Richard Hammond on Aston Martin DB7: It could be yours for the same money as a Ford Focus – Richard…

23 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Richard Hammond on Aston Martin DB7: It could be yours for the same money as a Ford Focus – Richard…
Aston Martin DB7

Richard Hammond column Aston Martin DB7 could be yours for the same money as a Ford Focus

An Aston Martin for the price of a Ford Focus. It’s the sort of headline you might see in any motoring magazine.

It’s true, too, because I’ve been having a look on the Autotrader and Pistonheads websites at Aston Martin DB7s and there are plenty for sale at prices around £14,000 to £18,000.

Focus money indeed. And since Aston Martin was recently voted one of the top three brands in the world that’s pretty amazing, because you don’t find old Rolex watches on eBay going for a tenner.

But the snag, of course, is running costs. Think of it this way: Astons and Ferraris are bought by people who can afford to spend a hundred grand on a car, so they can also afford expensive tyres and servicing.

And, ironically, because they bought the car new it is going to be under warranty for probably three years and should still be pretty reliable after that.

By the time the car has depreciated to Ford money it might need more looking after.

Fortunately, here is where the independent specialist comes in.

Faster: A later DB7 GT

The specialists are used to dealing with customers on a fairly limited budget so know they can’t charge the same as a flash Mayfair dealership.

They also know where to get parts cheaper and often stock good second-hand parts.

And almost as important, they know the cars inside out and can spot a problem developing and sort it before it causes any major trouble.

The DB7 is a pretty straightforward car that is full of Jaguar parts underneath (the engine is a modified Jaguar unit and all the running gear is Jaguar) but it looks like an Aston and feels like one, even though the cabin is full of Ford ­switchgear.

This was disappointing to see when the car was bought new, but it’s not such bad news when it comes to replacing worn out parts.

So what do parts cost for a DB7?

Bamford Rose is one of the country’s most experienced ­independent Aston specialists and employs former Aston Martin mechanics, so they know what they’re doing.

Aston Martin DB7

The company will give your DB7 a minor service following the factory recommendations for £755 plus VAT.

Grilling: The Zagato model

A major service, which you’ll want to be having done every five years or 45,000 miles, costs a nasty £1,650 – but that’s a lot less than you’d be charged by a main dealer.

Brake discs cost £275 and pads £250 (that’s for the fronts, though the rears are the same). Those are Aston Martin parts, so you can save cash by using aftermarket brake pads from makers like EBC.

If you’re just using your spanking DB7 on ­weekends and holidays, keeping the mileage nice and low, you should be able to avoid buying lots of bits for it.

The next Aston to come on to our radar will be the DB9. I’ve already seen high mileage cars creeping under £30,000.

One day they will be down at DB7 level and the good news is that they’re much better made and therefore cheaper to run.

And just like the Vanquish (see previous pages) they have a big V12 engine in the nose.

What do you think? Have your say by leaving your comments below.

Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
Aston Martin DB7
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