As production of the new DB6 got under way in October 1965, Aston Martin was left with 37 DB5 chassis that remained unused. Featuring a sportier, shorter wheelbase than its successor, the chassis were unusable for the new model, but Aston management thought they could be the basis of a striking “interim” convertible, essentially the last of the DB5 convertibles, but with all of the DB6’s refinements.
The result was dubbed the Volante, or “Flying,” by factory man Kent Monk. The first Aston Martin to use this name, it has since been used on every open production car since. The short-chassis Volante, as distinguished from the longer DB6 and DB6 Mk II Volantes, featured the race-proven all-alloy, twin-cam straight-six power plant in original 4.0-liter form, with triple SU carburetors, and originally rated at 282 brake horsepower at 5,500 rpm.
Coachwork was produced using Touring’s patented Superleggera process of wrapping handcrafted alloy panels around an open lattice of small-diameter steel tubing for a featherlight but rigid body. Aside from its obviously more sporting proportions, the short-chassis Volante can be identified from the earlier DB5 convertible by the DB6-specification quarter bumpers on all four corners. The taillight treatment was unique to the model, neither featured on DB5 nor DB6, creating an attractive finishing point set off by this first use of the Volante logo on the rear deck lid. The interior featured the expected high level of comfort and finish, including Connolly leather stitched in the V pattern introduced for the DB6, while the lined convertible top was made of high-quality Everflex and pebble-grain vinyl, as was used by Rolls-Royce.
As production of the Volante was strictly limited by the number of leftover DB5 chassis available, only 37 were made, making this the lowest-production convertible Aston Martin ever. The survivors are quite highly prized and are justifiably considered the most desirable of all open-top touring Astons, held in treasured esteem by enthusiasts worldwide.
Short-Chassis Volante is the rarest of all DB model convertibles were ever built it is often mentioned in Aston Martin texts and enthusiast’s guides as one of the most interesting and collectable of all the Aston Martin DB Series. It is also the first ever Aston Martin to wear the now world famous “Volante” moniker that has been used on every convertible Aston Martin since.
The image of this quintessential British GT car is exemplified most aptly with the legendary Aston Martin DB series of sports cars, especially in glamorous open-air convertible form.
Our stunning car left the factory on the 25th March 1966 and was delivered new to L. Bernstein of 1A Belgrave Square, London.
This ultra-rare Short Chassis Volante was commissioned to a complete 100-point body off & mechanical restoration by Aston Martin Works, Newport Pagnell and completed in 2011. Since then, the car remained in storage and was showcased at Pebble Beach in 2016.