It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m quite a fan of Volvo’s on this blog, I of course own my wonderful C70 Coupé project car, my parents have owned a MK1 S80 in the past and over the last year I’ve been very much a part of the Volvo scene more than I ever was before by going to multiple launch events, however, when it comes to cars, Volvo doesn’t even come close to my all time favourite car brand – I’m of course talking about Aston Martin!!
That’s right, shocker right?, well let me explain, Ever since I was young I was bought up around cars so whatever it was I had or watched or even played it involved cars in one way or another, now I’ll admit, when I was really young I never really knew much about Astons or any high end manufacture for that matter as I was just way too young to even take notice, add that in with the fact that Astons aren’t entirely seen every day of the week it just never registered with me at such a young age, however that all changed with one movie & ever since then I was hooked and have been ever since.
Picture the scene – it’s the year 2002, Brazil have won the FIFA world cup, Michael Schumacher was on his way to winning the F1 Season with Ferrari & EA are working on the legendary game that is NFS Underground – all while this is happening, a new film is getting filmed, it stars both Pierce Brosnan & Halle Berry and for the most part, it is filmed in Iceland, I am of course talking about Die Another Day, now what got me interested in this film really was the ice chase scene between the then new Aston Martin Vanquish and the equally gorgeous Jaguar XKR Convertible, now as a 6 year old at the time, I was instantly hooked, Imagine seeing two cars fight it out on a frozen lake while shooting a plethora of weapons at each other, as a six year old I was in heaven, ever since then I’ve had both a very keen interest in James Bond Films & the cars which have been in their before and on top of that – that was where my love of Aston Martin originally came from.
Skip a few years later to when the DB9 came out and again, just like the beautiful Vanquish before it, this had me hooked, it was able to beat the then new 200mph cross continental train to Monaco with ease on Top Gear, it spawned the DBR9 race car & of course bought along the DBS & Virage later in life, in fact, the DB9 had me so hooked it instantly became my dream car and has done ever since, I’ve been lucky enough to both be a passenger ride in one at 13 & also drive one when I was 14 and it’s been my mission ever since to eventually get a DB9 one of these days no matter what thats how much I love it.
Recently I’ve gotten into the classic Astons like the DB4, DB5, V8 Vantage & even the classic race cars like the DBR1, in fact a few years ago, I was lucky enough to get to see a 1954 DB2/4 Saloon up at Peter Vardy Heritage in Glasgow and it was everything I’d ever asked for & is a day I’ll never forget.
Now by reading all this, you’ll think that I’m a massive Aston fan and while for the most part that is correct, there has been one car from Aston that I’ve never really bonded with and that is the DB7, now sure it is a beautiful car, there is no doubting that, however compared to the Vantage which preceded it and the DB9 which replaced it, it never really had that wow appeal that Aston’s are so used to giving off, on top of all that, it was based on the old Jaguar XJS which in itself was nearly a 30 year old car, worst of all however, especially by Aston standards was the 3.2 I6 which was used in the early cars, with the Vantage having a V8 and the DB9 having the truly wonderful 6.0 V12, the early I6 just wasn’t very Aston, now sure it was supercharged so it was as powerful as any other AM at the time but the soundtrack was just not the same plus with Ford switchgear it certainly was as well built as other Astons previous.
In 1999 the V12 Vantage came out and this completely changed the DB7, it now had both the power and noise of an Aston, however at that point it was still quite an old car on an even older platform and it was starting to show it’s age quite considerably, however, Aston still plodded on and kept it going till 2003 with the absolutely savage DB7 GT and the equally gorgeous DB7 Zagato being two limited run versions of the DB, now these were essentially the two swan songs of the DB7 range before the truly fantastic DB9 came out, however these two weren’t the only limited edition DB7’s to be commissioned oh no no no, in fact, there is one DB7 which recently has gone under the radar for quite some time as it’s so rare that if anything no one knows it actually exists.
I am of course talking about the Keswick Edition – what is the Keswick Edition you may ask? well, it was a limited edition run of ten DB7’s, 5 of which were Vantages & the other 5 were Volante’s, they all had the 5.9 V12 fitted which gave them 420 bhp & 540nm torque and either came with the six speed manual or the 5 speed auto gearbox, top speed was 186mph for the manual cars or 165mph for the auto cars, now while the engine was exactly the same as the normal Vantage or Volante, which made this so special was the following specification.
For a start, they were all coloured Ferrari Nero Daytona Black, the Volantes had a black mohair roof, they had upper & lower mesh grilles, interior wise, you had charcoal hide on the top & bottom of the dash with DB7 insignias embossed into the seats, following on with the black theme was the charcoal carpets with the DB7 logo’s also embossed into them as well, the headlining was also black, the wood veneer was replaced with metallic finishes, on the instrument cluster, you had white dials with chrome rings which really lifted the interior somewhat, on the outside you had a wonderful set of 9 spoke 19″ wheels with black brake calipers hiding behind them, all Keswicks had a numbered IWC watch included as well to really show you had something special.
Now, like a lot of rare cars, it’s very rare you’ll find a Keswick for sale, with only ten being produced it’s never going to be common which makes this one a real diamond in the rough so to speak, however, what is very weird is the price, now while £30,000 generally isn’t cheap, compared to other limited edition cars it’s unbelievable value for money, especially considering it’s only done 40,000 miles which is nothing considering the age, even for a high end car, also, this one is in fantastic condition that you wouldn’t really want to drive it it’s so clean, now sure, you can buy a normal V12 Vantage for that money or even a DB9 for that price but even for any of them, it’ll be either a wreck which will need a bit of work to get right or a good car with a middle ground specification, with this Keswick, you get a relatively low mileage, 2 owner car with a very high spec and the bonus of having something like nothing else on the road which is only a good thing really – this really is a car to buy now to keep as an upcoming modern classic.
With the 6.0 V12 most definitely dead and other multiple V12 engined Aston’s going for quite a bit of money, now is the time to buy a DB7 V12 to look after & enjoy & for £30,000 this Keswick should be on anybody’s DB7 shopping list, it was one of the first Aston production cars to have that wonderful V12 fitted and with the added bonus of rarity added in, these cars won’t be around for these prices anymore.
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson