Monterey | Lot 358
1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage
$808,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
14 August 2021
- Original left-hand-drive, Vantage engine-powered DB6
- Restored by marque specialist Kevin Kay Restorations between 2018-2021
- Equipped with its matching-numbers engine
- Fresh to market; first time offered for sale since 1982
In 1958, Aston Martin introduced its revolutionary grand touring sports saloon, the DB4. Its famous successor, the DB5, came roaring onto the world stage in 1963, and by 1965 the series had reached its ultimate development with the DB6, which was produced in its first-series form until 1969. Many enthusiasts consider the DB6 to be the best of the trio, as it offers the most sublime combination of gentlemanly luxury, sophisticated street manners, and straight-line performance.
As was customary for Aston Martin, the Vantage engine was available as an option to those owners who wanted that extra power boost. Having evolved from the DB4 Special Series engine first seen in 1961, Vantage engines were fitted with three Weber carburetors, high-compression heads, and more aggressive camshafts. In the uprated Vantage state of tune, the Tadek Marek-designed and race-proven inline six-cylinder was perfected to produce 325 horsepower, while Touring of Milan’s celebrated coachwork design was by now stretched two inches to accommodate a wheelbase 3.75 inches longer than its predecessor—offering a more refined ride with room in the back for actual adult passengers. The addition of its advanced and modern Kamm-style tail crowned the DB6’s ravishing presence.
Like its predecessors, the DB6 was a car that attracted customers looking for a certain type of luxury grand tourer. One such gentleman was James Willis Walter, first owner of the car offered here. Founder of Jim Walter Homes, later known as Walter Energy, Mr. Walter was truly a man of discerning taste; he ordered his DB6 equipped with a host of options, not the least of which was the uprated Vantage engine. Present on the accompanying build sheet is a laundry list of seldom-seen nonstandard equipment, including Normalair air conditioning, chrome wheels with three-ear hub caps, two Walkers wing mirrors, two Marchal fog lamps, and a European-specification Bosch Koln TR radio with a power-operated aerial. The build sheet notes that the guarantee was issued upon the car’s completion on 17 October 1966; however, it is likely that DB6/2851/LN did not reach the shores of the United States until the new year. Due to this, the DB6 has been registered as a 1967 model year.
DB6/2851/LN was acquired by the current owner’s family in 1982. In 2018 it began a complete “nut and bolt,” open-checkbook restoration with the aim to return DB6/2851/LN to perfection. The car was sent to renowned Aston Martin specialist Kevin Kay Restorations with goal of restoring it to concours condition cosmetically, with the highest level of drivability achievable. The combination of reliable additional power and impeccable handling and braking, along with air conditioning, make DB6/2851/LN a perfect candidate for eligible 1,000-mile rallies.
The full restoration would take nearly three years, during which time the car was completely disassembled, and all trouble spots repaired and components replaced. The Vantage engine was increased to 4.2 liters with modern JMB “Fast Road Cams” and modern valves, a Tremec five-speed transmission was installed, the suspension was upgraded with a larger front sway bar and coil-over shocks, a rear Steel Wings handling kit was installed, cooling was upgraded with a JMB high-flow water pump, aluminum radiator and Evans waterless coolant, and the fuel tanks were replaced with alloy versions, all to improve drivability and reliability. Furthermore, the Blaupunkt Koln radio was restored and rebuilt to include Bluetooth for cell phone connection and music playback. The DB6 was resprayed the original color of Silver Birch and upholstered in factory-correct Dark Blue Connolly leather with matching Wilton carpet, as specified in the build record.
Accompanied by the original transmission, restoration receipts, and a copy of the original build record, DB6/2851/LN is fresh from its restoration and ready for its new owner. A sought-after David Brown–era Aston Martin, this matching-number-engine DB6 Vantage is a wonderful example of the British “Gentleman’s Express.”