FullBore Issue 31 — Spring/Summer 2022

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S P R I N G / S U M M E R 202 2

NICHOLAS MEE & CO’S WORLD OF ASTON MARTIN

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ISSUE 31

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Front cover image: Chassis 001/D/P , the DB5 V8 factory prototype – one of the most significant Aston Martins of the ‘DB’ era.​

Nicholas Mee & Co Ltd Essendonbury Farm Hatfield Park Estate Hatfield

Contacts

Hertfordshire

T: +44 (0)208 741 8822

AL9 6AF

info@nicholasmee.co.uk

United Kingdom

http://www.nicholasmee.co.uk

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MEE SPEAK Nick’s regular insight column on the world of collectible Aston Martins. This time, he draws parallels with the recent record-breaking sale of a Mercedes SLR Coupé and looks forward to events we’re involved in later this month and July. A MYTHICAL BEAST Aston Martin’s history is a fascinating one, and over the years some cars have achieved cult status. The DB5 that was used as a factory development hack for the new four-cam V8 is one. Read the story of the car and watch the video of Nick speaking to its creator, Bill Bannard. LICENSED TO THRILL: BUYER’S GUIDE TO THE V12 DBS Evo journalist Peter Tomalin considers the V12 DBS family of cars and reveals “everything you need to know if you’re tempted to add one to your personal collection.” It’s a definitive must-read. WHAT’S IN STOCK A selection of the best Aston Martins available, all in our showroom at Essendonbury Farm. THE TEN-TWO CLUB MIDSUMMER CLASSIC What better way to celebrate the long summer days than with a run out in your Aston Martin, meeting up with fellow enthusiasts for an evening of chat, refreshments and live music, and finally heading home as the sun slowly sets? JOIN US AT THE LONDON CONCOURS It’s less than a week away and we cannot wait to set up our stand at the best classic car show in London. We have tickets to be won, but if you miss out, why not join us anyway? RETROSPECTIVE: Z CARS The DB7 Zagato is 20 years young this year. And we have a sensational one for sale – read up on the launch of the car and how eager buyers were frantically trying to get a position on the waiting list.

© Nicholas Mee & Co Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the copyright owner. Creative Director: Adrian Morley, www.theseen.design 3


MEE S P EA K Summer’s Calling

Events

Welcome to FullBore Issue 31, the Spring/Summer 2022 edition. In this issue of FullBore we are delighted to bring you a host of features including a documentary video on DB5 Design Project 001/D/P, the experimental prototype built at Newport Pagnell to test not only Tadek Marek’s all-new V8 engine, but also the feasibility of de Dion rear suspension on future Astons. We talk to the man who was in charge of the project, Bill Bannard. Bill was later appointed engineering director at Aston Martin, but at the time he headed the company’s experimental department and created what can best be described as a ‘mythical beast’. It was the first-ever prototype built at Newport Pagnell and takes centre-stage in a fascinating story with pleasingly happy ending.

On more light-hearted matters, everyone at NM&Co is looking forward to hosting our Ten-Two Club Midsummer Classic BBQ evening on 7 July. Food, wine and refreshments with music and great cars, what’s not to like? Owners and readers are welcome to attend the party, with tickets available here.

We are sure you will enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Buyers’ guide

A New Benchmark

We are delighted to bring you a comprehensive guide to buying a 2007-2012 Aston Martin DBS. It’s one of our most popular more recent models and author Peter Tomalin, senior motoring journalist of Octane, Evo and Vantage, brings a wealth of experience to the subject. Packed with driving impressions, all the facts and a model-by-model run-down, it provides an invaluable reference for future owners.

I’d like to draw your attention to the sale last month of the über-rare Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé for a staggering equivalent of $142 million. It is a new high for classic car prices and a figure nearly three times that of the last Ferrari 250 GTO sold at public auction in August 2018. The sale of the one-of-two 300 SLR Coupé “that Mercedes would never sell” is important today, as it highlights the interest in collectible classic cars at a time of an inflationary spiral outpacing still low bank interest rates. Looking back to the mid-1980s when the economic backdrop was similar, interest in tangible assets such as classic cars escalated, and we might well see the same happening today. Certainly, the trickledown effect of the ‘halo sale’ of the 300 SLR at the top end of the market should not be underestimated. Of course, nothing is certain, but the effect on other rarities in the classic car arena of the M-B sale at a new high is, without doubt, significant.

