As Royal wedding fever was about to wear off, the Prince had one last surprise in store. For many years his Father has been the owner of an Aston Martin DB6 Mark II that was converted to run on biofuel. The car was decorated in traditional wedding fashion complete with ribbons, balloons, and a trick license plate reading Ju5t Wed. The dark blue Volante convertible was driven by the Prince through the crowds in front of Buckingham Palace on his way to a reception party. The car traveled down the procession route with top down and minimal security. A lone Range Rover followed the Aston and a RAF Rescue helicopter, much like the ones flown by the Prince, flew above with a flag waving below.
The Royals clearly have access to many things including the various Rolls Royce models and Carriages used today, but an Aston Martine DB6 Volante is rare even for them. This legendary car was the longest running production model that Aston Martin ever produced, but only 140 Volante versions were built. Furthermore, this may be the only one in the world running off biofuel made from excess British wine product.
Originally made famous by the James Bond films, these Aston Martin models have been coveted by collectors for years. Very rarely do they come up for sale or auction and the Prince’s will most likely never leave the Royal collection. The DB6 was a major improvement over the previous DB5 model and turned the car into a proper Grand Touring model. Performance for these models was increased through the Vantage edition which raised output to 325hp, but there is no word on the specific power output from the biofuel model.
Hit the jump for more details on the Aston Martin DB6.
Exterior and Interior
The design of the DB6 began as simple wind tunnel testing of the previous DB5 model. Engineers soon learned that aerodynamic lift was reducing traction of the rear wheels at higher speeds. The changes made in the following design were produced as the MP219 or DB6 model. The exterior of the car retains the same shape as the DB5, but changes many small pieces. The simplest way to tell the difference between the models is to notice the oil-cooler air scoop that sits atop the hood on the DB6 model. The roofline of the car was raised by two inches and incorporated new quarter windows on the front doors. New front and rear bumpers were also included and became split in the center to accommodate license plate mounting. For the United States, the DB6 received standard chrome wire wheels and whitewall tires.
The inside of the new Aston was a much more comfortable place to be thanks to the improvements made. The increased headroom made the car feel much larger and the longer wheelbase increased legroom as well. The most prominent piece of the interior is the large polished wood steering wheel. The dashboard is all business with various gauges to keep the driver informed of everything going on under the hood.
The DB6 Mark II was announced several years after initial production in 1969. It is defined by new flared wheel arches on both the front and the rear of the car. These help to accommodate wider wheels and tires that increased the handling of the car. In 1966 Aston introduced the convertible version and called it Volante. It was the first time Aston Martin would use this now classic Italian term to denote its convertible models. The rarest of all these cars was the Vantage Volante version, for which only 29 examples exist.
These cars use a legendary engine designed by the fabled Tadek Marek. It is a 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder with twin overhead camshafts. With the triple Smith’s Union carb setup it makes 282hp at 5,500rpm and 295 lb-ft. of torque at 4,500rpm. The DB6 weighed more than the outgoing DB5, but it was faster to 60mph making the sprint in 8.4 seconds. The topspeed of the car was raised to 150mph thanks to the aerodynamic enhancements of the Aston Martin engineers. The Vantage models featured an engine with output increased to 325hp at 5,750rpm made possible with the use of Weber 45DCOE carbs.
Factory models clearly ran on standard fuel, but Prince Charles’ model is rather environmentally friendly. European Union countries are only allowed to sell a certain amount of wine each year. This means that extra wine waste is essentially produced and needs to be used for something else a.k.a. biofuel for the rich and famous. The car is producing 85% fewer CO2 emissions than similar cars on the road. The idea behind biofuel in the United States is to lower the cost of fuel for the average American, so don’t expect to start running your car on wine, it’s more expensive than today’s premium fuel.
Classic British Sports Car
Very Rare Volante
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