Gor­geous and af­ford­able – but some are much more de­sir­able than oth­ers

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

If there’s one thing that’s al­ways as­so­ci­ated with buy­ing an As­ton Martin, it’s that their val­ues pre­clude all but the very wealthy from en­joy­ing them.

How­ever, there is an af­ford­able way into As­ton Martin own­er­ship, and it’s a model whose val­ues can only go up­wards. Step for­ward the DB7, which is of­ten re­garded as one of the finest look­ing cars ever built in Bri­tain.

That beauty isn’t rare – such was the DB7’s ap­peal that it was the big­gest-sell­ing As­ton at the time, with more than 7000 be­ing sold. While there are plenty of cars to choose from, there’s also a large num­ber of po­ten­tial money-pits.

Prices are scat­tered to the four winds, with some cars sell­ing last year for £15,000-16,000, ris­ing to around £50,000 for a Van­tage Volante. And those val­ues are no longer slack­en­ing off.

His­torics’ Edward BridgerStille of­fers ad­vice not just as an auc­tion­eer, but as an owner too. ‘Own­ing a DB7 can be a mine­field if you buy un­wisely. Se­duc­tive, yes, with af­ford­able prices, a big

‘It can be a mine­field if you buy un­wisely’

sign ex­alt­ing its de­sign her­itage and plenty to mas­sage your ego. I bought a six-cylin­der Volante last year and would now per­son­ally opt for the V12. It did the job, how­ever, and I was able to say: ‘ Yes, that’s my As­ton…’ My ad­vice, if you can af­ford the fuel, is to buy a 12-cylin­der car.’

While it would be easy to fall for those looks at a sale, there are ra­tio­nal points to con­sider, as Bridger- Stille ex­plains: ‘ With DB7s, al­most more than any other car, spend as much as you can on pur­chase and try to get one with a fresh ser­vice and MoT test cer­tifi­cate. Resid­u­als are also best pro­tected if you choose a sen­si­ble colour scheme. In a nut­shell, qual­ity is al­ways worth in­vest­ing in, and so it is with a DB7.’

Clas­sic Car Auc­tions’ Ar­wel Richards reck­ons there is one stand-out model: ‘Some say that the

DB7 was the per­fect blend of Ford re­li­a­bil­ity and As­ton Martin de­sign, although those who bought the ear­lier i6 mod­els would prob­a­bly beg to dif­fer. The later 5.9-litre V12 Van­tage model was a huge leap for­ward for the DB7 – the en­gine and ex­haust notes were those of a proper As­ton Martin.

‘It was uni­ver­sally re­garded that the 3.2-litre en­gine of the ear­lier su­per­charged As­ton was pretty gut­less, espe­cially com­pared with the later 6.0-litre Jaguar XJS and the 4.0-litre XK8, which were its main com­peti­tors at the time.’

Later V12-en­gined DB7s are dis­tin­guish­able by their com­bined front in­di­ca­tors and fog­lights.

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