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London Concours 28 to 30 June. Later this month we’ll once again be showing a select number of cars at the Honourable Artillery Company’s delightful ground in the City of London. You’ll find a competition for a limited number of free passes in our preview article on page 44. It’s a great event with a garden party atmosphere that we’re proud to have supported from day one.

All this and more, including our latest stock of cars is in this FullBore, which is always a pleasure to produce. And don’t forget to check out over 350 videos of Aston Martin-related content on our Youtube channel. Wishing you all an enjoyable summer and happy motoring,


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WORDS BY STEVE WAKEFIELD

A MYTHICAL BEAST

The story of the factory development DB5 with prototype V8 engine and de Dion suspension told by the man who created it: Bill Bannard

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EVERY NOW AND AGAIN WE ARE FORTUNATE TO BE ABLE TO OFFER UNIQUE ASTON MARTINS.

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e sold Tadek Marek’s own DB4 last year, a car the great engineer used as a rolling test bed for his latest ideas. Recently, we had the opportunity to find a new owner for one of the marque’s most significant cars: the extendedwheelbase DB5 created by the experimental department at Newport Pagnell in 1965 to test not only the new V8, but also the practicalities of a de Dion rear suspension set-up. Bearing the chassis number 001/D/P, the car was masterminded by in-house engineer Bill Bannard, later to become the company’s engineering director. In a fascinating interview recorded on video earlier this year, Nick chatted with Bill about how the development car came about, and the “good, bad and otherwise” memories of driving 350 miles a day in his “baby”.

Aston’s famous V8 had been on the books since the late-1950s when it was realised the company’s famous all-alloy straight six could not be developed for road car use much beyond four litres and 300bhp. David Brown wanted a bigger and faster car than the DB4, one capable of carrying four people and their luggage in comfort on long journeys in Europe and the US. Enter a new four-cam V8 of around five litres, capable of an easy 350bhp, designed by Polish genius Tadek Marek that was on the test bed at Newport Pagnell in the early 1960s. By 1965, early examples were ready for running in road cars. There were rough plans to race it in a Project Car in 1963 that came to nothing. The option of fitting it to the new longer-wheelbase DB6 either as standard, or an expensive option, was also considered.

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But first the new unit had to be fitted to a test ‘mule’, then thoroughly put through its paces on the lanes and A-roads of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. Also, the company wanted to evaluate a de Dion set-up at the rear, a configuration it had tried on the 1962 Le Mans car and in the short-lived Lagonda Rapide. It was considered a better solution to the arrival of the increasing wider and flatter-profile tyres of the 1960s. Over to Bill Bannard, the engineer in charge of the experimental department at Newport Pagnell at the time. “It was all built at Newport Pagnell, and it was the first-ever prototype produced at what was then a new factory. We were given a DB5 platform chassis from production. We removed the back just behind the cross member, bearing in mind a request to make it reversable; capable of being converted back to standard.” Bannard and his team also lengthened the chassis by 4in to allow for both the V8 engine and its exhausts and silencer boxes, and all-new rear suspension. The effect on the lines of the car is negligible – only by checking it with a tape measure is this noticeable, and yes, we did that here at Essendonbury Farm!

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“I’m delighted to see it. I want it to go on and on, and it’s a legacy for the super guys at Newport Pagnell who created it. It warms my heart to know it’s been looked after as it was meant to be.” 12


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Back to Bill: “We then fitted a de Dion tube to the back and reengineered everything including adding telescopic dampers. The idea was simply to see if such an arrangement could work, rather than fine-tuning the whole car. “The front, though, needed a lot of patience…” While the wider four-cam V8 could just about made to fit under the bonnet by modifying the engine bay and front suspension turrets, the exhaust headers were the biggest problem as there was no machine at Newport Pagnell that could bend up the pipes, nor an experienced craftsman to use it. So the solution was for the team to cut up and weld small sections of tube before sending them away for a specialist to create the correct flowing pipework. Which then had to be fitted back again – a big job.

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It all worked in the end, and the car was hastily painted Pacific Blue ‘off the gun’ without polishing. As Nick says in the video, it must have been an early version of the camouflage that is used to disguise prototype cars today and was anonymous-looking, so the high-speed runs that the road-testers often had to conduct were not so obvious. It was quite a Q car and was a familiar sight out and about as Bannard, Tadek Marek or then engineering director Dudley Gershon put it through its paces. Gershon remembers leaving a puzzled DB5 owner trailing in his wake as he powered the special car up Wrotham Hill on his commute from Hythe in Kent to Newport Pagnell, Bucks.


