Comprehensive Aston Martin Service History
One owner for the past nine years
Well cared for and in good condition
83,800 miles from new
Very realistically reserved; Guide Price of £16,000 to £20,000
‘Another tradition-steeped nameplate that ably proved “six in a row can go” is Aston Martin. Before there was Ford ownership, before there was Aston’s four-cam V-8, David Brown (the DB in Aston’s model nomenclature) relied on a DOHC inline six to power everything from DB2/4 touring convertibles to the Le Mans-winning DBR-1. So it’s appropriate that today’s DB7 employs one as well, though this power plant shares nothing but the cylinder count from that early Aston six… If you want, and can afford the $130,000 price tag for six perfectly balanced cylinders worth of God-Save-The-Queen power, style, craftsmanship, and exclusivity, consider the Aston Martin DB7; an automobile anyone would likely find satisfying for many years to come.’ Motortrend, 1999.
“Amen to that” as our colonial cousins would no doubt say. While the language may be a little ‘flowery’ for us reserved Brits, you can’t argue with the sentiment or fail to agree with the views expressed by those across the pond on the eve of the New Millennium. Since then the DB7, especially in ‘i6’ pre-Vantage form, has definitely played the role of runt of the litter in the Aston hierarchy, lagging someway behind even the DBS when that model was seen as little more than a potential engine donor for the rest of the David Brown era range. How times have changed in the last couple of years with the 7 becoming quite the investment darling in terms of % value increase and yet even now remaining at best a tenth of the value of any of its DB4, 5 or 6 ancestors in purchase price stakes. In our view, that gap can only continue to close as the market wakes up to the charms and value of the ‘first Aston you can use every day’.
From the last full year of i6 production, this DB7’s owner consigned the car to Berlinetta Weekly having monitored the performance of the earlier car we sold a few weeks ago – see the Results section. Interested parties can however rest assured that the reserve for this higher mileage example has been set some considerable way below that of Lot 20 and it is (as far as we are aware) the least expensive DB7 currently on the market.
First registered on 20th May 1998 and hence sporting the many improvements Aston made to the cars in 1996/7, this DB7 was resold by the supplying Aston Martin Main Dealer, Grange Motors (it is possible it was originally their demonstrator) just over six months later to a Mr Lewi for exactly £80,000, having covered 3,868 miles. After one further owner, tenure-ship was taken over by a Mr Christopher Wright in September 2006 and the next, current owner purchased the Aston in May 2008 by which time the mileage had reached 77,600. During this time the DB7 was serviced by Aston Martin dealers Grange Aston Martin of Brentwood some thirteen times, having had its Pre-Delivery Inspection carried out at their Welwyn Garden City branch. There are three further classic car specialist stamps in the service book, the most recent of which dates from May 2017 and a new Service Book will be required as the one supplied when the Aston was new is now full. On top of this the Aston was also given a minor service at every MOT test since the current owner aquired it.
There will be few people who would argue against this car's colour combination of Mendip Blue coachwork teamed with Parchment Connolly leather piped in matching blue being one of the most desirable for a DB7. The ‘primary’ interior Parchment is complimented by ‘secondary’ areas such as carpets, seat backs and dash top finished in blue, offset with traditional burr walnut trim. Aston Martin over-mats are in place to protect the Firth carpeting and the factory standard Alpine radio/cassette head unit and boot mounted six CD player are still in place. The original toolkit and inflatable spare tyre remain below the floor of the good sized boot. Though the leather surfaces are showing evidence of contact in the anticipated areas such as the driver’s seat, this is very much as one would expect for a machine that is now almost twenty years old and the rear seats look to have barely been sat in – again as you might expect given the leg room they (don’t) offer occupants. The interior is hence not perfect but far from scruffy and a lovely place to be with a wonderful ambience that the passing years have only contributed to.
Externally as far as we were able to ascertain the Aston wears its original paintwork which is in fine condition overall being bright, even and having a good shine though a professional detailer would probably be able to add further lustre. There are a few minor paint chips to both the trailing edge of the driver’s door and sill which look to have been caused by an unruly seatbelt or carelessly placed shoe heal. Please examine the evidence in the photo gallery to judge for yourself the relative importance of these; fair wear and tear in our view and not too detrimental to the overall impression of the car. A poorly touched in small chip on the near-side front wing appeared before the current owner took delivery of the DB though he did have to point it out to us during our inspection and it was apparently invisible to the dealer he bought the car from… It has not become noticeably worse in the last nine years. Very hard to spot unless the light catches it at the right angle is a degree of paint shrinkage or perhaps crazing of the underlying composite close to the off-side headlight – again please see the photo gallery.
Having been kept under the watchful eye of its makers’ agents for the majority of its life and virtually all the miles it has travelled, the DB7 appears to be in fine mechanical health starting on the key (remember them – the forerunner to the recent fad for starter buttons and soon to be thumb prints, voice recognition or retinal scans no doubt) and driving very nicely with, even by recent standards, ample get up and go. Though the underpinnings’ design was not exactly state of the art even when the cars were new, Aston didn’t stint on the components they fitted and the standard Bilstein dampers were the best money could buy; the DB still drives in a very accomplished fashion today. Everything seems to work as it should and being a later car there is an airbag each for driver and passenger while the options ticked when new ensured that the seats not only move electrically but are also heated and to offset these, the air conditioning has recently been recharged. On test and once thoroughly warmed through after an extended period of idling, all the gauges (with their uber-cool Aston Martin logos) read in the healthy range – see photo gallery – with the pair of thermostatically controlled fans kicking in and out as required.
The standard factory fit wheels are in excellent condition with no evidence of kerb scarring or gravel rash. Tyres are an excellent premium brand (245/40 ZR 18 Dunlop SP Sport 9000’s all round) with a very good amount of treat left on all of them.
In the engine bay things are very much in ‘as is’ condition which simply points to thorough maintenance rather than obsessive detailing. Though a future owner might choose to spend a little time and effort in this department, it is by no means an embarrassment. The fan shroud has corroded slightly and would benefit from being refinished.
Underneath the Aston is very solid with no apparent issues. Garaged for at least the last nine years of its life and likely much more, the original factory protective coating is just peeling away in places and now might be the time to renew this or supplement it with a proprietary after-market compound.
There is plenty of paperwork in the file to supplement the previously mentioned service history with a raft of MOT certificates and bills for expendable items such as tyres and batteries, the most recent of which dates from this spring.
For the majority of the DB7’s life it has sported the highly appropriate registration number R6 AML though the owner is currently in the process of removing his Private Plate shown in the photographs and the Aston will revert to the number R654 KAR and these plates will be refitted on conclusion of the sale. The Aston has been freshly MOT tested until June 2018.
With only 857 examples made, the DB7 in i6 automatic specification is a surprisingly rare machine, comfortably outnumbered by its illustrious and highly collectable forebears the DBs 4, 5 and 6 which each exceeded 1000 units, often by some margin. A (Mendip) blue-chip investment then, though this particular example has enjoyed sufficient use to ensure that further miles will not be significantly detrimental to its future value; the Holy Grail of classic cars – one that can be used and enjoyed that just might return you a profit further down the line.
Registration Number: R654 KAR – See text
Chassis Number: SCFAA111XWK102175
Engine Number: AMI/0602004