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  •   Sanjay Seetanah reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Going back to its spiritual home

    / #1998-Aston-Martin-DB7-Volante / #1998 / #Aston-Martin-DB7-Volante / #Aston-Martin-DB7 / #Aston-Martin

    SANJAY SEETANAH

    Graham Darby, general manager of Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell, had been following our adventures in the DB7 and invited me to see the new showroom and all the facilities. I was keen to visit the car’s ancestral home and set off on a wet Monday morning with trepidation in the knowledge that I would surely get stuck on the M1. The car behaved itself, though I spotted an annoying leak in the passenger footwell when it was chucking it down.

    The new facilities and showroom are across the road from the original Sunnyside headquarters, and as you round the corner you’re greeted with what can only be described as a five-star hotel for Astons (pictured right). The car park brimmed with customers’ cars and the forecourt was clearly designed to tempt you into the inevitable upgrade. Inside the reception area, the huge glass partition allows customers to view the technicians working away in a meticulously clean environment. As a customer’s car arrives, it is met by a consultant who parks it in an inspection bay; from the spotless floor emerges the otherwise invisible ramp, raising the car for its examination.

    At this point I held my breath... This was the first opportunity I’d had to look underneath the DB7, which had covered almost 120,000 miles. And so I braced myself for bad news.

    But senior technician Paul Wild poked and prodded and, to my relief, said the car was in surprisingly good condition. The corroded rear suspension springs would benefit from replacement and, as they are becoming increasingly difficult to find, as soon as possible; the job would transform the feel and behaviour of the car instantly. He told us not to make the mistake of buying Jaguar XJS versions as they are a few centimetres longer and would make the car handle terribly.

    I mentioned the leak in the footwell and Paul took a look. Turns out the drain chutes were blocked; they need to be cleared regularly.

    Graham was pleased I'd brought the car along and remarked that if the cars are used regularly and serviced properly they run without any unreliability issues, and that’s probably why my DB7 is still in such great shape for its year.
    As the days get shorter, I know that the opportunity to enjoy the DB7 will become limited, but I am determined to use it as much as possible. Can’t wait for some of those crisp winter mornings - so long as they’re not so crisp that the roads are gritted.
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  •   Russ Smith reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    ADS ON TEST Aston DB7 Vantage Volante £65,500
    This DB7 boasts the V12 engine, very low mileage and a great history, so does it justify top money? Malcolm McKay

    / #2002-Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage-Volante-Automatic / #2002 / #Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage-Volante-Automatic / #Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage-Volante / #Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage-Automatic / #2002-Aston-2002-Martin-DB7-Vantage-Volante / #Aston-Martin-DB7 / #Aston-Martin / #Aston-Martin-DB7-V12 / #Aston-Martin-V12 / #V12

    Aston DB7 ads tested

    The property of one caring owner until recently, this DB7 is being sold on behalf of its second owner, a keen Aston man. His wife refused to ride in his old Astons in case they broke down, so he looked for the ultimate DB7 to satisfy her preference for a ‘modern, reliable’ car. Apparently she sat in it once, announced she didn’t like it and would never get in it again.

    Registered on 1 September 2002, the car has always been maintained by the main dealer HWM, which supplied it new. Extras on the order included 19in sport wheels, mesh grille, Touchtronic transmission, sports exhaust and leather hood cover (not available when we photographed the car, but it will be sold with it). It was religiously serviced every year – all in the history file, with the original order and bill of sale – despite covering fewer than 1000 miles a year. The current mileage stands at 13,095, just 45 more than when it passed its last MoT in September.

    There is a tiny amount of corrosion just visible on the windscreen wiper mechanism and the wood-trimmed panel over the 12v socket is darker than the rest – though original, it looks a little out of place. The dashtop trim has wrinkled over the top of the instrument binnacle, but Classicmobilia will get this sorted out before sale. A slight mark on the driver’s seat bolster should disappear with valeting. Even the normal bugbear of low-mileage cars, old tyres, doesn’t apply in this case – the car wears a matching set of top spec Yokohama Advan Sports, front 245/35ZR19 and rear 265/30ZR19, dated 51_15, 01_16 and 09_16. Needless to say, they are virtually unworn and the MoT history reveals they were replaced due to concerns over cracking on the original set.

    Turn on the ignition and press the starter button (this Aston thinks it’s a MkII Jag!) and the big V12 instantly bursts into life. In keeping with the modern boulevardier character of the car, it’s more of an expensive hum than a cacophony of chains and gears. The massive torque means that a gentle, measured application of throttle is best in the cold and wet, but once the tyres grip the engine pulls cleanly with no hint of misfire.

    With the top up, there are no untoward mechanical noises – this car feels as civilised and reined as it should. Every control works correctly, and the car is blissfully easy and relaxing to drive. Pull up, put the handbrake on (don’t forget it when you pull away again) and release two catches at the front; the hood then opens – and closes again – smoothly.

