ADS ON TEST: 2002 Aston DB7 Vantage Volante


Classic Cars magazine

by Nathan Chadwick |

This is a rare opportunity to buy an overlooked Aston Martin in its most desirable specification, reckons Nathan Chadwick

Regardless of the fact that this is a rare and desirable manual V12, the car stands up well for itself anyway, with a lovely burbly exhaust note. It also represents excellent value for money, considering that the car will have a full service before it leaves the vendor.

The car is in overall excellent condition, a minor rubbing mark in the passenger side of the front bumper being the only blemish we could find in the original Chiltern Green paintwork. DB7s are also known for headlamp misting and pockmarked bonnets, but both are absent on this car. The only things that need attention are the gauze items behind the front wing grilles, which are showing some unsightly signs of corrosion; this will be attended to before the car is sold.

The alloy wheels are all in excellent condition, aside from a millimetre-deep scrape on the driver’s side rear wheel. The Bridgestone S-02s fitted all round look fresh, and the hood is in perfect condition, raising and closing correctly.

Classic Cars magazine
Interior shows little sign wear and tear ©Classic Cars magazine

The interior is a mixture of Parchment leather with Spruce piping, and a Spruce-coloured dashboard. The good news is that it’s in excellent condition, with none of the lifting that can be seen in other DB7s, and generally unsullied leather – there’s some creasing on the seat faces and a little wear on the driver’s side bolster, but no tears. All electrical items work, the air conditioning blows ice cold, and the windows work perfectly. The inside of the roof is as good as the exterior, while the leather door handles and pockets look barely touched. The only blemish is a collection of nail marks on the horn button’s soft-touch covering.

The engine bay is largely clean if not concours, though there is some surface rust visible on the hinges when the bonnet is up. Hoses and connectors look in good condition, and the oil is a rich brown colour. Other fluids were up to their maximum mark, and none leaked during our time with the car.

It’s one of only 100 Vantage Volantes to be equipped with a full complement of pedals and the gearshift is super-slick and positive, with no peculiar noises recorded. The clutch pedal is consistent and with good feel, so hopefully there’s plenty of life left in it yet.

This DB7’s steering feels a lot tighter and more connected than many similarly aged examples. There’s no slop and the nose tucks in just as it should with no tramlining; strange vibrations or noises under braking are also absent.

Classic Cars magazine
V12 with a manual box is rare and desirable ©Classic Cars magazine

The V12 pulls cleanly with no flat spots. Fitted with a sports exhaust, it elicits a crackling, baritone sound. Its cooling system woud appear to be in good condition, because it didn’t overheat.

We didn’t experience any odd noises from the suspension during our test, nor undue vibrations from the brakes or gearshift. The car has largely been serviced yearly at specialists and main dealers until 2018. Since then the car has barely been used and the documentation stops, but the history file will be brought up to date with a fresh service before it leaves the vendor.

Engine 5935cc V12, dohc, electronic fuel injection Power 420bhp @ 6000rpm Torque 400lb ft @ 5000rpm 0-60mph 6sec Top speed 186mph Fuel consumption 12mpg Length 4646mm Width 1830mm

This Aston Martin DB7 is one of four classics for sale tested and evaluated in the latest issue of Classic Cars.

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