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Thread: Z8 or DB7 - a pleasant dilemma, but please help

  1. #1
    Z8 Novice
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    Question Z8 or DB7 - a pleasant dilemma, but please help

    Thanks to Andrew for a great forum. I am the very happy owner of a 1997 Z3 2.8 who finally in my
    mid fifties have enough $ to achieve a life long dream - a "fun" second car. My dilemma is that being English by birth, I have always lusted after an Aston Martin. I can afford a low mileage DB7 but since my Z3 is so well made (I have put 170,000 km on it over 10 years with never a problem, a great car), I have a feeling that the Z8 is a better engineered vehicle which will hold its value better. I am seeking advice from owners of both cars to try help me with my very difficult, but nice
    to have dilemma. I have a choice of a 2002 DB7 (V12 convertible with 6 speed manual) with very low miles (10,000) or a 2001 Z8 with 48,000 miles for a little more money. Being in Toronto, there are very few Z8 cars that come on the market. I am concerned about the difference in miles on the clock, but since I know the M5 motor is practically bullet proof, I am leaning toward the Z8. Any thoughts much appreciated, thanks in advance,
    Andrew


  2. #2
    I have driven the DB7 soft-top, and while it has an exquisite exhaust note, it lacks the magic that the earlier DB's had (the 3,4 & 5's) and it isn't as gorgeous as their current crop of cars.

    I think that if AM is really your first love I'd go with a DB5 or wait a little bit and get one of the cars from the new team at the helm of AM - check out this week's AM news - here.

    The Z8 is a wondeful car, it is a pinnacle car for BMW, and since you've read everything here you'll have a good idea of what to expect. My preference would be for a later Z8 with around 8-15,000 miles, but based on my memory of my one day's drive in the DB7 that I tried back in '02 I'd take any Z8 over a DB7. Appart from the wonderful exhaust note I felt that the DB7 was really rather bland.

    Hope that helps, and hope we'll see you in a Z8 - but if you do get an AM make it one of their best!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    My thoughts exactly Andrew. I looked at buying a DB7 Vantage new in '01, after driving it, I came away feeling it was too soft, too quiet, and too isolated from the driving experience....Bland to drive, no "seat of the pants". I very much like the styling but was looking for a more sporty experience.

    Just my .02, good luck.

  4. #4
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    Allow me to introduce a more practical aspect. BMW is a very stable producer of a wide range of vehicles. They have acknowledged a committment to the Z8.

    Aston Martin has a history of being bailed from a number of financial disasters. David Brown bailed them out in 1947, when their cars acquired the DB nomenclature. They went through two owners in the 1980s when Ford acquired a 75% ownership in 1987 and 100% in 1994. Now this relationship is over, and David Richards owns Aston Martin (will the new cars be DR's and not DB's?).

    Richards has successfully managed racing organizations, and can probably continue to sell the current product line, but what happens when these age or regulations governing road cars change? Aston Martin's engines relied heavily on Ford's designs. They used Ford's infrastructure for design and certification. These facilities are now gone to Aston Martin. No company the size of an independent Aston Martin can support what is needed to test and certify cars for a worldwide market. Unless AM finds a benefactor with these facilities they will only exist as long as thy can sell the current product line without modification. When emmissions or safety regulations change in a particular market, they will have to withdraw from that market (that is what happened to ALFA Romeo in 1993 - the sales did not support the costs of supporting changes and certification that would have allowed them to stay in the US).

    Your decison is to buy one of two existing cars; however the viability of an sustaining dealer network is an important consderation if you are buying the car to drive and not just collect. I assume this is the case. BMW is stable and viable orgnization. They have committed to support the Z8 and a general committment to support all of their earlier automobiles through organizations like Mobile Tradition.

    The situation with Aston Martin is far different. They have very recently gone from being a division in a large organization with a supporting infrastructure to an independent that has several key components lacking for continued sustainability. Investment bankers have a very poor track record in the automotive world since the days of E. L. Cord, and still have the problem with infrastructure. One of two things will probably happen: AM will be sold to a large auto company as a "trophy marque", or they will cut their losses when real problems appear.

    I am in a very similar position to you. My Z8 sits beside a 1996 Z3, albeit with a supercharger and Schnitzer suspension. If you like the Z3 enough to consider a Z8, you wouldn't be disappointed with your choice. Once you get rid of the run flat tires, the Z8 is very much in the Z3 idiom. It has much more power than any Z3, the directional stability is much improved and leather replaces plastic, but it shares the wonderful, intuitive road feel of a Z.

    Congratulations, and best wishes on whatever you decide