The car offered here is one of the DB7 prototypes used as a test mule for the soon to be introduced 6.0-litre V12 engine that debuted in the exciting new Vantage model in March 1999. The first of its kind in a production Aston Martin, this state-of-the-art, all-alloy, quad-cam, 48-valve unit produced 420bhp and 400lb/ft of torque while meeting all current and projected emissions regulations. There was a choice of two alternative transmissions: a new six-speed manual or ZF five-speed automatic with manually selectable ratios. A top speed of 185mph was claimed for the Vantage coupé. The existing six-cylinder DB7 bodyshell was re-engineered to accommodate the new V12 engine/transmission package, resulting in a stiffer structure exceeding all contemporary crash test requirements, while the suspension was developed specifically for this new model. The 15" diameter wheels too were unique to the Vantage, which also featured cross-drilled and ventilated Brembo brakes equipped with ABS.
Notwithstanding all the DB7 Vantage's high-tech attributes, its makers had not lost sight of customer expectations of what constituted an Aston Martin. Thus the Vantage's hand crafted interior featured traditional Connolly hide upholstery and could be trimmed and equipped to individual customer requirements. All the usual luxury fittings came as standard while clients could choose from an extensive list of options.
'DP 001' was acquired by the current owner in December 2004 in a condition very similar to that in which it is presented today. The DB7 was sold via the Stratton Motor Company in Norfolk strictly on the understanding that it could not be road registered and was to be used as the basis of a track car only. The same applies today. At the time of acquisition the Aston was supplied as a non-runner but came with its drivetrain of engine, gearbox, prop shaft and differential, all of which are in the car today. Recent works include powder coating the wheels; application of racing roundels; tidying up the interior; and the installation of windows. Presently a non-runner and sold strictly as viewed, it nevertheless affords the prospect of owning a 'DP' car that would be very competitive in the AMOC racing series