This sale proves that a rare car can be slightly modified from original with nary a complaint from a qualified and educated buyer

This quite exceptional DB6 Mk II Volante comes with what is surely every Aston enthusiast's dream provenance-a complete, illustrated record of its total restoration at Works Service.

Prepared by the Aston Martin Heritage Center, this report runs to more than 80 pages and is thus far too lengthy to reproduce here. Included within it are details of every phase of the restoration, from the accident damage found after stripping, to the dynamometer reading of the engine on the test bed.

A team of eight people-among them possessing 105 years of Aston Martin experience-were hand-picked to carry out this restoration. Records have been produced tracking every item on this Mk II Volante, from being stripped to being reworked to being refitted.

During this process many photographs were taken, not only to aid restoration but also to build up an in-depth provenance record. The intention of this restoration was to return DB6/3768/R to its original condition in keeping with the "car for life" program of the Heritage Center Aston Martin Works Service department, whereby knowledge of the past and benefits of the future are brought together to enhance the ownership of the car.

A further objective was to bring the DB6 Mk IIinto the 21st century, modifying and updating where possible without spoiling its original appearance. Thus the restoration was carried out using modern techniques and materials such as "E" coating the chassis to bring it up to present day standards of corrosion prevention.

In total, there were 750 individual items needing some kind of attention in order to complete this restoration.

The DB6 Mk II was fully stripped down to the bare chassis and sand blasted to reveal any hidden corrosion. Once the chassis had been fully restored it was then "E" coated. Wherever possible, the exterior body panels were chemically dipped to remove any surface corrosion and then reworked on the original body jigs to the correct shape, grafting in new aluminum as required.

With the hand-formed panels fully covering the chassis, the car was given its exterior color using a modern painting system, and then the paintwork was flatted and polished to give a high gloss finish to the coachwork.

The car was now ready for the installation of its entire complement of fully refurbished items that had been removed many months previously. Once all the mechanical and trim items had been carefully reinstalled, the car underwent an extensive inspection and road test program before customer hand-over.

Specification highlights of this wonderful Mk II Volante include Goodwood Green livery, classic grain, hide upholstery in Warm Beige, black mohair hood with beige backing, 4.2-liter engine converted to accept unleaded fuel, stainless steel exhaust system, SU electric fuel pump, Optronic electronic ignition, 5-speed ZF gearbox, 3.77:1 rear axle with limited-slip differential, 15-inch Turrino wire wheels shod with 205HR/15 radial tires, negative earth electrics, vehicle tracker, and CD stereo system.
Completed in July 2005, DB6/3768/R is offered with restoration invoices, current MoT and Swansea V5 registration document, and represents a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a virtually "as-new" example of one of the most desirable of all Aston Martins, restored at the factory to better-than-new specification and possessing impeccable provenance.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:Aston Martin DB6 Mk II
Number Produced:38
Distributor Caps:$55
Chassis Number Location:Under hood on right side near firewall: Stamped in chassis, left hand lower side near the bottom of the suspension wishbone
Engine Number Location:On chassis plate & on left front of block
Club Info:AMOC, Attn: Susan Laskey (secretary), 1301 Avenue of the Americas, 30th Floor, NY, NY 10019
Investment Grade:B

This Aston Martin DB6 Mk II Volante sold for $852,390 at the Bonhams Aston Martin Works Service sale in Newport Pagnell, England, on May 12, 2007.

Do we credit this result as “long overdue market notice” or once-in-a-lifetime price? Is this the Aston Martin equivalent of the four members of the Boston Red Sox recently hitting back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs, or is it the respect that the DB series of 1960s open cars deserves? Me thinks the latter.

On occasion, auction offerings hit monetary grand slams for no good reason, and a gargantuan price is realized for something that is not rare, sadly presented, or not terribly desirable. Collectors and traders mutter amongst themselves and remain baffled during such times of auction day calamity. However, this successful sale should surprise no one and I’ll explain why.

You could have bid over the phone

The write-up for lot 216 was explicit. You could have bid on this over the phone without ever attending the auction, and you knew what was going to be delivered to your garage. Bravo to the owner, writer, and Bonhams on this. Many catalog descriptions are useless or vague; this was the polar opposite. Restored by the Aston Martin factory Heritage department and presented with over 80 pages of documentation-please add a premium, pass GO and collect $200. Every sentence was informative and needed.

Now, the automobile itself is ultra rare (the rarest of all open DB series cars and the last of the breed with just 38 examples ever manufactured) and in Aston terms, is desirable, beautiful, and restored with impeccable taste.

Surely, obviously, two identical models could have brought over $800,000, as there was a legitimate under-bidder. No excuses here.

This DB6 Mk II Volante was prepared with a few modern touches: Gone is the positive earth, non-original rims were fitted, a CD player added, modern undercoating applied, and more importantly, a massaged 4.2-liter motor was built. I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet the original color combination was shown the door to make way for this tasteful marriage of Goodwood Green and beige. What I’m getting at is this: “Who cared and grumbled?” No one with the money, is the answer.

As always, buy what you like. If you can, buy what you like in the best condition and with the best provenance-or what simply turns out to be the best driving example-and don’t get caught up in the foolish hype of worrying about some anorak dork who will ask if it’s the original color, or what happened to the original Motorola 8-track? Scram, you chassis-number-collector, before you get hit with this non-original knock-off hammer!

Slightly modified without complaint

This DB6 Mk II proves that a rare, expensive, desirable, not-easily-replaced car can be slightly modified from original with nary an uttering of complaint from a qualified and educated buyer (I know the end user; this applies to him).

Any useless jargon about “dos and don’ts” of proper restoration from some brochure-collecting monkey in the peanut gallery will be quickly dismissed.

This was no fluke, folks. This particular car is the contemporary stablemate to a Ferrari 365 GTS in rarity, and on this day, it hit the grand slam for price, and deservedly so.

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