>Aston Martin DB6 Volante TIPPED BY STEPHEN HALSTEAD
‘This model might ring a bell from the Royal Wedding of 2011,’ says Stephen Halstead. ‘Prince William and the new Duchess of Cambridge sped down the Mall in Prince Charles’s DB6 Vantage Volante – and what a car that is! Only 29 Volantes were built to Vantage specification so they’re the pick of the DB6 bunch and highly sought after.’
Such exposure only boosted the model’s already aristocratic image. But what makes the DB6 Volante our pick for this exalted value bracket? Halstead offers a few pointers. ‘You could argue that all DB6S are undervalued, considering they offer more space and comfort than a DB5 with a better-controlled ride and slightly more performance. But the Volante is scarce compared to the saloon – 215 built against 1567 – and it’s a more enjoyable car, simply for the folding roof.’
That roof is power-assisted, in part because the American market was starting to expect it even from British cars over a certain price. Other user-friendly accoutrements such as Borgwarner automatic transmission and power steering were offered, but the five-speed ZF manual is more sporting and perhaps 10% more valuable. The first 37 DB6 Volantes were built on the shorter DB5 wheelbase and might command a premium, but sales are too scarce to plot a course. The big difference is undoubtedly that 325bhp Vantage engine.
‘Prices for the Vantage Volante are nudging £800k and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume they’ll top £1m before too long,’ says Halstead. ‘That’s twice what you’d have to pay for a shabby non-vantage example. But restoration costs can be considerable, so make sure you’re adding more value than you’re spending.’
‘It doesn’t seem unreasonable that they’ll top £1m before too long’
Such has been the boom in DB Aston values in the last decade that the sums charged by specialists seem to have bloomed in sympathy – even at this end of the market the motto must be to buy the best you can afford rather than trying to save money with a barn-find and a time-consuming rebuild.
‘Don’t expect low-mileage, museum-preserved cars – they tend to have been driven,’ says Halstead. ‘But as long as it’s been well maintained and restored by a specialist you can expect it to perform just as well on the road as it did in the Sixties.’
The same is true of the non-vantage car, of course, which for the record should fetch £600k by private sale or £700k for the best examples offered by dealers. A few standard cars might turn up with Vantage-spec uprated engines – no crime, but the value increase is not in line with a genuine Vantage.
Halstead offers reassurance for anyone investing £800k in the Vantage version. ‘There are more than 2000 billionaires in the world. Lots of them collect cars. The fastest, best-driving and most comfortable Aston DB convertible is the DB6 Vantage Volante and there are only 29 of them – not enough to go round.’
Scarcity, usability and Royal patronage mean that an Aston DB6 Volante will always generate a queue of eager buyers