Lot 54: Aston Martin DB7 Volante
Although Victor Gauntlett had long mooted the idea, it to took the arrival of Ford money and TWR Group know-how for a new generation, `small' Aston Martin to become reality. Unveiled at the March 1993 Geneva Salon - albeit deliveries did not start until late the following year - the newcomer had been subjected to more testing and development work than any of the marque's previous models. Indeed under the watchful eye of Engineering Director, Rod Mansfield, Project NPX (as the nascent DB7 was labelled) got through some thirty prototypes. Based around a steel semi-monocoque chassis the production version was equipped with all-round independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and power assisted rack-and-pinion steering. Derived from a proven Jaguar unit, the DB7's 3239cc DOHC straight-six engine boasted four valves per cylinder, Zytec multi-point fuel injection and an Eaton supercharger. Credited with developing 335bhp and 360lbft, it was allied to five-speed manual transmission as standard and reputedly enabled the Aston Martin to sprint from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and reach 161mph. However, it was the way the DB7 looked, rather than its performance potential, which wowed the public. Penned by Ian Callum at the same time as the Coupe, the convertible Volante version was unveiled at the LA and Detroit motor shows of early 1996 - America being the chief market for the company's soft-tops. Just 879 straight-six powered DB7 Volantes were reputedly produced. The DB7 Volante on offer is a 1997 model finished in Silver with Black leather interior and equipped with automatic transmission. It comes with some history for its first six years and had the honour of being one of six Aston Martins to feature in the official opening of the M6 Toll road in 2003. The vendor regards the coachwork, paintwork, engine and transmission as "good" and the interior as "very good for its year". Once the preserve of the effortlessly rich, these eminently usable Aston Martins are now within reach of a whole new layer of enthusiasts. There are few more stylish ways of soaking up the summer sun.
H&H Sales Limited, The Pavilion Gardens
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Engine capacity (cc)||3239|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors||2|