The May Sale 2017

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1971 Aston Martin DB6 MKII Vantage

Lot No.: 324

Registration: JYY 208J
Chassis Number: 4286/R
Engine Number: 4667/VC
Number of cylinders: 6
CC: 4000
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Estimate (£): 325,000 - 375,000
(+buyer’s premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)


Considered by many to be the last 'real' Aston Martin, the DB6 was launched in 1965 and replaced the DB5. The wheelbase was now 4" (100mm) longer than before, resulting in an extensive restyle with a more steeply raked windscreen, reshaped rear quarter windows, and a raised roofline which made the rear seats considerably more viable. Opening front quarter lights made a reappearance, but the major change was at the rear where a 'Kamm' tail with spoiler improved the aerodynamics, greatly enhancing stability at high speeds. The Tadek Marek-designed, six-cylinder engine, which had been enlarged to 3,995cc for the preceding DB5, remained unchanged and the power output on triple SU carburettors was 282bhp, rising to 325bhp in Vantage specification with triple Webers. In the summer of 1969, the Mark 2 DB6 was announced in Saloon and Convertible (Volante) versions. Distinguishable by its flared wheel arches and DBS wheels, the  Mark 2 benefitted from power-assisted steering as standard and could be ordered with AE Brico electronic fuel injection. When DB6 production ceased in 1970, a total of 1,575 saloons had been made, plus 178 of the long-wheelbase Volante convertibles, but significantly only 50 Mk2 Vantages.

This original right hand drive car is a factory Vantage specification DB6 MKII, with matching chassis and engine numbers and was delivered new on 3rd March 1971. Finished now, as it was when new, in Dubonnet Rosso with a Tan interior, the original logbook accompanying the car confirms that it was first registered in the UK on the 3rd March 1971 to A & B Cars Ltd, who were the supplying dealers. Three owners enjoyed the car in the UK up until 1974 when it was exported to the warmer climes of South Australia. Some years later the well-known car collector, Peter Rae, persuaded his uncle (who owned the car in Australia) to part with it and subsequently bought the car back to the UK in 1988, where it was promptly entrusted to marque specialists, R.S. Williams, who serviced the Aston and carried out a full inspection in November of that year. 

Studying the accompanying history file it appears ‘4286/R' has enjoyed routine servicing and sundry repairs and maintenance throughout most of its life, however, after experiencing the heat and fierce sunlight in Australia the paintwork was no longer at its best and it was decided to repaint the car during the ownership of Mr G Hamilton, whilst residing in his collection in Jersey during the 90's. The history file also contains various letters and invoices for the period before going to Australia and after returning to the UK in 1988 onwards.  Indeed, one fastidious owner, who owned the car in 1973/74, kept diaries detailing any work carried out where he travelled on days out and documenting the mileage as he went along. These diaries are included with the car and make fascinating reading describing life with an Aston in the early Seventies.

The car was then purchased in May 2000 by John Llewellyn, who had been looking for the best factory DB6 Mark 2 Vantage he could find. He owned it until 2012 and fastidiously maintained and improved the car over those years. There are a number of invoices on file amounting to many thousands of pounds from Aston Engineering including a large one for an engine out refresh during which the engine bay was rewired and tidied and the engine was decarbonised, converted to 'unleaded', and a new clutch and flywheel fitted. John used the car sparingly during this period but on a couple of occasions took it down to the Cote d'Azur where it would be parked outside La Mere Germaine in Villefranche-sur-Mer, and greeted with a ripple of applause from the knowledgeable clientele, exposed daily to acres of brightly-coloured 'Supercars'.

Having decided to move to France in 2012, it was time to move the Aston on and he sold it to our vendor, John Cleland, owner of 'Clelands Volvo', a long established and well-respected dealership in the Scottish Borders. However, John is probably better known as a hugely successful Touring Car driver (BTCC Champion 1989 and 1995), global car racer, commentator and TV personality. Having access to a vast array of exotic machinery meant that John kept the DB6 for special days out, and consequently only covered a few miles during those years. Naturally, it was maintained by his own team of talented auto-engineers.

The odometer now reads 36,924 miles, which studying the history accompanying the car, may well be correct but, with few records from its period in Australia, cannot be warranted. 
The Dubonnet Rosso paintwork still retains a deep shine and the bodywork looks excellent with some of the best and most consistent shut lines we have ever seen on a hand-built Aston. There are one or two tiny blemishes here and there and the interior is gently patinated, but this is an unrestored car and is essentially a very honest and totally usable DB6.


Whilst this stunning and very rare Aston would make an impressive addition to any international collection and would surely be welcome at the most prestigious classic car events anywhere, we can't help feeling that it's best years are still ahead. Make no mistake, this is a very rare car. The factory only produced 34 Mk2 DB6 Saloons to a Vantage specification and this one was completed with a manual 5 speed gearbox - the ultimate incarnation! This is a significant opportunity to own an important car which, whilst almost certainly a wise investment, is totally usable and a delight to drive. This car is now with us and available for private viewing and inspection. Interested parties please contact Harry Whale in the office on 01926 691141 to arrange.