Aston Martin DB6 Mk2
I used to own an old Aston Martin. After a bit of looking around
in 1996/7 I bought a 1971 DB6 mk2 Vantage, one of the last few made.
6, IN LINE
MAN 5 SPEED
c. 150 mph
c. 6 SEC
Produced between July 1969 and November 1970, the DB6 MK2 had one
of the shortest production runs from the factory. In total 243 saloons were produced and
only about 35 of these were originally with the Vantage specification engine, although in
the intervening 30 years, many more have been upgraded.
I sold the car in April 2001. The main reason for this was that my
knee has finally caught up with my cycling
exploits 15 years ago, making manual clutches less fun than they were...
The car had plusses:
- Sounds great. Hugely noisy. This is the best bit, modern engines
sound rubbish in comparison.
- Engine revs beautifully, car accelerates quickly once on open road. I
felt happier on motorways at 90 mph than with a DB5 I borrowed for the weekend, probably
because ofthe longer wheelbase, although the DB5 is easier on winding roads.
- People get out of the way on motorways (even if you're going quite
slowly!), you are viewed sympathetically by other drivers.
- Interior is lovely.
- Brakes are pretty good. The DB6
Mk2 has power steering as standard, much needed. Improved after restoration by RS
- Classic insurance is actually very cheap.
- Does not depreciate if looked after. Aluminium body won't rust
- Everyone stares....
- It is a heavy car; despite an aluminium body and engine, the
steel frame ensures the car weighs about 2 tons.
- Handling is ponderous at low speeds, although at high speeds
is quite precise and very noice to drive. Coupling this with the horrendous cost of
repairing dents leads to very slow manoeuvring round carparks!
- The gearchange is good for weightlifters; all DB5/6's I have
driven share a very heavy clutch and gear shift. You get used to this pretty fast though,
and it gets better once the engine has been running 10 minutes, but always it is not easy
to move quickly and smoothly through the gears.
- Internal ventilation is not great. You are boiled alive in
the summer, you get used to driving with the windows partially open at 90...
- Although strong, the brakes are not ABS so have to keep a
distance back from modern cars. Similarly, the handling/suspension are not a patch on
modern equivelents, so don't try anything fancy on winding roads.
- 14 mpg, 4 star. Engine converted to unleaded in 1999.
- The Vantage engine provides huge acceleration once the
engine revs get to about 2000, but below that the engine basically isn't very interested,
and is not hard to stall in stationary traffic, especially if cold. It is not an ideal car
for driving round town, regular DB6 is actually better here.
- I fitted a burglar alarm and remote locking - worked very
well, and vital for London. But it takes a heavy toll on battery life, needing recharging
after 2-3 weeks of non-use.
- Bills for the car are a constant source of discussion for my