Ads on Test: Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante
This right-hand drive car has shed a pretty penny since it last changed hands. Paul Hardiman sees if that makes it a bargain
his UK-supplied factory Vantage, one of 29 built, spent some time in Japan, where it was last painted and trimmed, before returning to the UK around 2013. It subsequently sold at auction at the peak of the market for 30 per cent more than today’s asking price.
There’s a good history file including a heritage certificate that declares it was originally Olive Green; it’s now in the lighter California Sage. The build sheet is included, which shows it was specced from new with power steering, a 3.73:1 axle, chrome wire wheels with Avon whitewalls, three-ear spinners, seatbelts, alternator and a power aerial, and always had the ZF five-speed gearbox. In the current ownership since 2015, more than £40,000 has been spent on its upkeep with DJ Smail and previously Goldsmith & Young, including new springs, uprated anti-roll bar and conversion to rear telescopic dampers.
Its appearance is still excellent with only a couple of areas of paint chipping around the bootlid opening, one small chip by the fuel filler flap and one high spot at the bottom of the left door. The rechrome is good, though the rear bumpers don’t quite sit level, which is normal. The wheels and stainless exhaust look newish, the chassis outriggers solid and tyres are 2017-dated, little worn Avons. In the boot are original tools, with a newer-looking copper hammer.
Inside, the leather is hardly worn and the carpets are all good, both in the original fawn. The electric hood, in the same material and colour as the original, was likely renewed at the time of the repaint, and works perfectly, as do the electric windows. The green tape in the door shuts protects chrome kickplate finishers the selling dealer has added. There are rear belts and opening the speaker grille reveals a modern stereo with iPod connection.
The motor is tidy, in factory finishes and with no leaks. Fluids are clean but will be renewed again before sale.
It starts easily, ticks over reliably and is generally easy to conduct, though the brakes – with an initial slightly dead feel before they bite powerfully – take a little getting used to, but that’s normal on a David Brown Aston. The steering is nicely weighted, and it’s surprisingly quick for a 50-year-old car – willing to rev, though we didn’t push it much over 3000rpm, where the oil pressure is almost 100psi, warm. Coolant temperature stays under 90°C on the move. As well as the standard mechanical blades, an extra electric fan cuts in when you stop after some time in traffic. Synchromesh is all good, though the fifth-fourth change isn’t as straightforward as you’d hope. There was a little flutter through the steering at 70mph, but that might have just been slightly flat-spotted tyres from standing.
This appears a nicely sorted, no-needs and very usable car that’s not too perfect to use and enjoy, and its post-2015 depreciation is already factored in – at the seller’s expense. All of the selling dealer’s cars are sold with a 12-month warranty and new MoT, and serviced before sale. This is one of four cars for sale tested in the latest issue, part of 16 pages of buying tips and advice, including Quentin Willson’s Hot Tips, Ads on Test and Buying Guide in the latest issue of Classic Cars.
Engine 3995cc dodc inline six-cylinder Power 325bhp @ x5750rpm Torque 290lb ft @ x4500rpm 0-60mph 6.1sec Top Speed 144mph Fuel Consumption 16mpg Length 4623mm Width 1676mm