Lot 62 (Imperial War Museum Duxford, 18th March 2020)
Registration No: LBH100H
Chassis No: DB6/MK2/F1/4107/R
According to its accompanying British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, chassis DB6/MK2/FI/4107/R was completed on 26th June 1969. A notably early right-hand drive MK2 – production of which started with chassis 4101/R – it was appropriated by Aston Martin Lagonda for use as a Works Demonstrator and appeared in various official press photographs. Finished in Dubonnet Rosso with Black leather upholstery, its desirable specification included a Vantage engine (number 400/4141/VC), power assisted steering, ZF five-speed manual gearbox and chrome wire wheels with three-eared spinners. Issued with the appropriate Buckinghamshire number plate ‘LBH 100H’ on August 1st 1969, the four-seater remained in Newport Pagnell’s care for over a year.
Copy factory build / service records on file indicate that (a) the car was converted from chassis 4039/R (a late MK1) and (b) served as something of a guinea pig for Aston Martin’s recently introduced AE Brico fuel injection system. The same paperwork records an engine overhaul and respray shortly before ‘LBH 100H’ was sold to Bradbury’s Garage Ltd of Kings Heath, Birmingham on 20th August 1970 with three months’ warranty. Returning to the Works the following October for attention to its troublesome Brico system at an indicated 28,342 miles, the MK2 belonged to C. Aston Esq. of Shrewsbury at the time. Advertised for sale by renowned dealer Brian Classic in February 1975, chassis 4107/R entered the current family ownership shortly thereafter.
A long-term member of the Aston Martin Owners’ Club, the vendor has attended numerous AMOC events over the years and informs us he has been told on more than one occasion that ‘LBH 100H’ was loaned to HRH, Charles The Prince of Wales when the latter’s DB6 MK2 Volante was being serviced (the car made even more famous by its usage at Prince William and Kate Middeton’s wedding). We contacted Aston Martin Heritage Trust Registrar Tim Cottingham about this scenario and he kindly replied as follows: ‘The green book entry for 4107/R says it was a Works Demo . . . It’s common to see ‘BH’ number plates on Works Cars . . . So it’s possible even probable that HRH would have driven the car at some point. You would never find proof but it’s believable I would say’.
Sparingly used over the last forty something years, the MK2 currently shows 83,400 miles to its odometer meaning it has covered a mere 600 or so since being extensively restored by Alec Slade (a former RS Williams employee) of marque specialist Excalibur Engineering during the early 2000s. As well as a bodywork refurbishment and respray in its original Dubonnet Rosso, work included the installation of a Harvey Bailey handling kit and thorough engine overhaul. Running on triple SU carburettors (as it has done throughout the vendor’s custodianship), the factory-fitted straight-six was enlarged to 4.2 litres. Still highly presentable, both underneath and on top, ‘LBH 100H’ pleasingly retains its original Black leather upholstery. Worthy of close inspection, this notably early, ‘matching’ numbers, DB6 MK2 Vantage is accompanied by a BMIHT Certificate, copy factory build / service records and restoration photographs / invoices.
Entering production in July 1969 but not formally unveiled for another month, the rakishly elegant DB6 Mk2 was the ultimate evolution of the iconic Aston Martin DB4/DB5/DB6 line. Sharing the same sheet steel platform chassis as its immediate predecessor complete with all-round coil-sprung suspension (independent double wishbone front, trailing arm / beam axle rear), four-wheel disc brakes and Armstrong Select-a-ride adjustable rear shock absorbers, the newcomer nevertheless incorporated a host of detail improvements. Sharper and more responsive to drive thanks to wider wheels and fatter tyres (hence the need for its trademark flared wheelarches), the Mk2 also benefited from the provision of standard-fit power assisted rack and pinion steering. Automatic transmission remained a `no cost' option, while cars equipped with the five-speed ZF manual gearbox gained a lower first gear ratio and more positive Borg & Beck clutch. The fabulous Tadek Marek designed 3995cc DOHC straight-six engine could be had with a nascent form of electronic fuel injection. However, the majority of buyers opted for carburettor-fed variants in standard (triple SU, 282bhp) or high-performance Vantage (triple Weber, 325bhp) tune. Indeed so troublesome did the AE Brico EFI system prove that several Mk2s were converted to Vantage specification by the factory. Revised seating both front and rear meant that the last of the classic DB-series family could also lay claim to being the most comfortable. Only in production until November 1970, just 248 DB6 Mk2 saloons are thought to have been made (of which a mere 46 and 71 were reputedly to Fuel Injected and Vantage specification respectively).