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Bannard recalls the DB5 V8 as “hot, and a challenge, but it stopped others wanting to borrow it.” The extra 80bhp gave the experimental department a lot of feedback on brakes, wheel hubs and bearings; how they coped with such an increase in power. And the de Dion axle trials were invaluable: Gershon set a test route for 001/D/P of Newport Pagnell to Aberdeen and back again (510 miles) covered by a roster of three drivers travelling non-stop day after day for a month bar Sundays. After that 28,000-mile test, the directors of Aston Martin were convinced the arrangement could replace the company’s traditional live beam axle in new models such as the DBS. It was priceless development work for the company’s future projects of the late 1960s. But did Aston ever really think of productionising it in a DB6?

“I’m sure the V8 was to supersede the straight-six, but the difficulties of installation meant a lot of redesign work to fit in a DB6. Eighteen months after the DB5 V8 prototype, the idea of a much bigger, more substantial chassis came to the fore.” It was the birth of the famous V8 series of cars that were catalogued for the next two decades. So how did Bannard react to seeing the blue car in such fantastic condition all those years after he and his team’s efforts at Newport Pagnell and on lonely drives in the countryside? “I’m delighted to see it. I want it to go on and on, and it’s a legacy for the super guys at Newport Pagnell who created it. It warms my heart to know it’s been looked after as it was meant to be.”

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Amazingly, the new custodian of 001/D/P – still bearing NPP 7D – lived just 15 miles from Newport Pagnell as a boy and has been an Aston Martin enthusiast for as long as he can remember, wondering over the years if he would ever own one. The car is in good hands. Watch our video of Nick chatting to Bill Bannard about his time developing this exciting car, the beautifully restored DB5 V8 on the move and the new owner collecting it from Essendonbury Farm. It’s a fascinating film that really brings history alive.

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DBS (2007-2012) MODEL GUIDE

Licensed to thrill

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ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING AND CHARISMATIC ASTON MARTINS OF THE MODERN ERA, THE V12 DBS IS GAINING AN INCREASING FOLLOWING. WE EXAMINE WHAT MAKES IT SO DESIRABLE, COMPARE MANUAL WITH TOUCHTRONIC, AND REVEAL EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU’RE TEMPTED TO ADD ONE TO YOUR PERSONAL COLLECTION

OVERVIEW By Peter Tomalin

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an it really be fifteen years since Aston Martin launched this car? I remember it as if it were yesterday (well, maybe the day before). My first acquaintance with the DBS was on evo magazine’s 2007 Car of the Year showdown, where the new Aston left a profound impression with its aggressively sculpted bodywork, engaging character and fabulously powerful V12 engine. A couple of years later it would go on to win an evo group test against the Ferrari 599 HGTE and Bentley Continental Supersports. Here, clearly, was an Aston to be reckoned with. The wider world’s first exposure to the DBS was in the 2006 Bond film, Casino Royale, and a memorable one it was, too, the Aston being barrel-rolled in Guinness world record-breaking style. And it appeared again in the opening scenes of 2008’s Quantum of Solace,

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howling along the shores of Lake Garda before being shot to pieces. As Daniel Craig’s 007 was discovering, life with a DBS was never dull… In Aston terms, the DBS had big shoes to fill, effectively replacing the Newport Pagnell-built Vanquish as the production flagship. The Vanquish had been a landmark car for AML, and in final Vanquish S form had evolved into one of the true greats. By comparison, the DBS was viewed in some quarters, rather uncharitably, as a go-faster DB9 in a bodykit. That did contain a kernel of truth – it was certainly derived from the DB9, whereas the Vanquish had been a standalone cleansheet design – but there was, of course, rather more to it than that.

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THE GRAND TOURER THE DRIVER’S VIEW By Peter Tomalin So, which to choose, manual or Touchtronic? I’m at Nicholas Mee & Co on a gloriously sunny June day to sample examples of both – and it’s a wonderful chance to get reacquainted with this hugely charismatic Aston. Manual first, and even before you open the door you’re seduced by the DBS’s chiselled good looks. This is one handsome beast, with just enough of the road-racer about it to quicken the pulse. Inside, the impression is reinforced by part-Alcantara sports seats and flashes of carbonfibre trim. The facia is classic Bez-era Aston, with the familiar ‘waterfall’ central console and the cluster of analogue dials directly ahead, their subtle markings like those of an expensive chronograph. And on top of the transmission tunnel is that increasingly rare sight in modern performance cars – a manual gearstick.

