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Buyers Guide to:

Aston Martin DB7

Useful Info

Manufactured

1994 to 2004

Fuel Type

Petrol

Engine Sizes

3200cc, 5900cc

Engine Type

Water-Cooled

Drive Configuration

RWD

Aston Martin Owners Club

www.amoc.org

Chiltern Aston Centre Ltd

www.chilternaston.co.uk

Just Kampers

Odiham,
Hampshire,
RG291JE,
01256 862288,
www.justkampers.com

Background

Thanks to gorgeous styling and proper grand touring ability, the DB7 was a big hit with fans of the Aston brand. Launched in 1994 the car was designed by Ian Callum and based on (much revised) Jaguar XJS underpinnings, and was initially available with a 6-cylinder supercharged engine producing a healthy 335bhp. It was joined in 1999 by the Vantage model, this time fitted with a 420bhp 5.9-litre V12 – you can tell the two models apart by the rear-view mirrors which are mounted at the corner of the door window on V12s and on the door itself on the straight-six cars. Luxuriously trimmed and with continent- crushing performance the DB7 was assembled at a factory in Bloxham, Oxfordshire overseen by Tom Walkinshaw.

  1. 1. Wheel arches
  2. 2. Door bottoms
  3. 3. Front and rear screen surrounds

The Checklist

  • Underneath for corrosion as it can affect the floor pan, jacking points, inner wings, and bulkhead. Later models are considered more susceptible to rot and repairs will be hugely expensive so be sure to check
  • The panels. Early cars had composite bumpers, front wings, boot lid, and bonnet and new panels are incredibly costly. A steel bonnet was fitted from July 1996 and many early cars have this fitted instead – it’s more than £2500 for the part alone if damaged
  • Panel alignment and for any signs of previous accident damage. A history check is strongly advised
  • The paintwork. Blistering will occur if the outer layer of composite panels is damaged and a costly respray will be needed. The low nose can suffer from stone-chips and scuffs, so some local re-painting isn’t uncommon
  • That light units are undamaged. They are expensive, and becoming hard to obtain for 6-cylinder cars
  • For a perfect service record from an Aston dealer or specialist and avoid any car without one. Regular oil and filter changes are vital, and the all-alloy engines must have the correct type and strength of anti-freeze as internal corrosion will cause havoc. Expect to see a record of coolant changes every two years
  • For evidence of a noisy timing chain, and a ticking that indicates cracks in the exhaust manifolds. New ones are more than £500 for 6-cylinder cars so good news if they’ve already been changed
  • Whether 6-cylinder cars have been modified for more power. It can put a strain on the Eaton supercharger
  • The V12 engine for any signs of a misfire. It can be hard to spot, but is often caused by faulty ignition coil packs which take a few hours to change
  • For oil leaks from the engine and oil cooler system. And make sure there are no signs of overheating as it could have comprised the head gasket(s)
  • That both manual and automatic gearboxes operate smoothly with no nasty noises. 6-cylinder cars had a 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto; V12s a 6-speed Tremec manual or a ZF 5-speed automatic. They should be bullet-proof unless abused, but check the fluid on automatics to ensure it’s not blackened or smelling burnt
  • For whines from the rear axle, and for any oil leaks
  • The hood on convertible Volante models. The frame can wear through the fabric, especially around the rear quarter sections, and replacements are costly
  • For worn brakes, and unsure there are no dashboard warning lights that indicate problems with the Teves ABS
  • For evidence of fluid leaks from the power steering rack or pipework
  • That suspension bushes aren’t worn or perished, and look for rust around the mounting points on early cars. Signs of uneven tyre wear will need investigation
  • The air-conditioning works. The evaporator can fail and replacement means stripping out plenty of interior trim; the work takes a day or two and results in a big bill
  • That the leather and wood trim is undamaged, and check the carpets for any signs of water leaks which often come from the front/rear screen or the door seals. And make sure all the electrics work, especially the central locking, electric windows, and alarm system
  • There are no problems with starting as DB7s can suffer with flat batteries caused by electrical issues

Everything Check Out?

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