Desmond J. Smail
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Aston Martin 1966 DB6 Short Chassis Volante

Make|Aston Martin
Model|DB6 Short Chassis Volante
Year|1966
Exterior Colour|Cumberland Grey
Trim Colour|Red
Carpet Colour|Black
Hood Colour|Black
mls/kms|mls
Date Registered|01/07/1966
Transmission|Manual
Hand of Drive|LHD
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The term 'Volante', denoting convertible, was first introduced at the London Motor Show in 1965 when the DB6 was announced, and the car in both body styles subsequently went into production in October of that year. However, Aston Martin had a surplus of 37 chassis left over from DB5 convertible production, and not being in a position waste such a valuable asset the first DB6 Volantes were built on the shorter DB5 chassis before production commenced on the new DB6 chassis of which a further 140 were produced. A necessary cost saving exercise at the time had unwittingly produced one of the rarest Aston Martin Models ever built!
Completed in May 1966 this Short Chassis Volante left the factory in its original Sierra Blue with Beige Connolly and was first registered to Montague Burton Ltd, the world’s largest clothing manufacturer. This empire was started in 1903 by a Lithuanian immigrant who adopted the name Montague Burton, and by 1925 he had the largest chain of retail shops in the world. By the end of the Second World War Burton was making 30,000 suits a week, a quarter of all British military uniforms and a third of all demob suits. A Burton jacket, trousers, waistcoat, shirt and underwear could be bought for just 55 shillings and became known as the ‘Full Monty’! Knighted in 1931 Sir Montague had four children including Identical twins Raymond and Arnold who both followed their father into the family business. The twins also shared a passion for exotic cars and motorsport and would often be seen at various events around the country with their cars.
The Short Chassis Volante was purchased for the personal use of Raymond Burton and was registered in his name in 1967. He kept the car until 1971 when it came into the hands of a dealer in Bradford who subsequently sold it to a Mr Collins from Cheshire who passed it on to Mr Hipwell from Solihull in July 1974 for the sum of £1600! Hipwell kept the car for almost 38 years, displaying it at various AMOC events but covering less than 20,000 miles in that time, borne out by the numerous MOT certificates in the history file. By 2012 the car was in need of major restoration so Hipwell decided to sell, whereupon it was purchased by the current owner who embarked on a painstaking restoration undertaken by marque specialist Desmond J Smail. Completed in 2016 this concours condition restoration, including a LHD conversion, power steering and its original hard top, has gained its owner 1st place at the 2016 Autumn AMOC Concours, Compton Verney, in the Newport Pagnell 6 cylinder category.
Not only is this car one of the rarest and most desirable Astons ever built, but is without doubt the best example in the world of the unknown number of Short Chassis Volantes still in existence!
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