The DB6 Short Chassis Volante holds a unique place in Aston Martin’s history. During the transition from the DB5 to DB6, a small number of DB5 chassis were donated to the DB6 project and were built up using many DB6 features, including the revised front-end treatment with split bumper and central oil cooler intake and the rear panel, lights and valance.
However, along with the chassis, some DB5 features remained, including the windscreen, door and window frames and boot lid. With the beauty of hindsight, many Aston Martin connoisseurs believe that the DB5 chassis was far superior to that of its long wheelbase successor, the DB6. Therefore, to many, the DB6 Short Chassis Volante represents the best of both worlds.
In 2016, the Aston Martin Register recognised the Short Chassis Volante as a unique model. This gave rightful credence to this superb car, the scarcest of mid-century Aston Martins – just 37 examples were made.
2310/R was delivered to Montague Burton of Hudson Street Mills, Leeds on 13 May 1966. As is the case with certain limited runs of super cars today, these DB6 Short Chassis Volantes were only available to Aston Martin’s best and most honoured customers of the day, and Burton was one such gentleman.
Burton, founder of the legendary British gentleman’s tailoring business, was a leading figure in the development of employee’s rights and was knighted in 1931 for ‘furthering industrial relations and world peace’. During the war, Montague Burton Limited made a quarter of all British military uniforms. In the post-war period, a Burton jacket, trousers and waistcoat, shirt and underwear could be bought for just 55 shillings and became known as the ‘Full Monty’. By the 1950s, the company was the largest multiple tailor in the world.
2310/R was purchased for one of Burton’s twin sons, believed to be Raymond Burton, who was a part of the family business. Both sons were passionate car and motor racing devotees and competed in motor competitions both nationally and internationally. They were regular contenders at the Monte Carlo Rally, Tulip Rally and Alpine Rally, amongst other famous events. Raymond’s twin, Arnold, established the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s Yorkshire Centre. In the 1950s and 1960s, sprint events were held around the Montague Burton Limited Hudson Road factory site and, in 1962, Arnold purchased Stockton Farm on Harewood Avenue and the famous Harewood Hillclimb was born.
Raymond became a famous retailer in his own right, founding the now extinct lady’s clothing business Peter Robinson, which was eventually taken over by Montague Burton Limited. ‘Peter Robinson’s Top Shop’, however, survived and today Top Shop is a famous British and international clothing brand. Furthermore, in 1995, Raymond was awarded a CBE for his charitable work. As Founder and Chairman of Peter Robinson, Raymond sponsored a ladies race at Oulton Park and there is a photograph in 2310/R’s history file of Raymond chauffeuring two lady drivers on a lap of honour around the UK’s Cheshire-based circuit in the Aston Martin. We believe one of these ladies to be Davina Galica, who famously entered three Formula One Grands Prix.
2310/R was eventually sold in 1970 and remained in storage until purchased by the current owner, who commissioned a meticulous restoration by marque specialist, Desmond J Smail Limited. Using only the finest specialists, there followed a painstaking three-year restoration. Writing about 2310/R, Desmond Smail believes that it is ‘quite possibly the best example in the world of the unknown number of Short Chassis Volantes still in existence’. Finished to exacting concours condition, the Aston Martin was entered in a selection of high profile concours events in 2016 including the Blenheim Palace Concours, ‘A Festival of Aston Martins’ at Burghley House, Salon Privé, and the Autumn Aston Martin Owners’ Club Concours at Compton Verney in Warwickshire, which it won outright.
A highly original example of an extremely rare Aston Martin model, this DB6 Short Chassis Volante enjoys an enviable history with one of the UK’s greatest retail families of the last century.
Report by fiskens.com