    If you are looking for a really smart convertible V12 Aston with impeccable history, and aren’t too bothered about the ultimate GT spec (the GT’s extra 20bhp and ultimate brakes would be barely discernible on the race track let alone on the road, whereas today’s roads would constantly remind you of the harder suspension), then this could be the DB7 for you. Just get your wife to check it out before you commit to buy…

    CHOOSE YOUR ASTON DB7

    Aston’s rebirth under Ford saw the #Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage launched in 1993 with a supercharged Jaguar-derived 3.2-litre straight-six, XJS-based chassis and styling by Keith Helfet and Ian Callum. The DB7 Volante followed in 1996, with a stiffened body and electric five-layer hood. DB7 Vantage arrived in 1997 using a V12 developed by Cosworth, mated to a five-speed auto or six-speed manual transmission.

    Touchtronic option for the auto arrived in 2000. In 2002 Aston added the ultimate V12 GT/GTA option with 435bhp, big Brembo discs, stiffer suspension, mesh grille, bonnet vents and boot spoiler; and also the short-chassis DB7 Zagato. 2003 saw various special editions built before DB7 production ended in December.

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE SPECIFICATIONS 2002-Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage-Volante-Automatic

    Price £65,500
    Contact Classicmobilia, Bucks (07889 805432, classicmobilia.com)
    Engine 5935cc, V12, dohc
    Max Power 414bhp @ 6000rpm / DIN nett
    Max Torque 400lb ft @ 5000rpm / DIN nett
    Performance Top speed: 165mph; 0-60mph: 5sec
    Fuel consumption 16mpg
    Length 4692mm
    Width 1830mm

    Generous specification includes optional 19in wheels and mesh grille. Nitpicking needed to find any interior issues. No hints of any costly V12 problems.

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  •   Russ Smith reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Happy times on the way for Aston Martin DB7 buyers / #Aston-Martin-DB7 / #Aston-Martin / #Aston-Martin-DB7-Volante / #1997-Aston-Martin-DB7-Volante / #1997 /

    VALUE 2012 £32K
    VALUE NOW 2018 £29K

    Time to look carefully at the DB7 market. Anglia Auctions sold two in June – a ’1997 Volante in maroon with 55k miles and dealer history for £20,140 and a very fresh ’1998 Coupé in Mendip Blue, 12-year ownership, large history file and 34k miles for £26,500. Both cars feel good value at this money. Also in June, CCA sold a ’1995 Coupé in Jet Black with 72k miles for £15,400, while Barons drew £15,180 for a #2002-Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage-Volante-Automatic #V12 Volante Vantage auto in Buckinghamshire Green with 96k.

    Auction prices have fallen of over the last few months and even an exceptional car such as the mint 28k-mile 2000 Vantage Coupé that Historics sold in May made only £29k. I also see a softening reflected in some private ads such as the seller in Littlehampton offering a ‘superb’ Meteorite Silver ’1995 auto coupé with 42k miles for a very reasonable £23,250. With negotiation, that one might sell for £20k.

    This downward step in values is caused by too many cars on the market, but their intrinsic appeal hasn’t changed – they’re still one of Ian Callum’s most inspired designs, radiate unmistakable Aston DNA and, if you can find a V12 Vantage manual, good for 186mph. Higher prices over the last couple of years means many were treated to expensive refurbs and quality servicing, so look for stamped histories and thick service portfolios.

    There are close on 200 DB7s for sale in the UK, so the market is in the buyer’s favour. We may even see a time in the next 12 months when early sub-60,000 3.2 auto coupés start popping up at £17k. Happy days. Watch and wait.
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  •   Russ Smith reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Time for an #Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage ? #Aston-Martin-DB7 / #Aston-Martin /

    Quentin mentioned the easing of DB9 prices a couple of issues ago, noting that they had fallen close to DB7 values. With a degree of inevitability, that had a knock-on effect on DB7s, especially the #V12 Vantages. These have also now slipped a bit – there are only so many potential #Aston-Martin buyers in any given price bracket. The drop is most noticeable in less-than-perfect examples, with both coupés and convertibles now being sold for as little as £15,000 if their mileage or history aren’t in the gilt-edged category.

    What it does perhaps do is put them in the range of more people who might want to take a punt and place a fat tick in that ‘I’ve owned an Aston’ box. They are now a very real alternative to a hot TVR or Jaguar XKR. But as ever, buy with care.
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Malcolm McKay posted a new blog post in Aston Martin DB7
    Aston Martin DB7 Buyer’s Guide
    •   Cars
    •   Sunday, 04 March 2018
    Aston Martin DB7 The model that saved its maker has earnt its classic status, claims Malcolm McKay, but its problems can be costly to rectify Photography Tony Baker. Buyer’s guide to what could be the last affordable Aston.
    1. Continue Reading
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  •   Malcolm McKay reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Craft Zetner updated the picture of the group
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  •   Craft Zetner reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Craft Zetner updated the cover photo of the group
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