Aston Martin announced a convertible version of its latest DB6 at the London Motor Show in October 1965. Unsurprisingly, it proved to be a stunning success and the model continued in production until November 1970.
For the first time a new name entered the Aston Martin glossary: ‘Volante’, the title adopted by all subsequent dropheads thereafter. After an initial batch of cars were completed on the outgoing, shorter DB5 chassis, in October 1966 Aston Martin launched the definitive version.
Complete with ‘Kamm tail’, the DB6 Volante enjoyed many similarities with its closed relative and was unusual for a drophead in being slightly lighter (1,466kg vs. 1,474kg) – and that was despite the now standard power hood. All of this in a genuine four seater, not a 2 + 2! Nearly half the 140 first series of DB6 Volantes were automatics, while only 29 carried the powerful, triple-Weber Vantage engine.
DBVC/3650/R is indeed one of the 29 that were built from a total of 140 that were fitted with the Vantage engine. Supplied new in May 1967 via Botwoods to Mecca Ltd, the London-based leisure business that ran nightclubs, hotels, theme parks, bingo parlours, and Hard Rock Cafés. The accompanying copy guarantee form records the original registration as 'FVG 111E' (the same as it is today) and lists the following items of non-standard equipment: Vantage engine; power steering; chrome road wheels; 3-ear hubcaps; power aerial; Motorola radio; lap and diagonal safety belts; and a detachable headrest. The original colour scheme was Mink with dark blue Connolly leather interior and matching Everflex hood.
Reassuringly, for the last 44 years 'FVG 111E' has belonged to the present owner's family – part of a renowned collection which over the years has included such greats as C-Type and D-Type Jaguars. Although of course better known now for their award winning Ferrari restorations - in the mid/late 1980s was extensively restored by DK Engineering over a period of several years such was the extent of the works carried out. Interesting to note that at the time this equated to circa half the value of the car. The car was subsequently serviced by Alexander Hillyer Engineering based near Thame, Oxfordshire: a well-respected Aston Martin and classic car service garage. Unfortunately, when the proprietor passed away in the late 1990s the business was discontinued. From the late 1990s the vendor's family has employed Alexander Hillyer Engineering's former head mechanic directly. The maintenance and servicing for the DB6 and a number of other valuable cars has been done in house utilising the owner’s own workshop and facilities.
The very pinnacle of British open-top motoring in the 1960s. Offering space, comfort and power, this beautiful DB6 Vantage Volante benefits from long-term enthusiast ownership in the most desirable specification and is looking forward to remembering its youth and the re-opening of nightclubs, hotels and theme parks!