, the construction had been altered to use conventional steel pressings. This made the car heavier than the superleggera construction of earlier models, but only by 17lbs (approximately 8.5 kgs), so the higher 282bhp power output in the DB6 meant that it could match the speed and acceleration of the DB4 GT. The heavier construction was required mainly because the extended rear and higher roofline, raised by nearly 2 inches, needed a more rigid structure.
The DB6 maintained the approach of using cockpit-adjustable Selectaride rear shock absorbers, but the similarities ended there. Quarter windows in the doors, an air scoop under the front valance to aid with oil cooling, small “quarter” bumpers at each corner, a new rear light cluster design and the integrated kick on the tail were amongst the external design differences along with the longer bodystyle.
Production of the DB6 ran from 1965 until 1970, during which time it sold 1,330 MkI and 245 MkII models, making this the most successful Aston Martin to date.
As with other Aston Martin models, the DB6 offered a higher powered variant known as the Vantage, a convertible model referred to as the Volante, and if you’re really lucky you might someday see the Shooting Brake variant.
The Vantage models had the same engine as the standard DB6 model, but it used a higher compression cylinder head with a ratio of 9.4:1 instead of 8.9:1. This resulted in a power increase from the standard 282bhp (210kW) at 5500rpm to a far superior 325 bhp (242kW) at 5750rpm.
A convertible DB6, the Volante was introduced at the 1966 London Motor Show to an enthusiastic public. Earlier Volantes had been constructed on the last of the DB5 chassis’ and are known as short-chassis Volantes. Only 140 Volante models based on the newer DB6 chassis were finally built, including 29 Vantage-powered versions. This convertible featured an electrically operated roof, which meant it takes the title for being the first European convertible to feature a power operated roof.
An extremely rare edition of the DB6, seven were produced by the British coachbuilding firm Harold Radford, while FLM Panelcraft also produced a further three. Engine options and specifications were as per the saloon.
In August 1969, the DB6 range was refreshed and given flared front and rear wheel arches to house wider six inch wheels, wider than the previous wheels by half an inch. Electronic fuel injection was also made available as an option on the Vantage powered models, and power steering was added as standard on all DB6 MkII cars.
Aston Martin DB6 (1967) – Vital Statistics
|Power||210 kW (282 bhp) @ 5500rpm|
|Torque||380 Nm (280 lb/ft) @ 4500rpm|
|0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)||7.5 seconds|
|Maximum speed||232 km/h (144 mph)|
|Fuel consumption (average)||20.0 l/100km (14 mpg)|
|Fuel type, tank capacity||Petrol, 86 litres|
|Engine||Aston Martin designed,|
Aluminium block and head, DOHC,
3 twin choke Weber 45DC0E9 carburetors
|Cylinders and valves||Inline 6, 12v|
|Transmission||5 speed ZF overdrive manual,|
3 speed Borg-Warner automatic