Used Aston Martin Db7
A History Lesson
As rapid and handsome as James Bond himself, the Aston Martin DB7 remains, for many, the number one Bond car. Indeed, having first been used as Bond's secret weapon in the film Goldfinger, Bond himself would no doubt define the Aston Martin DB7 as his ultimate car. Fortunately, the DB7 is no longer necessarily limited to the realm of fantasy or fiction, because a used DB7 can now be picked up for considerably less than you may think.
Bang for Your Buck
While some may find the fact that the DB7 was actually based on the rather unpopular Jaguar XJ-S a little off-putting, the Aston Martin's superior design instantly placed it higher on the popularity scale. Indeed the styling of the Aston Martin DB7 was received with praise aplenty on its launch in late 1994, while the car's performance -- powered as it was by a Jaguar-based 3.3 litre engine -- initially received a luke warm reception at best. However, this was largely down to the fact that the more refined nature of the DB7 was simply not what Aston Martin aficionados were accustomed to.
What You'll Pay
For the earliest models (M-registration) you could find one for less than £25,000. However, it is often wiser to go to a specialist dealer and find one that has a full service history. In this case you should expect to pay a little more -- perhaps around the £28,000 mark.
What to Check
If you do go for one that doesn't have a full service history the first things to check will be the most vulnerable areas of the Aston, that is the gearbox, the differential and the rear axle. In addition, the exterior -- especially the bodywork panels -- should be examined closely as these are very expensive to replace and almost impossible to repair.
As you can probably imagine, replacement parts for a second-hand Aston Martin are certainly not cheap. Replacement panels can be anywhere between £400 for a front wing to £800 for the bonnet and that is without the paintjob. A replacement differential, a common problem, will be around £1000 while a new clutch will be about £250. The biggest nightmare however, could be the headlamps as these cost nothing less than £650 each.
How it Drives
The car's performance with regards to its handling was initially questioned. Indeed, many find the used Aston Martin DB7 to feel somewhat clumsy; a result no doubt stemming from the car's massive tyres and only slightly less massive steering wheel. However, DB7 fans claim that reports regarding the car's lack of handling sharpness are simply down to a misalignment of the Aston Martin's reference points.
While some may place the Aston DB7 in the same class as the Porsche 911 Turbo or even the Ferrari 360 Modena, the Aston enthusiasts insist rather that it is better to define the DB7 in terms of the values earmarked by the BMW 8 Series or perhaps the Porsche 928.
Certainly, even the souped up Vantage version rumbles behind a modestly smooth ride and, let's face it, any vehicle that weighs over 1700kg -- as the Aston Martin DB7 does -- is bound to feel comparatively heavy and clumsy.