Portola Hotel & Spa
16 - 17 August 2013
Lot 142

1966 Aston Martin DB6


$321,750 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • An elegant and speedy “Gentleman’s Express”
  • Restored by Kevin Kay
  • Upgraded Vantage power and modern comforts
  • Well-presented for touring and show

325 bhp, 3,994 cc dual overhead-cam inline six-cylinder engine, five-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length A-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: 102 in.

Sir David Brown’s 25-year stewardship of the Aston Martin company, spanning the period from 1947 to 1972, produced some of the most charismatic models in the storied marque’s long history.

Among them, the DB6 is arguably the ultimate development of his concept for a grand touring motor company, combining the attractive covered headlamp nose of the predecessor DB5 with an aero-efficient “Kamm tail” rear, featuring a small upswept spoiler. The chassis underneath was extended 3.75 inches, in order to accommodate, for the first time, a usable pair of rear seats, and it was fitted with wire wheels, power-assisted Girling disc brakes, and a limited-slip rear differential. Body panels were hand-formed from aluminum, in Aston tradition. The result was something of a “long-wheelbase DB5” with outstanding performance and increased comfort for long trips.

Powered by a Tadek Marek-designed, twin-cam, alloy six-cylinder engine, the DB6 could carry its passengers in limousine luxury from 0–60 mph in under 7 seconds, and it had a top speed of 148 mph. Between 1965 and 1970, only 1,327 lucky customers were able to enjoy that feeling. It is no surprise that the DB6 remains among the most enthusiastically sought, collected, and driven specimens of the Aston Martin breed.

The car offered here was delivered by London dealers H.R. Owen on May 24, 1966, and it was registered in the United Kingdom as ‘KJD 982D’ on December 31 of that year, for a Mr. Ciba, of Piccadilly. It was originally finished in Celeste Metallic with dark blue Connolly leather upholstery piped in grey and was specified with chrome wire wheels, Fiamm air horns, a heated backlight, and a 3.54:1 rear differential. The car eventually came to North America, where it was owned by enthusiasts in British Columbia and Oregon. It then returned to England, until its acquisition by the present owner, a passionate, long-time enthusiast with a love of driving his cars.

A well-preserved, maintained, and mostly original car as-purchased, the DB6 has recently been the subject of a restoration performed by Kevin Kay, the West Coast’s premiere Aston Martin specialist. In the goal of making the car cosmetically and mechanically outstanding in every regard, it was finished in bright silver, with expertly installed diamond-pleated tan leather upholstery. All chrome, including badges and wheels, was redone to show standards. Befitting a car that was built to be driven exhaustively on California’s golden roads, it was professionally converted by Mr. Kay from the original right-hand drive to left-hand drive. Tasteful and functional modern air conditioning and stereo systems were added by Reed Jensen, as well as adjustable power steering, which allows the driver to select from either typically “tight” Aston Martin handling or cushier steering for city use. Mr. Jensen also installed a five-speed automatic transmission, which is an excellent match for the power of the upgraded Vantage-specification engine.

The owner reports that Mr. Kay’s work alone cost upwards of $150,000, as is documented by receipts that will accompany the car, along with a file on its history. He recalls that it has been a favorite tour car for his family, driven on Route 66 and on journeys in Georgia, the Carolinas, and New Mexico. After completing the New Mexico tour, the car was driven back to its owner’s Southern California home in a single day—a jaunt which it notably completed free of troubles. As a result, this is described as an extremely comfortable touring machine that drives extremely well and would be perfect for any journey that the owner wished to take.

In summary, this is an Aston that remains a swift, capable, and capacious “Gentleman’s Express,” just as Sir David wanted it to be. It needs only to be introduced to the long, sweeping highways of one’s choice.