The DBS was the first Aston penned by Marek Reichman, who had taken over from Henrik Fisker as design director in 2005. Sheffield-born Reichman transformed the Callum/Fisker DB9 into something altogether more aggressive, with a deep, sculpted chin and carbon winglets, extended sills, extra bonnet vents and a dramatic rear diffuser. To help reduce weight, the bonnet, bootlid, front wings, door opening surrounds and the boot compartment were all made from carbonfibre.

It’s a particularly chunky one, but it shifts around the six-speed gate with pleasing ease and precision, well-matched to a clutch that’s lighter and more progressive than I was expecting (certainly considerably lighter than the one in my early Gaydon-era V8 Vantage). The star of the show, though, is that magnificent 5.9-litre V12 engine.

Visually, it was the missing link between the DB9 and the awesome Le Mans class-winning DBR9 race-car. And even if it couldn’t quite live up to the road-racer looks – it was always more super-GT than out-and-out sports car – no-one was going to mistake it for a DB9. Underneath that vented bonnet, the 5.9-litre V12 benefited from a higher compression ratio, a ‘bypass’ air intake port that opened above 5500rpm to allow more air into the engine, and reprofiled inlet ports to further improve airflow into the combustion chamber. The net result was 510bhp at 6500rpm, a whole 60bhp more than in the DB9. It was enough to cut the 0-60mph time from 4.9 to 4.2sec and lift the top speed from 186 to 191mph. There were new adaptive dampers developed with Bilstein, and beefier springs, suspension bushes and anti-roll bars. The DBS was the first Aston road car with 20in wheels, wrapped in bespoke Pirelli P Zero rubber, and behind them sat vast carbon-ceramic discs as standard, another first for an Aston. The DBS also saw the return of a traditional manual gearbox, a six-speed ZF unit, in place of the Vanquish’s improved but never universally loved paddle-shift automated manual.

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A contemporary V8 Vantage is brisk enough, but this is a clear league above, propelling the DBS’s substantial mass with real urgency and pushing you firmly back in the seat as the power swells and the orchestral soundtrack fills the cabin. The latest breed of super-GTs have astronomic outputs of 700bhp and more, but I promise you, no-one has ever felt the full force of the DBS’s 510bhp and thought “what this car really needs is another two hundred horsepower”. The ride has a welcome degree of suppleness in the standard setting – Sport mode brings an extra degree of body control at speed – refinement is generally good and the carbon-ceramic brakes are simply mighty. But you’re always aware of the DBS’s size and mass (both considerable), which count against it in pure sports-car terms. Think of it as a massively fast and accomplished GT car and you’ll not be disappointed. Which is where the Touchtronic 2 transmission option enters the picture. Being a traditional torque-converter automatic at heart, it flicks seamlessly through its six ratios in auto mode, or you can take control of the shifts through the paddles. It’s not quite as instantly reactive as recent dual-clutch transmissions, but it gets pretty damn close and it certainly plays to the DBS’s GT strengths. Of course, if you do a lot of driving in stop-start traffic, then it makes even more sense. Personally, if given a straight choice, I’d take the manual for the extra layer of interaction, but I certainly wouldn’t feel short-changed with the Touchtronic and there would be plenty of times when I would be very glad of it. Either way, the DBS remains an immensely capable and desirable GT car, one of the best of the modern era. The perfect Aston for that European tour you’ve always promised yourself? Could well be… 23


That manual ’box added to the DBS’s old-school, rather masculine appeal. But in an age when most buyers of high-performance cars favoured paddle-shifts, Aston couldn’t sustain its flagship car without a paddle option and in late 2008 launched a Touchtronic version, using a beefed-up version of the six-speed auto from the DB9. This worked extremely well and quickly took the lion’s share of sales, even more so with the launch of the convertible Volante version in 2009, a mere 45 of which were ordered with a manual ’box. Apart from the introduction of Touchtronic and the Volante, there were few changes during the DBS’s production life. Early cars were all two-seaters (described as 2+0 in Aston parlance); the option of 2+2 seating arrived at the same time as Touchtronic and quickly became the norm. Production of the DBS ended in 2012, when it was replaced by the second-generation Vanquish. Total production was around 3400 (2534 coupes and 845 Volantes), so not rare by historical Aston standards, but considerably rarer than the DB9, and that – along with the Bond connection and the flagship status – is reflected in steadily rising values today (see View from the Showroom), particularly for manuals. Limited editions, of which there were several towards the end of the DBS’s life, can also command a premium, but these were all cosmetic jobs; mechanically there was only the one spec, with the choice of manual or Touchtronic transmissions.

