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2000 ASTON MARTIN DB7 Vantage

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2000 ASTON MARTIN DB7 Vantage

Background

The DB7 arrived in 1994 after a complicated gestation that involved Tom Walkinshaw and Ian Callum as midwifes and Ford, Jaguar and Aston Martin as interested foster-parents at different times. But the important bit is the prototype’s overwhelmingly positive reception at the Geneva show in 1993, which led to production.

The DB7 transformed Aston Martin’s fortunes - with almost 7000 sold by the time it was replaced in 2004, it was easily the company’s most successful model to date. Why? Because it offered exactly what customers wanted: sleek, superb looks that were very slow to age, combined with a prestigious cabin (despite the sprinkling of Ford switchgear) and smooth but exciting performance.

The DB7 got this from a supercharged 3.2-litre straight-six to start with, which was a re-badged and tuned version of Jaguar’s excellent AJ6 engine. By 1999, Aston had wisely decided to upgrade the DB7 with a significantly larger and more impressive unit - a 5.9-litre V12. This brought with it a very familiar word in the Aston vocabulary… Vantage.

The new model deserved the old name, with 414bhp thumping it to 60mph in 5.2 seconds, even in automatic form, and on to an electronically-limited 165mph. In the 16 years since the DB7 has left production, values dropped as first the DB9 and then the DB11 succeeded it, but the DB9 is a more complex proposition as a second-hand buy, and attention is turning back to the DB7…will they ever be this cheap again?


The Vehicle

This car must be the least costly entry to the classic Aston Martin market available anywhere.

It has a couple of features that will keep its selling price down at very realistic levels, chiefly a relatively high mileage of 109,000 and a missing service book, though plenty of recent receipts and other written history accompany the car.

To deal with the mileage, the car was clearly used as a daily driver by earlier owners and racked up 99,000 of those miles by 2008. The next 10,000 have taken more than ten years, reflecting the car’s change in usage to a cherished weekend toy. Sadly though, it was offered without its original service book when sold by Baron’s Auctions in 2017 to the current owner, Mike, who bought it knowing that it needed a few issues sorting out and who has spent considerable sums on putting it right.

Mike says he’s spoken to the specialist who serviced the car earlier in its life and that they indicated they could provide service records - at a price. He has enjoyed the car a great deal, taking it on trips to Ireland and to France, but since last year has been unable to get in and out of it with any comfort - ‘hips and legs not what they were,’ he says, which is prompting him to find a new home not only for this car but for the other sporty things in the stable - including a Ferrari.

On the Outside

We think this paint is Merlot Red, and it’s a rare choice on a DB7 but one that suits the shape very well. There are a few stone chips, as you might expect from a fast car with 100,000 miles behind it, while the driver’s side has been blown in following some minor paint repairs to stop little rust spots getting any bigger - something the current vendor saw to after purchase. The finish is somewhat orange-peel in nature but could be improved with a flat and polish, if you were so inclined.

The stance is good, the alloy wheels are immaculate with only minor flaws in the centre caps of one or two of them. The Bridgestone tyres are to the correct size and spec - a DB7 Vantage should indeed wear 265/35 ZR18s on the back and 245/40 ZR18s on the front, and while the rears are new the fronts are showing their age with cracking to edges of the tread blocks.

The panel gaps are nice and even though the rear corner of the bonnet at the passenger side was sitting proud when we took our photos - this could just be an issue with the latch.

On the Inside

There’s only one annoying blemish on the inside, which is the broken plastic surround for the driver’s door release. Fit a new one and you’d have a remarkably well-preserved cabin. No family car would look this good after 100,000 miles, with lovely door trims, door bottoms and rugs, only some creasing to the driver’s seat and a light scuff to the beading on the bolster of the front passenger seat. There are a couple of small paint bubbles on top of the driver’s side sill.

Everything seems to work in here, from the powered windows and seats to the instruments in the well-spec’d dash and the Alpine stereo head unit. This car has a factory sat-nav, which we can get to display a welcome screen but no more. There is also an aftermarket Parrot hands-free device, which still works well.

In the boot, we find the original warning triangle, a Pirelli space-saver spare and the wheel-changing kit, a CD changer for the Alpine stereo and a powerful-looking Bosch battery with a battery optimiser device to keep it fit between blasts. We think the other multi-changer, a JVC unit, is a DVD source for the sat-nav. The first aid bag is present but the Aston umbrella, once held in the boot-lid, is gone.

Underneath

It starts on the button (see the video below) and drives very nicely, feeling really useable. How do you quantify that? Difficult to say, but it’s the impression this car gives. There’s plenty of power (of course) and the Vantage isn’t at its best on wet, slimy roads - wait until the sun’s out before burying the throttle if you don’t want to scare yourself! The ZF automatic changes with no lurch or hesitation and the car stops and steers as it should.

Peeping underneath, there’s lots of reassuringly dry, black metal, with surface rust appearing only on and around the trailing arms. There’s some thicker underseal on the front floors and sills, perhaps protecting an older repair - it looks solid now, anyway. There are four Bilstein dampers controlling the rear axle and if you’re really agile (or if the car is on a lift) you’ll see the recent replacement differential unit.

The engine bay might respond to a clean and the odd touch-up where paint is flaking from a bracket or two, but there’s nothing to cause concern here.

History Highlights

We’ve mentioned the lack of a service record, which is a shame, but there’s quite a lot more that goes back to an Aston Martin multi-point inspection by Stratstone of Wilmslow from 2003 that presumably happened when the car changed hands. There are bills from a previous owner’s time with the car, roughly 2012 onwards.

Older MoTs confirm the mileage and bills from Mike’s ownership include expensive new brake pads, front dampers, bushes and a wishbone, a new battery and rear tyres. There is a brand new MoT too.

What We Think

There will be people who shy away from Astons at this end of the market, which leaves the rest of us to contemplate a serious bargain. It’s not perfect, cosmetically, and the missing service history can’t be ignored, but try to see it for what it is: a modern classic V12 grand tourer that’s been used lightly by a caring owner, who’s invested in keeping it mechanically fit.

We think it will make between £14,000 and £20,000, which is less than many people ask for a straight-six DB7, never mind a Vantage. This is a tremendously fast, prestigious and powerful car that will still turn heads, and thanks to that ageless number plate, will suggest to most observers that you’ve spent a great deal more than our estimate.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us in Abingdon. To arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and an array of regional providers for transporting it.

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

mrpalmer

  • Location: Abingdon
  • Odometer Reading: 109200
  • Chassis Number: SCFAB123XYK300013
  • Engine: 5935
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Color: Red
  • Interior: Red/Cream Leather

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