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