This car was bought over the phone, bringing to mind a favorite jest of one of my good friends:


The new Aston Martin DB6 was introduced at the 1965 London Motor Show as a distinctively restyled development of the successful DB4 and DB5 model ranges. The flat transom Kamm-tail topped by an integral spoiler attracted much comment, and although the new bodyshell was only 17 pounds heavier than its predecessor, the DB6 gives the impression of being a far more substantial, deep-chested motor car. It certainly succeeded in offering increased leg and head room in both the front and rear seats. Quarter lights, last seen on Aston Martin in the DB2/4s, reappeared on the DB6.
The DB6s were powered by the successful twin-cam, 4-liter, six-cylinder engine, already proven in the racing DBR2s and production DB5 series, while Selectaride damper control was now standard equipment. As further departures from tradition, a Power-Lok limited-slip differential, chrome plated or painted wheels, whitewall tires and two- or three-eared hub nuts all became options within the standard price of £4,998 ($13,995).
The Volante, Aston's term for its convertible models, was also introduced at the 1965 London Motor Show, the first batch of 37 cars being built on the last of the DB5 chassis frames with an 8-foot, 2-inch wheelbase. The grown up DB6 MKI Volante then made its debut at the 1966 London Motor Show, its specification matching that of the DB6 saloon save for the power-operated hood and an all-up weight of 3,223 pounds, slightly less than that of the saloon. A total of 140 were made.
This particular DB6 Volante was delivered to New York in April 1967, via agent Chinetti. Originally fitted with an automatic transmission, it was updated early in its life (maybe even at the factory) with the correct type ZF five-speed manual gearbox. The car spent most of its life in the United States, until it was sold to Switzerland in 1989 for $225,000. The current owner purchased the car in 1997.
Painted in the highly attractive original color of olive green, this Aston Martin still retains its original tan leather interior. The carpets in the passenger compartment and the boot have recently been renewed with Wilton wool carpets. The original tan Everflex power top is still fitted and although in good order is now starting to show some signs of wear. The car has power steering, power windows and chrome wire wheels. New tires have recently been fitted. 103,090 miles shows on the odometer and this is believed to be genuine mileage from new. Offered in good running condition, this rare Volante warrants close inspection.

SCM Analysis


This 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Mk I Volante sold for $192,088 at Christie’s Paris Auction, held Feb. 14, 2004.
Sometimes there is a special ether in the air at auctions and it causes the prices made by certain cars to baffle and perplex those of us in the trade. If you have come in a little late, let me explain. Our subject is the aforementioned Aston Martin DB6 Volante, a thoroughly uninspiring example. In Paris the ether was so strong that this car was bought over the phone, bringing to mind a favorite jest of one of my good friends: “Put the phone near the car so I can have a good look at it.”
The stage was set with the almighty auction catalog. I’m convinced that printing a photograph of any quasi-rare vintage car in an auction catalog immediately gives it more provenance and validation to some buyers than if that same car were sitting in the showroom of the world’s greatest expert on that particular marque.
Simply put, there are people out there who buy only from the pages of auction catalogs because their perception of the purpose of the catalog is acutely askew. A catalog does not serve as the map to the Holy Grail; it doesn’t prove that “this car is arguably the best one on the planet,” and it certainly should not be interpreted as the definitive barometer of the marketplace. The astute buyer will use any auction catalog as one of many tools to inform and educate about the specifics of each lot on offer-end of story.
In this case, the Volante’s mechanical condition, service history and restoration record are not mentioned in the catalog. We do know it started out as an automatic, and has a heap of miles showing on the odo, but that’s about it. What the catalog failed to mention, and that I learned from those who know this car quite well, was that the head gasket leaked and the car was improperly Vantage badged, as it was not one of the 29 built with that 325-hp, triple-Weber option. Though structurally sound, the car was entirely worn out mechanically and cosmetically. I’d call it tired at best, a car that will need a restoration of some magnitude to be safely enjoyed now. Of course, one man’s “good running condition” is another’s man sorry old goat.
We’ve said this many times before: If you choose to plop down 200 large, without inspection, based on a half-page of seller’s verbiage (whether from an auction company, dealer or a private party’s “really neat Web site”) on anything, if all your stars are aligned you may get a terrific deal. However, you should also be aware that the odds are stacked against you.
I’d venture a guess that when this DB6 Mk I Volante sold there were three or four Volantes in stock at specialist dealers, all probably for sale for quite some time, most likely in better shape, that would have cost less money on that day in February.
But the ether has far-reaching effects, and those dealers have undoubtedly raised their prices based on this sale. As DB4s and DB5s have been railing up in price for some time, the DB6 seems likely to be carried with them. And over time, the buyer here, assuming he doesn’t have to do a $50,000 suspension and mechanical refurbishment in the near future, will probably be fine. But on this particular day, if you had asked me how I would have valued this particular car, I would have pegged it in the $120,000-$140,000 range.-Steve Serio
(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)

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