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