• Classic Car for Sale: Rare 1986 Aston Martin DB6 Volante

You won’t find this model up for sale a lot these days

The Aston Martin DB6 doesn’t get the love it deserves. In some ways, that’s because it succeeded the Aston Martin DB5, considered as the most iconic Aston Martin model ever made. When you’re a model that’s following a model as legendary as the DB5, expectations can be unreasonably high.

The DB6 was a great Aston Martin; it just wasn’t the DB5. Still, the DB6’s collectible status has increased over the years, in part because of how rare they are. Only 1,788 units were built over a five-year stretch, and of those 1,788 units, one unit is now available through British classic car restorer Bell Sport & Classic.

This particular model is a DB6 Volante, the drop-top version of the standard DB6. It’s more than 12 times rarer — only 140 units were ever made — than the standard coupe DB6, and while it has undergone several restorations in its lifetime, it remains in top-quality condition. Bell Sport & Classic didn’t reveal a price tag for this DB6 Volante, but prepare to spend six figures for a chance to bring home one of the rarest Aston Martin models in history.

What makes the 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Volante so special?

Classic Car for Sale: Rare 1986 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
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The Aston Martin DB6 is the British automaker’s follow up to the Aston Martin DB5. Big shoes to fill, right? Judging by how the DB6’s development went, Aston Martin went through the wringer in creating the DB6. It rejected proposals from Touring of Milan to replace the DB5 and the actual development of the car included plenty of setbacks. It didn’t help that when the DB6 hit the market, the sentiment was lukewarm on the model, specifically from Aston’s traditionalist clientele, a lot of whom didn’t take to the DB6’s fashionable design.

Still, the DB6 proved itself as a worthy Aston Martin over time. It helped that it was powered by a 4.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine that produced 282 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Classic Car for Sale: Rare 1986 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
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It took the DB6 around 8.4 seconds to cover 60 mph from a standstill position while its top speed peaked at 150 mph.

Aston Martin DB6 specifications
Engine 4.0-liter inline-six-cylinder
Horsepower 282 HP
Torque 295 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 8.4 seconds
Top Speed 150 mph

It’s difficult for a car like the DB6 — and, in this case, the convertible DB6 Volante — to follow in the footsteps of what’s considered as the most iconic Aston Martin model of all time. But give credit where it’s due. The limited production volume of the DB6 (only 1,788 units were made) and the even more limited DB6 Volante (only 140 units) has turned the DB6 into a legitimate classic Aston Martin.

What’s the provenance of this particular Aston Martin DB6 Volante

Classic Car for Sale: Rare 1986 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
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The ownership history of this particular Aston Martin DB6 Volante goes all the way back to 1968 when a certain I.M. Stellor of London bought the car from dealership H.R. Owen. The DB6 Volante originally wore a Platinum White paint finish to go with a Dark Blue leather interior and a matching convertible roof. While no documentation is available, it is believed that Stoller exported the DB6 Volante out of the U.K. where it was eventually sold to Philip Hatulja, who, in turn, brought the car back to the U.K. in 1979 before selling it to Graham Wilkins, who owned the car for seven years. It was under Wilkins’ ownership that the DB6 Volante was resprayed in a dark blue finish.

Shortly after that, Wilkins sold to DB6 Volante to Aston Martin specialists R.S. Williams who then sold it to Giles Swarbeck. In 1994, the DB6 Volante once again switched hands, this time going to Mogens Skjelmore, a well-known participant in historic motorsport racing. Five years after that, the DB6 Volante’s new owner lister the car with famous Aston Martin specialist Desmond J. Smail. The latter facilitated the sale of the convertible to Mark Ellis, who owned the car until selling it to Timothy James Barker in 2008.

Classic Car for Sale: Rare 1986 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
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It was under the ownership of Barker that the DB6 Volante underwent an extensive restoration project.

Barker spent well over £100,000 essentially modernizing some of the sports car’s mechanicals. The original Borg-Warner automatic transmission, for example, was replaced with a ZF 5-speed transmission supplied by Aston London Service. The DB6 Volante also received new wire wheels Pirelli P4000 tires, and new silencers. The interior of the car also received important upgrades, most notably the new paintwork, leatherwork, and the addition of new wilton deep pile blue carpets.