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MARKET FORCES THE VIEW FROM THE SHOWROOM By Neal Garrard, commercial director If there was one model that completely embodied Aston Martin’s ‘Power, Beauty, Soul’ slogan from this era of cars, it was the DBS. Undoubtedly one of the ‘greatest hits’ of the first-generation Gaydon production era that started with the introduction of the DB9 in 2004 and finished when the DB11 was launched in 2017, the DBS continues to be one of the most sought-after models by enthusiasts of the marque and has all the right ingredients for future classic status. One of the factors that feeds demand is the relatively low production numbers. Enthusiasts keen to purchase a DBS following the initial launch activity were disappointed to have to wait over 12 months after the car’s starring role in Casino Royale, and this delay combined with the effects of the global financial crisis in 2008 explains why, relatively, so few DBSs were sold when new. Those numbers are having a positive effect on values of cars today, with values already hardening by at least 10% from the bottom of the model’s depreciation curve. We’re finding that interest across all variants – whether coupe or Volante, manual or Touchtronic – remains firm. However, whenever we receive a manual example, the phone does tend to ring off the hook! Low-mileage cars are, as ever, sought-after. The fact that even the youngest DBS is now at least 10 years old, combined with the fact that these cars were so capable that they were often driven extensively during the early years of their life, means we see higher average mileages than with some other models. Consequently, the job of sourcing the very best examples, the ones that tick all the boxes of condition, mileage, servicing history and ownership, is becoming harder. But there are still many clearly cherished examples to choose from. The vast majority of DBSs were ordered in a range of grey, silver and black paint finishes, including 007-spec Casino Royale and Quantum Silver, but you do occasionally find examples in Toro Red, Midnight Blue and Chiltern Green and these can attract a premium of 5-10%. Options were pretty limited but included an uprated Bang & Olufsen sound system and lightweight carbonfibre-shelled bucket seats. Volantes, as ever, are considered more desirable – reckon on a 10% premium compared with an equivalent coupe. And a manual Volante, well, that’s the one all the collectors want… Limited editions also tend to attract a premium. It’s fair to say that, during the production period of 2007-2012, Aston Martin was less prolific with limited editions than we see with some other models. But there are some very nice ‘specials’ that are well worth hunting for. These include the Carbon Black and Carbon Edition, both of which benefit from very pleasing carbonfibre exterior and interior trim, and the Ultimate Edition, the last-of-the-line cars with exquisite interior finishings and subtle cosmetic features. The vast majority of these editions are Touchtronic-equipped, making manuals incredibly rare. The final ‘special’ and a firm favourite of the team at Mee & Co is the UB-2010 Edition, named for Aston Martin’s then-CEO, Ulrich Bez. Just 10 coupes and 13 Volantes were built, split between RHD and LHD, with a very stylish Azurite Black over Metallic Bronze colour scheme. If I could find one, and the budget allowed, that would be my personal choice!

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AT YOUR SERVICE THE VIEW FROM THE SHOWROOM By Chris Green, Service and Aftercare manager The DBS is a model we know well, and we’re delighted to maintain a significant number of examples for our national and international client list. Fundamentally, the DBS was based on tried and tested technology and engineering, being an evolution of the original VH platform and V12 powertrain that had already been well-proven in the DB9 by the time of the DBS’s launch. As a result, our experience is that the DBS is a robust and reliable model, generally requiring only regular maintenance and servicing. Just as Aston Martin originally did, we recommend an annual servicing regime (unless of course you’re exceeding the 10,000 miles per annum intervals) and we offer a fixed price schedule, the costs being identical to those for the DB9, V12 Vantage, second-generation Vanquish and Rapide. Annual service prices start at just £795 and can be found here in full. Aside from regular servicing and ‘wear and tear’ items such as tyres and brake pads, I am pleased to report that component failure is relatively rare and therefore, given the age of these cars now, an annual servicing/ maintenance budget of £2,000-£2,500 would be realistic. Replacement coil packs – and clutch replacements for the three-pedalled versions – probably represent the highest cost items in terms of general maintenance. It’s well worth checking the service history of any potential purchase to see if they’ve been done. With the bodywork being a marriage of carbonfibre composite and aluminium, corrosion is not a significant problem with the DBS. We do occasionally see bubbling in the paint at particular points – around door handle surrounds and boot lids, for example – caused by electrolytic reaction. In those cases, our paint specialists are on hand to rectify the issue to the highest standards and in a cost-effective manner. As you may have read, the DBS was the first Aston Martin to feature carbon-ceramic (CCM) brake discs as standard. If treated correctly, these provide both improved braking performance and longevity compared with traditional iron discs. We strongly advise owners to avoid using any wheel cleaning products that may contain corrosive materials – washing with soap and water, Autoglym being our ‘go to’ supplier, is sufficient on the highly polished wheels that feature on the DBS – and if possible put the brakes through a mild heat cycle post-cleaning to dry out any latent moisture . Should you be an existing DBS owner, we would be pleased to hear from you to discuss how we can assist with servicing and maintenance. Similarly, should our model guide have got your juices flowing and you spot an attractive example elsewhere, we would be delighted to provide a prepurchase inspection to provide peace of mind before taking the plunge.

