I'm looking for Menlove Avenue, which you'd be forgiven for assuming was a street full of gay bars. In fact, it's a busy tree-lined road where Lennon grew up and his old house is now open to the public. My sat-nav eventually helps find the house and a couple of rotund American Beatles fanatics are being given a guided tour. I refrain from going in because, well, it's just a house when all's said and done. It's not hallowed ground for everyone.
Just around the corner is the entrance to Strawberry Fields, name-checked on one of the group's most psychedelic hits. I park up the DB6 in front of its graffiti-covered gateway and gawp at the Aston's lovely lines. We've not been here long before a huge coach pulls up and ejects its dozens of occupants onto the busy road. More tourists.
Once they find out whose car it was, the Aston becomes superstar for a few minutes and rightly so. It might be a little lumpy at the rear end when compared to the DB5, but this was to allow four adults enough headroom to enjoy this finest of GT cars. Inside, it's a treat of supple black leather, a beautiful black-and-chrome dashboard with an instrument binnacle that evokes the iconic shape of its front radiator grille. The big wooden wheel is simply evocative and the controls dainty and beautiful to the touch.
Unfortunately, in Aston's quest to take the DB6 back to the condition it was in when McCartney took delivery of it, the tape recorder has been removed and the leather, instead of being restored, has been totally renewed. There are improvements over the original specification though, and again this goes back to the shop-window analogy. Adjustable power steering makes it more driveable, especially in urban conditions, and the speaker behind the gear shifter is now a hinged flap that conceals a new CD player.
It's still not an easy car to drive. It feels heavy and cumbersome at times, wallowing through tight corners, and its brakes feel wooden. But these thoughts are banished every time I open it up and hear the meshing of the 4.0-liter straight six. It builds up speed more rapidly than you'd expect, but a new MINI would leave it for dead. Which is missing the point, I know.
We spend the day seeking out more Beatles landmarks, including McCartney's old house where even more Americans descend. I see Eleanor Rigby's headstone and shivers go down my spine. We park up in Penny Lane, which, name aside, has no appeal whatsoever. Liverpool is slowly picking itself up but the city is still a mess. Unemployment, hard drugs and crime-they've all taken their toll, so I'm happy to leave it all behind and head for home behind the wheel of such a glamorous piece of British engineering.
There's only one song suitable for the CD player though, and all the way home I'm shouting along to it: "Laah, la, la, la la laaah. La la la laaaah. Hey Jude..."
1966 Aston Martin DB6
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
4.0-liter inline six, dohc, 12-valve
Peak Power: 282 hp @ 5500 rpmPeak Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm0-60 mph: 8.4 sec.Top Speed: 148 mph
Price Tag (1966): $15,400