Classic Car for Sale: Rare 1986 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
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By 2013, the Aston Martin DB6 Volante was already under the ownership of Bell Classics. The dealership also made significant modifications, including rebuilding the gearbox, replacing the clutch, and overhauling the carburetors.

How much should we expect this Aston Martin DB6 Volante to cost?

Classic Car for Sale: Rare 1986 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
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Bell Sport & Classic didn’t indicate the selling price of this fine piece of British automotive history, but with all the upgrades that have been done on the DB6 Volante, don’t expect this model to come cheap. Expect a six-figure price tag in the event you’re interested in buying a piece of Aston Martin history.

Source: Bell Sport & Classic

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
About the author

One of only 140 Volante specification examples ever made, this rare 1968 DB6 is presented in outstanding condition
Over £100,000 spent in recent years with improvements including an upgrade from Borg Warner automatic transmission to a 5-speed ZF manual gearbox
Finished in Dark Blue over Dark Blue leather, it is currently for sale at Bell Sport & Classic’s dedicated showroom in Hertfordshire
Hi-res images: https://bit.ly/Bell_AMDB6_Volante
17th August 2020: Bell Sport and Classic is delighted to offer for sale an exceptional example of the DB6 Volante, considered one of the rarest and most desirable post-war Aston Martins.

The first convertible model from Newport Pagnell to carry the ‘Volante’ name, production began in 1966 with just 140 made in total. This outstanding example was supplied new by HR Owen in September 1968 and originally ordered in Platinum (white) with Dark Blue leather and a matching convertible roof.

Other options ticked included a Borg Warner automatic transmission, power assisted steering, chrome wire wheels with three-ear hubcaps, a power-operated aerial and two lap safety belts. Coming with a raft of history, its handful of owners have all cherished it – but none more so than Timothy Barker.

Purchasing the car in 2008, Mr Barker began a journey to not only enhance its already outstanding condition but also improve it, spending upwards of £100,000 with Aston London Service, Marksdanes and most recently, Bell Sport & Classic.

Sympathetic and desirable upgrades have included the replacement of the original automatic gearbox with a ZF 5-speed manual transmission – supplied by Aston London Service at a cost of £10,000 – along with new wire wheels shod in Pirelli P4000 tyres and new silencers.

In 2009, the car underwent a full bare metal respray in Dark Blue and a stripdown that addressed the fuel tanks, hood, hood frame, clutch, suspension, brakes and chrome work. The interior also benefitted from new, deep pile, blue Wilton carpets and minor leather work. In 2013, Bell Sport & Classic rebuilt the gearbox, replaced the clutch and overhauled the carburettors.

The vast history file contains registration documents referencing all previous owners, a copy of the original build sheet, current and past MoT certificates, and copies of previous invoices from other specialists such as Desmond Smail and Ken Shergold.

Tim Kearns, Managing Director of Bell Sport and Classicsaid:“This beautiful DB6 Volante is presented in exceptional condition, having been meticulously looked after throughout its lifetime. It has benefitted from significant investment in recent years, including some desirable and sympathetic upgrades, and the result is an outstanding example of one of the rarest post-war open top Aston Martin models, a very special car that is ready to be enjoyed to the full.”

Images: https://bit.ly/Bell_AMDB6_Volante

Media contact
Tel: +44 (0) 7815 863 968

About Bell Sport & Classic
Bell Sport & Classic is a team of experts who have come together to provide customers unrivalled expertise across the sales, service and restoration of the world’s most revered classic and modern classic cars. Specialising primarily in Ferrari but also Aston Martin and Lamborghini and other leading marques.

Authenticity, originality and quality are the bedrocks of the business; Bell Sport & Classic prides itself on sourcing the ultimate in collector cars and bringing new standards to classic car restorations. Bell Sport & Classic stands apart in the classic car world as an innovator and leader in customer service, providing complete transparency to all elements of the experience.


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