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WHAT’S IN STORE THE VIEW FROM THE PARTS STORE By Tim Lowcock, Parts Manager In our experience, availability of genuine replacement parts for the DBS is excellent, with most parts available within 24 hours directly from Aston Martin. The next bit of good news is that prices benefit from economies of scale, with many components being used across the entire production range from that time. As a result, wear-and-tear items, from shock absorbers to boot struts, tend to be less expensive than the equivalents on earlier Astons. Should you require any parts for your vehicle, our online store lists the complete parts catalogue and has useful diagrams of each area of the car to help identify the particular part you require – handy if you don’t have access to the official part number. Naturally, if you would rather confirm the exact part you require with one of the team, we’re always delighted to assist. As mentioned elsewhere in this guide, the mechanical specification of the DBS remained constant throughout the production run. And probably as a result of the standard car being so capable and engaging to drive, there’s not a huge demand for performance upgrades. Some owners prefer a little more audio ‘theatre’ and to satisfy that demand we are pleased to be a distributor for Quicksilver Exhausts, who provide high quality sports exhausts with a range of sound and material options. These can be viewed here. We also regularly supply various cosmetic upgrades for the DBS, from carbonfibre door mirror covers to replacement wheel centres and Aston Martin valve caps along with replacement aluminium gear knobs (if yours is starting to show its age). Lastly, to keep your DBS in the best condition when not in use, we stock a range of indoor and outdoor car covers and battery conditioners, both of which are best-sellers. For any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the parts team if you require any advice or assistance. We would be delighted to hear from you! 27


WHAT’S IN STOCK In this section we showcase a selection of the best examples of Aston Martin motor cars from the 1950s to the present day, all available for sale at our new, purpose-built ‘destination’ premises on the historic Hatfield Park Estate in Hertfordshire. Prior to delivery, all cars are supplied serviced according to schedule, with a pre-delivery Inspection Report, 12 months MOT and 12 months warranty. Finance for any vehicle is available with our dealer partner, Classic & Sports Finance.

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1968 ASTON MAR T I N DB 6 V O LANT E £695, 000

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OVERVIEW A superb matching-numbers, fully restored example presented in its original special-order specification of Metallic Chrome Aluminium over Red hide, finished with a black fabric hood. Ready to be enjoyed!

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2 004 AS TO N M ARTI N DB7 Z AG A TO £265,000

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1 996 AST O N MAR T IN V AN T AG E V 5 50 £175,0 00

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1970 AS TO N M A RTI N DB 6 M K2 £449,950

1 960 AST O N MAR T IN DB 4 SE R IE S II £ 499,9 50

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1958 ASTON MAR T I N D B MK I I I D HC £P O A

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OVERVIEW A beautiful ‘body off’ restored example to concours standards of the rare DB Mk III Drophead Coupé. One of just 84 examples produced, finished in its as-delivered colours of Elusive Blue over Off White hide. Exceptional.

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1998 FERRA RI 355 F1 BERL I NETTA £95,000

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2 017 AST O N MAR T IN V AN Q U ISH Z AG AT O C O U P E £395,0 00

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1971 AS TON M ARTI N DBR2 ‘R EC REATI ON’ £495,000

2004 AST O N MAR T IN DB 7 G T £ 56,9 50

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1960 AS T O N MAR T I N DB 4 G T £P O A

OVERVIEW Finished in its original livery of Sea Green over Green hide and the recipient of a 100-point, concours-standard restoration completed in 2015. Previously driven by Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jack Brabham and Darren Turner. One of 75 production DB4 GTs built.

