'Following on 28 years after the launch of the cherished Aston Martin DB6, you could forgive the air of expectation that surrounded the DB7. It may have been a long time coming, but few would argue that it wasn’t worth the wait. . . There are few, if any, cars on the road today that would pip the Aston Martin DB7 in a beauty contest. Fact. Subjective an issue as taste may be, the new Aston's aesthetic qualities are inescapable. Its proportions are exquisite, its purpose unmistakable.’ – Motor Sport, December 1994.
This beautiful Aston Martin DB7 is a relatively early car, being chassis number 211 of more than 7,000 built, which rolled off the production line at Newport Pagnell in the first year of production. The first owner (there have only ever been two) was therefore one of the first 300 to pay their £10,000 deposit to a cash strapped Aston works in 1993 – a show of faith that the company repaid by promising these ‘early adopters’ that the car would cost them no more than £80,000 when it eventually went on sale. The new Aston duly retailed at £78,500 although our man, a Mr Frank Matthews from Kidderminster managed to blow his budget by specifying an unusual interior colour combination of Pacific Blue with Parchment hide (flying in the face of standard Aston procedure which only teamed blue with grey, in a move that prospective buyers from the City of London would no doubt have approved of) and non-standard Mistral wheels - these ‘tweaks’ amongst other extras taking the purchase price for this particular example up to about £84,000, no small beer in 1995.
When Mr Matthews came to sell the car in 1999 it had covered just 5,000 miles, and as he stated in his advert, he was looking for a ‘kind’ future custodian, as his car had ‘never been out in the cold’ – let alone the wet! It had also at that time never been on a motorway, although the current owner is happy to confirm that this record has since been broken. Having been waved away from Kidderminster with a celebratory balloon affixed to the ariel and a bottle of champagne in the back seat as a parting gift, (something we at Berlinetta consider entirely appropriate in terms of customer service - and indeed is a tradition we will be more than happy to uphold this time around) the current owner has clearly taken his responsibility to ‘be kind’ to the car very much to heart over the last 17 odd years.
Garaged its entire life, and sporting a thick history folder containing a meticulously filed set of paperwork, DBR 929 has clearly lived an extraordinarily cossetted life. The car has now covered a total of 45,208 miles (an average of about 1,700 a year) and has been serviced at the same time every single year with just one exception, when an illness delayed matters temporarily.
Now, with a house move on the horizon and with some regret, the time has finally come to find worthy custodian number three.
Finished in gleaming Pennine Grey paintwork, the exterior of DBR 929 is in faultless condition today, the front and rear bumpers having just last month received a freshen up to remove any minor stone chips or imperfections, and the car looks as good up close as it does in our photo gallery. All glasswear is free of scratches, the rubber seals on the car are all in excellent order and the light lenses are free from cracks or clouding. The alloy wheels (replacements for the Mistrals that came with the car which sadly eventually folded – literally - when faced with the UK’s famously pot holed roads) were refurbished at the same time as the bumpers and so are also spotless and shod with Bridgestone rubber that still contains plenty of life.
Inside, extensive use is made of recycled trees and cattle, with burr walnut and Connolly leather in evidence pretty much everywhere. As you might expect with such a low mileage example, the interior remains in stunning condition throughout and looks as handsome today as it must have done back in 1995, having furthermore benefitted from a full professional valet less than a fortnight ago.
All gauges and switchgear work as they should do and the car starts immediately and sounds smooth and purposeful, the Eaton supercharger barely making its presence felt at low revs of course (the supercharger was actually replaced shortly after the current owner took delivery – bills on file). On our visit we were able to admire the car effortlessly cruising around the local vicinity at low speed only, but when you come across an example that looks and sounds as good as this one there is no reason to doubt the high speed performance – everything here appears to be absolutely perfect.
The car currently sports the Aston appropriate plate DBR 929 which the current owner secured for it back in 1999. This lovely little 'extra' comes with the car and would set any new Aston owner back £2,250 (recent valuation also on file) were they to attempt to buy it 'off the shelf' today.
Work completed this year aside from that already detailed above includes new hydraulic struts for the bootlid and a replacement ignition switch. The car comes with a current MOT valid until July 2017 with no advisories, and a veritable mini-library of instruction manuals, handbooks, period catalogues and other information from Aston. The tool kit is also all present and correct, as are the famous Aston Martin White Gloves (see photo) which we assume are for Jeeves to wear when he’s serving the champagne that seems to come as standard with this example!
It’s fair to say that we’ve not sold a huge number of DB7’s in our time here at Berlinetta, but we’re struggling to imagine how we might ever come to sell a nicer one – or one with a more charming and impressive history.
Registration: DBR 929
Chassis Number: SCFAA11189K100211
Engine Number: AMI/0200143