1967 Aston Martin DB6 Mk. I ‘Barnfind’


Like a matched pair of Purdeys, a wardrobe full of bespoke Saville Row suits or a parade of hand stitched brogues, few things are as quintessentially English as an Aston Martin. Backed by a strong racing heritage and glittering silver screen career, Astons remain the stuff of dreams to many. Launched at the 1965 Motor Show, it was the first model to be engineered after the factory move from Feltham to Newport Pagnell. Lauded by the contemporary press for its handling and performance, demand for the hand-built gentleman’s express soon outstripped supply (just 1,755 DB6s had been made by the time production ceased in 1971). Visually distinguishable from Sean Connery’s DB5 mount by its pronounced and aerodynamically effective Kamm tail, it also benefited from a four-inch increase to its wheelbase.

In combination with a (marginally) raised roofline and redesigned rear seats courtesy of revised rear suspension pick up points this gave a meaningful increase in rear passenger room making the car a true four seater. All round coil sprung suspension, disc brakes and rack and pinion steering gave a suitably sporting drive. Dry weight was limited to 1,550kg utilising well practised Touring Superleggera techniques. Huddersfield built chassis platforms were fitted with a steel superstructure at Newport Panel before being clad in the hand finished aluminium body panels. The fabulous Tadek Marek designed twin-cam straight six in 3995cc form was carried over unchanged. Even in standard tune, it developed a claimed 282bhp and 280lbft of torque. Mated to the no-cost optional automatic transmission as in this example (preferred by many to the heavy clutch and at times obstructive change of the manual version) performance was commanding with a reputed top speed and 0-60mph time of 140 mph and 8.5 seconds respectively.

And so to the car in question; a telephone call was received by the last custodian in 2013, from an elderly gentleman in the Wokingham area. He purported to have an ‘Austin’ in his garage; the house was being sold and the garages demolished… everything had to go! A friend visited and, after an amicable arrangement was reached, left with the car on a trailer! The tax disc was last dated in 1982, some 35 years previously. It was again tucked away in two private collections, until today.

The body and wheel arches appear sound although rust was noticed on the underside of the doors and the Dubonnet Rosso paint is flat. Interestingly, some work has taken place in the engine bay. The crank turns with a spanner and the rocker covers have new gaskets. The dipstick shows brand-new oil and, with a spark plug out, the top of a shiny piston can be seen. Other gaskets are in evidence and a brand new expansion tank has been fitted. It looks like a rebuild but, obviously, a strip-down would need to take place to confirm.

The interior also has some definite good points; the carpets are worn and require replacing throughout. The leather dashboard top and headlining is in good order – the front seats were missing but have been recently been replaced with a correct pair, albeit in a non-matching colour. All five wire wheels are present and intact although corroded. It is driven through a factory Borg Warner automatic gearbox and, looking at the floors, they are good apart from a small area in the passenger footwell. A tool roll and minimal paperwork accompany this exciting discovery as well as an Aston Martin Heritage Certificate and build sheets. These go on to detail the factory power-steering, chrome roadwheels, heated rear screen, three ear hub-caps, power aerial and two lap & diagonal safety belts. Service work recorded back in 1970 appears to include a top-end rebuild and extensive service as well as a repair to the front bumper. Importantly the car is matching numbers.

Whether you leave it in its delightfully faded-glory state and just overhaul the mechanics or treat her to the full spa treatment, the next stage of the story is just around the corner!

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