By the 1960s, Aston Martin had built their reputation in England and was known for racing models. The focus during this era was on grand touring style automobiles. The company has had a history of ups and downs with regard to finances. It has traded hands and is now under new ownership but this hasn't seemed to affect the quality and reputation to any degree. If anything, it just keeps getting better. Vintage Aston Martins are in the highest demand among collectors and enthusiasts and we're going to explore some amazing models from the 60s era.
The majority of the engines featuring six cylinders during this time period were innovations of Tadek Marek through 1965. Popular models that were produced during the early part of the decade include the Lagonda Rapide, the DB4 GT Zagato and the Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante. Two others that followed in the middle to later 60s were the DB6 and the DBS.
A closer look at each of these treasures reveals why they are so highly prized to this day.
1. 1964 Aston Martin Lagonda Rapide Sports Saloon
The Lagonda Rapide was produced between 1961-1964 with luxury four door sports styling inspired by the 1930s model. David Brown remained committed to the Rapide taking a personal interest in promoting his baby to the word while reiterating his goals and ambitions in the printed advertising literature.
The 1964 Lagonda Rapide is powered with a straight 6 six cylider 4.0L engine with double overhead camshaft. This year brought with it the addition of de Dion tube rear suspension with servo assisted disc brakes and a 3 speed automatic gear box. Aluminum alloy body panels overlaid the tubular steel frame. Leather upholstery with a walnut dashboard graced the interior. What really makes this car special is that it was hand built upon customer request and order. With 55 of these cars on the market only 48 have been located. The new price is comparable to $143,030.
2. 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
The DB4 GT Zagato is named for Ercole Spada at Zagato who instigated the modifications to create a car that was the ultimate in light weight, more compact in size and featured a better aerodynamic design. Over a hundred pounds was shaved off of the total weight by removing all unnecessary parts and replacing some steel components with light weight aluminum. Twenty five is the total number produced.
The body and chassis are class grand tourer with a coupe body style; straight 6 DOHC 3670 cc engine 4 speed manual transmission;curb weight 2,701 pounds. It reaches 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds of acceleration with a top speed of 154 miles per hour. The engine was upgraded from the previous 3.7 litre. Fuel consumption averages 17 mpg. The asking price for this rare and beautiful car is $2.4 million.
3. 1964 Aston Martin DB5/1741/L
This car became popular for its appearance in the James Bond Movies "Skyfall, Goldfinger and Thunderball." The selling price for the original car was $4.6 million in 2010. Other versions which have not had the same illustrious history go for between $640,000 and $1,350,000 USD currently.
Two body styles to choose from including a 2 door drop head coupe or 2 door sedan;The engine is a 6 cylinder 3995cc/282hp 3x1bbl SU; 5 speed manual transmission; Top speed of 142 miles per hour and speed ratio of 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds. Upgrades for speed and performance were made partway through the year.
4. 1966 Aston Martin DB6
The successor of the DB5, the DB6 made its' appearance in 1965 with improvements in the Marek line of engine, larger wheel base and greater bhp output. Rear suspension was also enhanced for overall better road handling and performance over its predecessors the DB5 and the DB4.
The engine is an inline 6 Marek design valve train DOHC 2 valves / Cyl displacement 3995 cc with improved hp in the latter part of the year; 282 bhp@5500 rpm; The body is constructed of steel body over a steel frame; RWD, Front and rear brakes are disc with rack and pinion steering. The average selling price is $247,000 USD.
5. 1967 Aston Martin DBS
The DBS is the commissioned replacement of its predecessor the DB6. Prior to its launch in 1967, prototypes were designed with the assistance of William Towns. The car was originally intended to feature the new V8 engine, but there was not enough time to perfect the design for the new super powered engine. Shortly after the initial prototypes were completed the house that designed them went under.
The DBS is powered with a DOHC straight 6 with 3995 cc; 280 bhp@4500 rpm; five speed manual transmission and a top speed of 140 miles per hour with a speed ratio of zero to sixty in 7.1 seconds. The price range depends upon the features and condition of the vehicle and it averages between $227,000 and $486,000.
6. 1962 Aston Martin DB4
From the DB4 line produced in 1958 to 1963, the DB4 is the successor of the DB2 with an overbuilt chassis, a bit on the heavy side, but nonetheless a brawny touring car.
Two door Sedan; straight-6 3670cc/243 hp 2x1bbl engine; Grand tourer with coupe body style; Attains speed of 60 mph in 5.8 seconds with 17 mpg fuel consumption; top speed of 142 mph. The price of this vehicle is between $252,000 to 755,000 USD depending on the condition.
7. 1968 Aston Martin DBS
The successor of the DB6, with an upgraded appearance to include 4 inline headlights and a more modern appeal.
The body style is 2 door Saloon with DOHC straight 6 with 3995 cc; 280 bhp@4500 rpm; five speed manual transmission and a top speed of 140 miles per hour. The average price for this model is $80,800 USD.
8. 1961 Aston Martin DB4
The DB4 built to be a grand tourer with leg room and a heavy chassis for maximum driver comfort.
Two door Sedan body style; Straight-6 3670cc/243 hp engine; Grand tourer with coupe body style; Reaches a speed of 60 mph in 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 142 mph. The average price for this vehicle is $440,000 USD.
9. 1963 Aston Martin Lagonda Rapide Sports Saloon
David Brown's four door luxury model that is fit for driving or having a driver tour you to your next location in this comfortable riding model.
Straight 6 six cylider 4.0 litre engine with double overhead camshaft; Four door luxury touring car. The price tag is $192, 000, USD.
10. 1965 Aston Martin DB5
What you get with the restored versions is an upgrade that includes a few modern additions.
Remote locking security system, electric engine cooling fans, 4.7 litre engine with heat wrapped manifolds, power steering, air conditioning, Koni suspension and Borrani wire wheels. The going price is $850,000 (Euro).
The Aston Martin line has an impressive history for producing fine racing and touring cars. As we can see, some models retain a higher value than others and it is because of rarity, condition of the vehicle and any special circumstances which may apply to the vehicle.
A good example is the 1964 DB5 which was used in the filming of several bond movies. In addition, some were produced in a limited number and were available upon request and customer order only. Rare vehicles in pristine condition fetch the highest prices from collectors who are generally willing to pay a little more than the average enthusiast.
In conclusion, Aston Martins have a unique charm and appeal for practically everyone. They reek of charm and luxury from days gone by. They remain a solid symbol of status and success in the world today.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker