Sit inside this surprisingly low slung GT with your legs stretched out horizontally in front and you could be forgiven for thinking an Aston Martin DB6 is much more sports car than tourer. Although unlike sports cars of the same era the doors are of normal proportions meaning entry and exit is no struggle at all.
When you do get in you are greeted with a strong smell of leather and for 007 fans an interior that looks very familiar indeed. Yes an Aston Martin DB6 even without gadgets found in Bond’s infamous DB5 such as oil spray, ejector seat, rear bullet deflector and missile launcher is Cool-O-Meter fantastic, so much so it tops our leader board.
From the Aston Martin DB6 driver’s seat and viewed immediately behind the distinctive and seemingly inverted large diameter three spoke steering wheel, lurk a truly daunting array of antiquated dials and switches, being much more aeroplane than motor vehicle. There is in effect a line drawn in the sand for this era of car because the interior of a Series 2 Jaguar E-Type feels quite modern, where as the interior in this Aston Martin DB6 is clearly from a different time zone altogether. The former still fairly fresh and forced to keep up with US legislation as its main export market, with the latter being the last in a line of three series that would be replaced by the much larger and squarer DBS.
Turn the key and you are instantly greeted by an arousing and purposeful six cylinder growl. The powerful engine in the Aston Martin DB6 definitely means business. Familiarise yourself with the counter intuitive fly-off handbrake, released by a simple lift, and it is time to pull away in what promises to be a truly memorable drive. This particular car is an automatic that loves to deliver up-shifts very quickly, but is somewhat reluctant to go back down again for overtakes and a more responsive driving experience.
Guiding a ton and a half of aluminium clad old English rarity is best approached with a degree of trepidation and care, no dishonour here in being more than a little bit respectful. The skinny high profile tyres take time to react to steering inputs, due in part to the overall mass of the vehicle combined with the front engine rear wheel drive layout.
In short there is a lot more movement on the road than you first imagine. Taking corners involves a slightly disconcerting shift from under steer on entry, to over steer on exit, forcing involuntarily swings at the steering wheel as the slack in the chassis is taken up and mechanical tyre grip found once again.
This process is great fun, interspersed with a few ‘heart in your mouth’ type moments demanding relatively high levels of concentration to correct. The main health warning though with the Aston Martin DB6 relates to the brakes, which require serious re-calibration if moving in and out of traffic. Common sense dictates sitting back several car lengths before opening the Aston Martin DB6 up again when the road ahead clears. When you do the trademark cross-country high speed pace combined with rousing soundtrack, comfort and feel good factor are enjoyed all over, quite superb.
The Aston Martin DB6 provides a genuine insight into how travelling quickly and in comfort felt like over fifty years ago.
How does this car make you feel?
In one word: Aristocratic
As a favourite meal: Coq au Vin
Anything Else: James Bond 007 (We know he drove a DB5 really, but the differences are small in reality).
Key Ingredients: Film star good looks, ice cool silver paint, searing pace
With thanks to Great Escape Classic Car Hire.
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