It’s easy to forget that the car which ensured Aston Martin's survival very nearly didn’t happen. Having begun life as a potential XJS successor, steered by racing legend Tom Wilkinshaw, it was rejected by Jaguar thanks to cost-cutting measures implemented by Ford at the time. The project was only brought back to life when Aston earmarked the design for a new model in its line-up – although not without a comprehensive redesign from its then new talent, Ian Callum.
The XX, as it was initially coined, was comprehensively Astonified with the new look - one so profound that its influence is still noticeable to this very day – DBX included. The completed DB7 was launched in 1995, and immediately impressed the wider world with its styling, straight-six motor and luxurious interior. It wasn’t until the V12 Vantage arrived in ’99, however, that the DB7 really got into its stride and cemented itself as Aston's saviour.
Not that its cost-cutting features weren't readily apparent. Ford parts bin components like Mazda 323 F taillights, 323 Estate door handles and MX-5 repeaters were in clear sight. The door mirrors came from the Citroen CX and the interior switches that controlled their electronic adjustment were a Ford Scorpio design. But the combined product oozed Aston cool and with a 420hp V12 motor, it had the trouser length to back it up. It was a deserving sales success, with close to 700 a year produced for Europe alone at its peak.
Maybe that explains why the car you see here, a late 53-plate Vantage, has only 200 miles on the clock. Perhaps its buyer saw the significance of the DB7 to Aston’s history and thought it worthy of museum status, ensuring its exterior, interior and engine bay, not to mention the factory-fresh underside, are exactly as they were when the signed inspection sticker was applied at the end of the Bloxham production line. We’ve no doubt this 5.9-litre machine has been kept under cover for its 16-year life – there’s not a spot of orange visible on the exhaust pipework or any sign that the cream leather chairs have actually been sat in.
No less notable is the price. Sure, £75k is quite a lot when you can buy a perfectly lovely DB7 for around £40k, but it isn't close to the eye-watering sums we're accustomed to seeing attached to delivery-mile exotica. Obviously, that reflects the model's broader availability (and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that the car will require some TLC depending on its level of pampering while stationary), although it could be argued that it somewhat understates the DB7's place in Aston history. Either way, the next custodian is getting a landmark car - in standout condition.
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