Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante

Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante

Year of production 1965 - 1966


Category: David Brown era

Short Chassis Volante

(1965 - 1966)

A very interesting car, the Short-chassis Volante, for many reasons. It was the first Aston Martin to be called Volante; the drop-head DB4's and 5's should never be call a Volante. The car was based on the last of the DB5 chassis but was introduced at the same time as the DB6 and so looks somewhat similar. During the single year of production, only 37 were built until the 'short chassis' was superseded by the DB6 Volante proper.

The bodywork is similar to the DB5 convertible but shares many DB6 features such as the interior trim, split front and rear bumpers and an enlarged oil cooler opening. Whilst at the back the boot lid is unswept with DB5 Convertible like rear wings mounted with the Triumph sourced DB6 style rear light clusters. Knowing these details make this car easier to identify.

In addition to the regular triple SU equiped engine, the short chassis could also be specified with the Vantage engine complete with triple Weber carburettors.

One of the cars featured below, arguably the best example of a short chassis Volante was shown on the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegence in 2013. The car achieved 2nd place in the Aston Martin Centenary class and can be seen crossing the famous ramp to recieve the award.

Aston Martin DB6 Volante SWB

The Aston Martin DB6 Volante was the first Aston Martin to carry the name Volante - which means "flying" in Italian. It was in fact the last thirty-seven Aston Martin DB5 chassis that were used to build the short-chassis Volantes and were completed between October 1965 and October 1966.

Although clearly derived from the Aston Martin DB4 through the DB5, the new model was announced at the London Motor Show in October 1965. The most noticeable styling change on the Aston Martin DB6 was the spoiler - then called a Kamm tail - integrated into the tail of the car, which improved high speed stability. The split front and rear bumpers; a redesigned oil cooler opening in the front valance, a higher roof (136 cm) and longer wheelbase (258.5 cm), 9.5 cm more than the DB5, giving an overall length of 462 cm.

Aston Martin DB6 Technical Specifications

  • Engine: dohc I-6, 3995 cc, 282 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 288 lbs-ft @ 3850 rpm (Vantage: 325 bhp @ 5750 rpm)
  • Transmission: ZF 5-speed overdrive manual or Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic
  • Suspension
    • Front: upper-and-lower A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
    • Rear: live axle, Watt linkage, trailing links, coil springs
  • Brakes: Servo assisted front/rear discs
  • Wheelbase: 8'6" (2585 mm)
  • Weight: 1474 kg (3250 Ibs)
  • Top Speed: 148 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 6.1 sec.
  • Price New: £ 4,998 (Saloon)
  • Production: 1327 (Excluding Volante)
  • Production Dates: October 1965 - July 1969

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