For $39,888, be between a croc and a hard placeS

Aston Martin's DB7 is rare enough, but today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe reptilian-pattern interior edition is even more so. Up to you is determining if its price makes you say later gator.

This has been a week for customized cars, and while Monday's shifty Roadmaster tickled your fancy, the only thing yesterday's fancy Caprice seemed to tickle was your gag reflex, resulting in a resounding 95% Crack Pipe loss. Sorry gangsta'.

Today, we have a car that is far more British, and as we all know, that island nation is far too proper and stiff upper lipped to produce a custom job that is anything less than tasteful and discrete. Of course on the down side, this 2002 Aston Martin DB7 V12 Vantage is being offered in Texas, and that state knows no boundaries for automotive asshattery.

For $39,888, be between a croc and a hard placeS

The DB7, with its six cylinder engine, was intended to slot under the V8-powered Virage as Aston's entry-level offering. Based on the Jaguar XJ-S, and in fact originally intended as the the replacement for that car, it was handed over to Aston after Jag decided that its long in the tooth coupe still had a few more years to flog.

Aston not only jumped at the chance for a new model but made up for Jag dropping their twelve cylinder engine by offering one of their own. The 6.0-litre engine isn't just a pair of Ford Mondeo V6s welded together, although that's sort of how it got started. None the less, the 420-bhp, 48-valve 12 elevated the DB7's performance above the V8 Virage, and that older car went out of production in 2000.

For $39,888, be between a croc and a hard placeS

With the 7 Aston revisited the tradition of naming its cars with the DB preface, a practice abandoned decades past. This was no doubt to the utter thrill of Sir David Brown, despite his being dead five years at the time. Also deceased are the Crocodylia that make up parts of the interior of this V12 Vantage. That's just part of what makes this DB unique if not Monique. Outside, the jet black car gets a colander for a grille in replacement of the standard horizontal bars, the stock wheels have been exchanged for aftermarket alloys, and the window glass has been tinted darker than the inside of a well digger's ass. Overall, if one were tasked with describing the look, malcontent would be a fitting denouement.

Things inside are even less stock featuring custom leather with an alligator pattern on the bolsters and center hump elbow perch. That's all done in goes with everything black, while the door panels and dash are two-tone black and blue, which is just as odd as it sounds. A fun bit of Aston Martin ownership is playing where'd that come from with the various bits, and as the DB 7 comes from the era of Ford oversight, there's a whole bunch of Volvo, Jag and Blue Oval bits strewn throughout the cabin. It's not as bad as the earlier Virage, which had headlights from an Audi, and tails from a Scirocco, but it's still like the pleasure of discovering it's your recently deceased aunt's arm that the Frankenstein monster is using to choke off your windpipe.

For $39,888, be between a croc and a hard placeS

While in the reptile room, you'll notice to your chagrin that this DB7 doesn't sport the T56 you'd have hoped for, but instead the ZF 5HP30 5-speed slusher, a gearbox shared with many a BMW and the Rolls Royce Silver Seraph, so it's potentially a good one. Regardless, the auto does cut over 30 MPH from the stick version's 186 mph top end, although both cars are said to hit sixty from a standstill in under five seconds.

Hopefully for the mechanical system's longevity much of this DB7's 53,000 miles weren't racked up testing that claim. The seller says it has benefited from over six grand in recent service work, which at that low of mileage and relative youth is either evidence of tremendous issues of durability or expense of maintenance. Either way, you can bet owning a V12 Aston Martin ain't gonna' be cheap.

For $39,888, be between a croc and a hard placeS

Buying one however, may be. At $39,888, this Aston is at the low-end of the scale for products from the Gaydon-based brand. That may stem from the fact that at nearly 7,000 built the DB7 represented the most ubiquitous of all Astons through the turn of the century. This one however is unique and as such its price may be seen as not only a lowball, but perhaps even a bargain. That of course, is exactly what you are tasked with determining right now.

So what do you say, is this gator-lined Aston worth its asking price? Or, does $39,888 mean the seller must be smoking croc pot?

You decide!

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