After standing back and watching the troubled development of the Virage/Vantage and with a recession starting to bite as the 1980s gave way to the 1990s, Ford decided to take Aston Martin under its experience wing. Aston’s new owner felt it needed a ‘cheap’ accessible car that would compete with top range Mercedes models. Despite worries by Aston die hards that Ford would ‘dilute’ the essence of Aston Martin, the owner raided the parts bin of its recently acquired luxury car maker, Jaguar. It started the DB7 project with the remnants of Project XX, a replacement for the ageing XJS, Ford decided that Aston would take over work on redeveloping the XJS running gear, and that Jaguar would start working on a completely new coupe. The result was a remarkable beautiful, flowing car which captured everybody’s ideal of what an Aston Martin should look like. The interior was similarly flowing stylish, extensively wooded but, like the whole car, not oversized and intimidating like the Virage. Aston buyers clearly didn’t care that the DB7 was ridded with borrowed components form the Ford switches to the Mazda 323F rear lights.
The DB7 was hard assembled at the Jaguar XJ220 facility, which was attached to an old farm in Oxfordshire, England. The car was a tremendous success for the company, and even continued to do very well after the arrival of Jaguar’s XK8, a direct competitor that was more modern form stem to stern, as well as considerably.