Your classic: Aston Martin DB6

| 20 Feb 2024
Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Aston Martin DB6

A long-suffering partner is a vital component in any classic car ownership.

There has to be a degree of subterfuge, too, and my excuse for purchasing an Aston Martin DB6 in 1978 was that our two children were finding it difficult to squeeze into the back seats of my Porsche 911s, so I suggested a four-seater as the family conveyance.

I tried a couple – one with an automatic ’box, which is a travesty for that engine – then found a 1968 DB6 with 36,000 miles for £3250; I considered an Aston Martin DB5, but the extra few inches in the 6’s wheelbase meant two reasonable rear seats.

There wasn’t a big price difference between a 5 and 6 in those days.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Aston Martin DB6

The Aston Martin DB6 replaced Robin Beynon’s Porsche 911s as family transport

As family and part-time business transport, it performed effortlessly – even on holiday trips to Devon, when the boot space proved adequate.

After owning two-seaters such as a Healey 3000 and a Daimler SP250, I was pretty good at packing small boots.

It has been in the family for 45 years now.

I have kept a record of all the work and the expenditure, although I have never added up the total costs – and I won’t.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Aston Martin DB6

This cherished Aston Martin DB6 has covered nearly 90,000 miles with its current owner

Sourcing parts is interesting.

I discovered that the electric-window motors were from Rolls-Royce – and considerably cheaper than buying them from Aston Martin.

They’ve stopped doing that now, apparently.

After a while, the steel-and-aluminium electrolytic corrosion caused the sills to suffer.

I had a Marcos Mantula and Marcos was promoting its paintshop, so we did a deal for the firm to repaint the DB6 to use in its publicity.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Aston Martin DB6

Stripped to bare aluminium, the Aston Martin DB6 went to Marcos’ paintshop for a fresh coat

My son and I stripped the paint off using two tins of Nitromors (the current stuff is rubbish – if it doesn’t burn your fingers, it isn’t working!), and it was great fun driving it down to Wiltshire from London in bare aluminium and with no bumpers.

It had also suffered from the vagaries of English winters and rather poor chroming.

I’m a fan of stainless steel, so the first item to change was the exhaust.

Next were the bumper blades – Aston wanted £250 each at the time, so when I found someone who was hand-shaping them for the same in stainless, there was no contest.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Aston Martin DB6

Thanks to proper care and attention, Robin’s Aston Martin DB6 has provided fairly trouble-free motoring during his 45-year ownership

I also tried to hold off the decay on the chromed wire wheels, changing them to painted every winter, but with no real success, so a stainless-steel set was fitted.

A change to electronic ignition has transformed the starting, too.

Purists will frown, but in the end the car has to last and be usable.

Apart from a new clutch, the only other time my journeys have been affected was when a pulley dropped from the power steering – I soon realised the value of roadside assistance.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Aston Martin DB6

Thanks to a recent respray, the Aston Martin’s bodywork is spotless, but an interior refresh is next on the to-do list

The car’s rising value justified my spending a few thousand pounds three years ago on another respray.

I have been using the Enginuity team in Acton to look after the Aston, with excellent engineers and a good paintshop.

The interior is next, despite the Wilton carpet still holding up well with 120,000 miles on the clock.

Although it’s unnecessary, I had it MoT’d last December – I don’t understand the logic of old cars being exempt.

I know the car pretty well by now, but I’m much happier if a proper mechanic looks it over every year.

I can’t really see myself parting with the Aston Martin any time soon – my children will have to fight over it when I turn my toes up.

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  • Owned by Robin Beynon
  • First classic Austin-Healey 3000
  • Dream classic AC Ace Bristol

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