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|Aston Martin DB7 Vantage prototype|
Noble House B.V.
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|Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Prototype, an experimental V12|
As is the case with the design and manufacture of all new cars, prototypes of the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage were also built. Car manufacturers put such prototypes through rigorous testing, after which they are usually destroyed.
However, this DB7 Vantage Prototype, with chassis number DP004, didn’t meet this fate and is now part of the Noble House collection – thirteen years after it was built. With the help of information received from Aston Martin Heritage, Noble House will return the partly dismantled car to its original prototype condition as far as is possible.
As a production model, the DB7 Vantage entered the market in 1999. It’s an important car in the history of Aston Martin because it was the first V12 to be built by the marque. It is an absolutely phenomenal sports car that, despite its civilised-looking exterior, features beastly performance with a top speed of close to 185 mph. Its highly advanced engine would become the foundation of the brand. Its output in the DB7 configuration is no less than 420 bhp.
Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Prototype – 1998 in detail
During the development phase of the DB7 Vantage, more than 500,000 miles were covered by various test cars. Testing took place in parts of Europe and North America and in other places where extreme temperatures are the norm. In this way, it was possible to determine whether the new car could remain functioning under temperature conditions ranging between -30 and +40 degrees Celsius.
Reliability tests were also conducted during which teams of test drivers took turns to drive the cars at their top speeds over a 48-hour period. During this testing, an average speed of no less than 164 mph was achieved. To make it even more difficult for the cars, these reliability tests were also conducted in Southern Europe in summer conditions.
Once test programmes are complete, prototypes are normally destroyed. This prevents the cars from being traded and, in addition, the British Exchequer refunds the VAT paid upon registration once vehicles are scrapped. However, the fate of the Noble House DB7 Vantage turned out to be much rosier.
Having done its part for Aston Martin, this prototype and six other prototype DB 7's were all sold to an Aston Martin dealer in Norfolk, England. In accordance with an agreement with Aston Martin, the cars were first stripped of all windows and their interiors and branding were removed.
The seven cars were subsequently sold as racing cars, while the this DB7 Vantage Prototype fell into the hands of Peter Wheeler, the former owner of British carmaker TVR. Wheeler intended to prepare the Aston Martin for circuit use, but he never got around to doing so. He fell ill and passed away in 2009. The car remained untouched.
Its special chassis number, AMWS R7 DP004, proves that this Vantage Prototype was truly an Aston Martin prototype. In this number, AMWS stands for Aston Martin Works Service (where the car was built), R7 stands for Racing DB7 Vantage and DP004 stands for Prototype number 4. Since the 1950’s, Aston Martin prototypes have been recognisable by the DP prefix. This means that, from a historic point of view, Noble House has a one-of-a-kind Aston Martin.
Sold on the 26.03.2013
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