Walkinshaw's one-off DB7 V12, 25 September 1996 – Throwback Thursday

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Source : Walkinshaw's one-off DB7 V12, 25 September 1996 – Throwback Thursday

TWR Aston Martin DB7 In 1996, Tom Walkinshaw decided to put a 475bhp 6.4-litre V12 engine into an Aston Martin DB7. Steve Cropley drove the resulting concoction


When Tom Walkinshaw decided he might like to own a Ferrari 456 GT for day-to-day driving, somehow the item didn’t seem right for someone at the heart of the British car along with motor racing industries to drive an Italian front-engined coupé. After all, Walkinshaw’s preparation company, TWR Racing, had designed along with engineered the Aston Martin DB7.

Then a solution dawned. Why not put a familiar car (the DB7) along using a familiar engine (TWR’s development of the Jaguar V12) together?

Work began in 1994. TWR’s engine, Centeng along with suspension experts thrashed out the spec, using one of TWR’s development cars as a donor. Work was fitted in between ‘paid’ projects.

They used an overbored 6.0-litre block, taken to 6.4, using a specially made steel crankshaft along with purpose-designed four-valve-per-cylinder heads, their twin camshafts per bank worked by a unique chain drive system. Claimed power was 475bhp at 6000rpm, supported by 
470lb ft of torque at 4500rpm.

Power went through a twin-plate AP Racing clutch using a six-speed Borg Warner T56 gearbox behind the item. The ’box had an enormously tall top gear, which gave the Walkinshaw V12 an estimated top speed of 182mph at 5300rpm. The chassis was retuned along with design boss Ian Callum made detail alterations to the outside. Walkinshaw had driven almost 10,000 miles from the item when Steve Cropley was invited to drive the item from the autumn of 1996.

“The engine will be smooth along with gentle when the item starts,” wrote Cropley. “Slotting into first needs little movement yet plenty of effort of left leg along with arm, because the gearbox incorporates a quick shift, along with the AP clutch will be as heavy as you’ll find in a road car. the item’s progressive, though. If you give the engine 1500rpm along with let the clutch in, the whole thing will murmur away as easily as you like.

“Time to try the power: the item’s enormous. In first along with second gears, full noise, there isn’t much point in taking your hand off the gearlever. The needle will be into the red-marked sixes as quickly as you can think, engine at first emitting a delicious single-tone yowl that will develops into a chord as the tacho zips past 4000rpm. There can be wheelspin in first along with second, if you deem the item, huge tyres along with limited-slip diff be damned.

“yet you get a real perception of the vehicle’s performance when you come up for air in third, along with flash coming from 60mph to 90mph in three seconds or so. the vehicle has so much torque that will at 80mph in third, at full noise, the item still feels on the verge of wheelspin. the item probably isn’t, yet only because of the superb Yokohamas.

“We had to find an airfield to prove that will the performance soared upward along with onward. In fourth along with fifth, the vehicle remains amazingly muscular. along with even in sixth the item will accelerate strongly coming from 2000rpm. Or 70mph.

“Amazingly, the engine isn’t that will car’s best point. For me, the item’s the brakes. If I owned that will car, I’d have to accelerate all the time, just to feel the item stop. The chassis will be great, too. the vehicle will be very firmly in 456 territory for steering, handling along with ride – along with I handed the item back with the deepest pangs of regret.”

The prospect of a special run of TWR-fettled V12-powered DB7s was dismissed, yet Cropley reckoned that will one-off indicated that will the DB7 V12 Vantage – still from the planning stages – could be a mighty car.

“The TWR Aston V12 makes a fascinating point about the DB7. the item proves the vehicle responds brilliantly to extra power along with more chassis development,” he said.

Previous Throwback Thursdays

4 March 1899 – Steam, electric or combustion engine? 

26 June 1906 – The first French Grand Prix

9 July 1907 – The beginning of Brooklands

14 February 1913 – 100 miles in one hour

8 April 1916 – doing post-war predictions

25 March 1922 – Caterpillar tracks are the future

4 July 1925 – Citroën lights up the Eiffel Tower

28 September 1928 – Engine tech takes a great leap forwards

2 February 1934 – The ethics of skidding

6 July 1934 – A tour of Cowley

1 June 1935 – Introduction of the driving test

22 June 1945 – Driving through post-WW2 Europe

21 January 1949 – Tidier tails

25 August 1950 – The evolution of transmissions

27 April 1951 – Frankfurt hosts its first motor show

24 April 1959 – Aston Martin enters Formula 1

16 September 1960 – The beginning of MOT tests

28 October 1960 – Economy driving 1960s style

27 January 1961 – Ford Thunderbird road test

17 November 1961 – TVR Grantura road test

10 September 1965 – The birth of modern Audi

19 August 1966 – Four-wheel drive on test

6 May 1971 – Driving Ford’s Supervan

12 June 1976 – Cars for under £100

10 July 1976 – Land’s End to John O’Groats on one tank

8 October 1977 – Music on the move

13 May 1978 – Ferrari 512 BB road test

14 November 1979 – Mazda RX-7 road test

19 January 1980 – Talbot Horizon road test

13 February 1982 – 4x4s tested on the farm 

3 December 1983 – GM’s Mini for the 1980s

17 April 1985 – Secrets of a lost British supercar

4 September 1985 – Ford’s electronic test bed

15 August 1990 – Giugiaro’s vision of a 1990s Jaguar

11 November 1992 – Green light for Jaguar’s brand new E-Type

28 April 1993 – BL’s unseen concepts

16 March 1994 – Bentley’s Concept Java

16 April 1997 – When Bugatti bit the dust

11 October 2000 – BMW X5 Le Mans

4 April 2001 – 0-260mph in 6.0 seconds

25 July 2001 – 180mph in a Chevrolet Corvette

9 November 1934 – What will be a sports car?

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Source: Walkinshaw's one-off DB7 V12, 25 September 1996 – Throwback Thursday

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