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Aston Martin DB7

Aston Martin DB7 Published: 5th Mar 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Aston Martin DB7
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Painted by Rolls-Royce and developed by Jaguar Le Mans winning team TWR, the DB7 may have originated from a rejected Jaguar project, based upon the old XJ-S, yet this entry level Aston is the real deal and more than a Jag in drag, borne out by values that now exceed later DB9 models. Being also XK8 related, running costs are lower than other Astons and Jaguar specialists can also look after them.

Driving

Perhaps the DB7 never went as well as those sensational looks always promised. Series 2 cars, are a big improvement mind and that wonderful V12 will do it for many although some Aston experts reckon the original ‘supercharged six’ is the more thoroughbred performer plus also came in ‘man tran’ form. Automatics are in the majority but the transmission does stifle the car’s zeal being only an antiquated four-speed system (XK8 used five-speeds). Enthusiasts will further find that the stiffer shelled coupés handle that bit better than the high style cabrios which ride on a softer suspension plus lacks a rear anti roll bar.

 

Values

You rarely see a DB7 dip below the £30K mark now – if you do, it will probably be an earliest ‘I6’ (usually auto) model that will typically need a further £10,000 spent to make it half decent; most good cars start from around £30,000. Typically, Volantes convertibles are valued in the region of £5000 over a fixed head, although top cars command much higher prices and the best DB7s can now sell for more than the Vantage and ‘new’ DBS replacements. Because the GT and GTA (auto) is mostly a restyled Vantage, it isn’t worth a hefty premium over standard but increasing rarity causes sellers to demand it. The Driving Dynamics package is highly sought after.

 

Timeline

1994 DB7 (I6) is finally launched after being shown a year before, based upon an aborted F-Type Jaguar project that was passed over by owner Ford to Aston initially earmarked as the new DB4 and an entry level model for the brand

1996 Drop head Volante appears, complete with a powered roof

1997 All gained raft of much needed improvements as well as better build quality

1999 V12-engined DB7 was always on the cards because the XJ-S was also designed for such an engine. Called the Vantage, this 6-litre 420bhp all Aston unit quickly replaces the now widely respected ‘six’ and is also offered in both coupé and Volante forms

2002 Run-out DB7, called the GT; there was also an automatic (GTA). In the same year, the DB7 Zagato also made its début, but none were delivered until ’03 with less than 100 made; final 10th Anniversary cars issued

 

Best models

 

Six


It’s a Jag XJR engine, derated to 3.2-litres but in a higher state of tune. It feels a bit special plus is the only manual DB7 offered

V12


This is the powerplant that most go for as it punches out at least 420bhp with more tucked away. These later cars are also much better made

Volante


You have to drive a Coupé to spot their softer nature, otherwise this DB7 oozes style and hold their values better, especially with options fitted

Top five faults

 

Rust


Sadly can be an issue, especially as Aston cut back on under sealing cars around 2002 and so don’t be surprised to see past welding repairs or advisories on the MoT certificate. Leaks from the windscreen are costly and can lead to floor rust

Engine


Both power plants are strong, especially the former. Crucially, V12s use O.A.T. anti-freeze and nothing else; if the system has been topped up with standard fluid, the two will have reacted. Oil pipes known to fail so check for leaks

Running gear

Suspension bushes wear and lead to sloppy feel. We’re told by specialists that while Jaguar items fit (and probably easier and cheaper to source) genuine Aston items are performance biased and of better quality

Electrics

Alarms can flatten battery (ensure you get both key fobs). Switch gear is mostly Ford sourced TYRES DB7s sat on big alloys which can distort if driven quickly on poorly surfaced roads; Vantage rims seem most prone. It is essential that the geometry is kept spot on



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