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1964 AS TON M ARTI N DB5 CONVERTI BL E £1,150,000

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1988 AST O N MAR T IN V 8 V O L AN T E V AN T AG E Z AG AT O £P O A

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1988 ASTON M A RTI N V8 VAN TAG E Z AG A TO £375,000

2020 AST O N MAR T IN R AP IDE AMR £ 165,0 00

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1989 ASTON MAR T I N V 8 V ANT AG E V O LANT E ‘PRI NC E O F WALE S’ £549, 950

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OVERVIEW One of just 22 V8 Volantes built to ‘X-Pack’ Vantage engine and chassis specification, finished in Windsor Blue over Magnolia hide. This rare and exceptional car – ‘fit for a king’ – has now covered only 34,000 miles from new.

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1962 AS TON M ARTI N DB4 S ER IES 4 VANTA G E £P OA

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2005 AST O N MAR T IN V AN Q U ISH S – MAN U AL C O N V E R SIO N £115,0 00

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1 9 79 AS TO N M A RTI N V8 – M ANUAL £199,950

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1965 A ST O N MAR T I N D B 5 VAN TAG E SHO O T I NG B R AK E £1, 350, 000

OVERVIEW Acquired by its current, UK-based Aston Martin collector owner in 2011, who subsequently commissioned a leading Aston Martin specialist to conduct a ‘no expense spared’ restoration, encompassing all aspects of the car. The work was completed in 2014 to the very highest standards as presented today.

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2010 AS TON M ARTI N RA P I DE £59,950

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2007 AST O N MAR T IN V AN Q U ISH S ‘ U L T IMAT E ’ – L E F T HAN D DR IV E £149,9 50

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1964 AS TON M ARTI N DB5 £695,000

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THE TEN-TWO CLUB MIDSUMMER CLASSIC HOSTED BY NICHOLAS MEE & CO, THURSDAY 7 JULY

What better way to celebrate long summer days than a run out in your Aston Martin, meeting up with fellow enthusiasts for an evening of chat, refreshments and live music, finally heading home as the sun slowly sets? That’s what’s in store on the evening of Thursday 7 July 2022 with the inaugural Ten-Two Club Midsummer Classic. The event is organised by the team here at Nicholas Mee & Co – and all Aston owners are cordially invited to join the fun. We have specialised in the sale, servicing and maintenance of Aston Martins of all ages since 1993, but it was the move to our current premises on the historic Hatfield Park Estate in 2018 that brought a whole new dimension to the business. Our award-winning HQ, set in the Hertfordshire countryside at Essendonbury Farm, has rapidly become a must-visit destination for Aston Martin owners and enthusiasts, offering a superb setting for informal gatherings. Which is why we started the Ten-Two Club: an opportunity for existing clients and fellow Aston owners to come together at Essendonbury several times a year, chat to the NM&Co team about all matters Aston Martin, peruse the sales stock and enjoy a tasty bacon sandwich accompanied by a barista-style coffee. And now comes a brand-new event for 2022 – the Midsummer Classic – that gives owners a chance to make the most of the long summer days with an evening of driving and informal socialising.

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The gates at Essendonbury Farm will open at 6.45pm on Thursday 7 July, but if you fancy driving here in convoy with like-minded Aston owners, you can join the ‘Run to the Sun’, which starts at 6pm from two separate locations: For those coming from further north, cars will assemble at The Rusty Gun – SG4 7PG, just outside Hitchin – before heading off at 6pm for the 15-mile drive to Essendonbury via some of our favourite driving roads. From the south, the meeting point is The Prae Wood Arms (AL3 6JZ, on the outskirts of St Albans). Again, the cars will depart at 6pm, this run taking in the Hatfield Tunnel on the way to Essendonbury. Cue a veritable symphony of Aston exhaust notes! The ‘Run to the Sun’ element is purely optional. Owners are welcome to enjoy their own routes to Essendonbury Farm and arrive any time from 6.45pm onwards. That’s when the party gets started, with a mouthwatering BBQ accompanied by local craft beers, wine and soft drinks, plus live music. And, appropriately enough, it will continue until sunset, when everyone will be able to enjoy another memorable drive, this time homeward. What could be better? All of this will be included in the ticket price of £30 per person (not per car, please note). Tickets are available below. So, do make a note in your dairy that Thursday, 7 July from 6.45pm onwards is the Ten-Two Club Midsummer Classic at our base at Essendonbury Farm, Hatfield Park Estate, Herts AL9 6AF. We very much hope to see you there. Should you have any questions about any aspect of the event, feel free to get in touch!

