After almost 13 whole years in production the DB9, one of the most beautifully designed GT cars in history and the car that put Aston Martin back on the map as a serious alternative to the best that Ferrari Porsche or Bentley could offer, is finally going out to pasture.
A replacement for the DB7, it was called the DB9 rather than the DB8 because the company wanted to indicate that the new car was revolutionary, rather than evolutionary (and there were concerns that a car called DB8 might lead people to think it only had eight, rather than 12 cylinders).
So it is fitting that this week the final nine examples rolled off the company’s Gaydon, Warwickshire, England production line — a facility built to build the DB9 — and after a month’s downtime, the line will fire up again retoolled and ready to build its replacement, the DB11.
Thirteen years is a very long time in super GT circles. Though the company did its best to up the car’s power — from an original 450bhp to the current 510hp — and to add more connectivity to its cabin, by 2010, the gap between the DB9 and its competitors was widening.
However, the car continued to find fans right up until the end. The final nine DB9s are each custom finished by the company’s Q Division bespoke customization firm. Therefore each one is unique and each one already has an owner.
When it made its debut at the 2003 Frankfurt motor show, grown men went weak at the knees. During a test drive, “Top Gear” presenter Jeremy Clarkson fell in love with the car and even car-obsessed stand-up comic Adam Carolla could only find fault with the fact that it was the first ever DB-badged Aston to have been designed without a hood scoop, an issue he soon resolved by taking his DB9 to car customizer extraordinaire Chip Foose.
The love for the car was such that it turbocharged the company’s sales. In 2003 Aston had only managed to sell 1514 cars. But by the end of 2005 that figure had jumped to 4400 and by 2007 had hit an all-time high of 6850. And though Aston doesn’t’ break down those figures by individual model, the majority of those sales were the DB9 or its more aggressive counterpart the DBS — the car that Daniel Craig’s James Bond totally destroyed in not one, but two Bond films — “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.”
The British spy also helped out in the last Bond film “Spectre” by driving a one-off Aston, the DB10. This allows Aston to jump straight to 11 for the new car because, like the DB9, the new model promises a revolution not an evolution.
But just because a new car is coming, doesn’t mean that the DB9 is completely dead. Classic car insurance and classic car industry experts, Hagerty have noticed that since mid-2015 demand for and prices being paid for 2004-2007 DB9s is clearly on the rise.