30 Nov 2012

Aston Martin DB7 - supercar bargain

The Aston Martin DB7 was sold from 1994 to 2004.  It was designed by the legendary Ian Callum and shared many mechanical components with the Jaguar XK, which in itself was largely based on the XJS.

The DB7 was created during the era when Ford owned Aston Martin and was built not in Newport Pagnall but in a factory in Bloxham, Oxfordshire where the XJ220 had previously been constructed - although the engines were made in Kidlington.  Tom Walkinshaw Racing were contracted to engineere the car.

The DB7 is unique amongst Astons in that the chassis is steel (a product of the Jaguar co-operation) rather than aluminium.  It was available as a coupe or volante (convertible) and had two engine choices - a supercharged 3.2 litre 6 cylinder or 5.9 litre V12.

And at the moment prices of the 3.2 litre coupe have reached an all time low.  You can buy one today for £15,000.

The 6 cylinder engine has 335bhp and does 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds.  The car weighs 1800kg and returns just 18.2mpg (combined).

A DB7 can look tidy on the surface but a multitude of problems can be hidden away underneath.  They can be affected by rust.  Radius arm mountings, the front bulkhead and jacking points are particularly prone to rust.

Watch out for cars that might have been involved in a crash at some point in their life.  The chassis can be deformed which leads to poor handling and uneven tyre wear.  Also beware weeping aircon gaskets and seals which can lead to hugely expensive repair bills.  Also, the fuel tank lifter pump can fail, which will be difficult to diagnose and expensive to repair.

As with any supercar a full service history is important.  Services should have been done every 6 months or 7,500 miles and should have been undertaken by a specialist Aston Martin independent, or a dealer.

An Aston Martin DB7 isn't a very sensible car to buy - it drinks fuel and can be expensive to maintain.  You could go for the very similar, and cheaper, Jaguar XK8.  However that's beside the point.

You can buy a proper Aston Martin for £15,000.  That's a massive bargain.  If your heart rules your head, and you've a soft spot for true British supercars, then why wouldn't you.

Remember, you can always knock a few hundred pounds off the price. Cars advertised for up to £16,500 can be had for £15,000.  At the moment this is a buyers market.  New stock is hard to find and dealers desperately need to turnover existing stock.

All images are taken from a current advert on Autotrader.  The car, a 1996 model with 82,000 miles, is advertised for £15490 and has a full service history.