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JO IN US A T THE L ONDON CONCOU RS 28-30 JUNE TICKETS TO BE WON!

We’ve been there since the event was first held in 2018, and it remains one of our favourites. Other car enthusiasts clearly agree: advance ticket sales for the London Concours are up by over 90% this year. For just three days in late-June, the normally private, wellguarded grounds of The Honourable Artillery Company in the heart of the City of London are taken over by a host of exotic modern and classic cars. It’s a combination of serious concours, cars for sale and the chance to peruse a range of exclusive goods from watches by event sponsor Montres Breguet to craft gins from Tulchan and Jim and Tonic. The hospitality is top class – luxury caterer Searcys and official champagne partner Veuve Clicquot see to that. Once again, the full NM&Co team will be there for the duration with a mouth-watering selection of cars. Joining a beautifully restored DB4 GT will be a rare (one of 123) DB5 Convertible commissioned new for the then owner and chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, ‘DB’ himself, David Brown. And bringing things truly up to date, we have a sensational 2017 Vanquish Zagato sure to dazzle the crowds in its Escaping White livery. This year, featured categories of cars include: The Pursuit of Speed, all about the latest advancements in automotive performance be they electric, pure combustion engine or hybrid; The Italian Spiders, expect to see some of the most beautiful open-top cars from Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo; Great Marques Mercedes, so you are bound to have at least one 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ in the line-up; and Great British History, the machines from Rolls-Royces, Bentley and Jaguar and the men who founded these iconic British companies.

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And much more, including The Collector, where the spotlight is turned on an interesting personality who usually has an eclectic variety of cars and ’bikes to share with the knowledgeable audience. This year it is Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, the founder of runaway business success Euro Car Parts. It’s a going to be another great London Concours. And we’d love to see you there. Tickets are available from the organisers at https:// londonconcours.co.uk/ and we have a 2-4-1 ticket code to share with you: 22TEL

TICKET COMPETITION Alternatively, we do have three pairs of tickets to give away for each of the three days of the show. Simply answer the question “IN WHAT YEAR WAS THE FIRST LONDON CONCOURS HELD?” in an email to info@nicholasmee.co.uk confirming which day you would like to attend: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. We will notify the lucky winners by 5pm on Friday 24 June.

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RETROSPECTIVE Z CARS:

The DB7 Zagato is 20 years young this year...

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First unveiled to a select group of potential customers at bespoke tailors Gieves and Hawkes of Savile Row in July 2002, the official debut of the exciting new collaboration between Aston Martin and Carrozzeria Zagato was made at the following month’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California. By then, the planned 99-car run of DB7 Zagato coupés was completely sold out, with a further 100 letters of intent received from would-be owners eager to snap up a limited-edition Aston Martin sure to appreciate in value.

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The new car was based on an abbreviated (by 60mm in the wheelbase) DB7 Vantage Volante platform. By clever use of advanced materials and a more compact design – it was 204mm shorter in overall length – the new car was smaller in cross-section and some 60kg lighter than standard. With a 435bhp V12 from the DB7 GT and standard 6-speed manual gearbox it felt faster as a result. New cars started to be delivered in 2003, a joint effort from AML, which shipped the bare chassis and drivetrain to Milan, and Zagato, who then attached


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the aluminium and composite panes by hand. The DB7 Zagato was a handbuilt Aston Martin in almost the old tradition. The Italian designer led by in-house artist Nori Harada had created a dramatic shape with a trademark ‘double bubble’ roof and large, ‘egg crate’ grille. The cars were known for their luxurious use of aniline – soft, matt and buttery – leather for their seats and other interior fittings.

Despite clamouring demand, in the end, only one extra car was built – a single automatic – and a figure of exactly 100 DB7 Zagatos (60 RHD/40 LHD) was the final roll-call for DB7 Zagato production. We are delighted to offer this example, possibly the finest we have seen, finished in Tungsten Silver over Royal Blue hide as a ‘reference’ DB7 Zagato. In immaculate condition with just 5,700 miles covered from new, full details of this exciting limited-edition Aston Martin can be viewed here.

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