I’ve jacked up the paint on my Aston Martin DB9’s nose more times than I can remember. Scraaaaaaape. Speed bumps, drive way curbs, parking curbs, they are everywhere trying to scratch up the nose on my car. After 6 years of year round daily driving, it didn’t look pretty.
At a visit a to my dealer I was talking to the Tim Lyons (master mechanic) and he told me he had NEVER seen a customer car that wasn’t scraped up underneath. Made me feel a little better that is wasn’t just me.
My car was recently completely repainted and I now had the opportunity to do something to protect my perfect and virgin paint. I set about finding a ‘skid plate’ solution to shield the nose of my car.
Skid Plate Options
I started to look for skid plate options that would fit my 2005 DB9 Coupe. Options vary by model and year since the shape of the nose varies (A DBS front end is different than a DB9, and a Vanquish is different than both of those).
I posted a question in several of the Facebook Groups dedicated to Aston Martins and asked other owners what they had used or seen.
Scrape Armor is a US based company making bespoke skid plates for many cars. This looks like a professional product and seems well designed. I like the fact that it’s meant to bolt on using the existing screws under the front lip of the car so that its firmly attached. It also protects and hides the screw heads doing this.
Alas, they don’t have one for the early era DB9’s. They appear to have you covered if you drive a DBS, Vantage or later model DB9. You can check out all their Aston Martin offerings here. I even contacted their sales group to request one for the DB9, but don’t hold your breath. [These are the model years that the majority of cars were made BTW. If they want to prototype one, please give me a call!]
Kinda pricey as most options appear to be about $600 USD or more (although there appears to be plenty of ways to snag a 10% discount).
Honestly, if they had one available for my year of DB9, I would have seriously considered it.
eBay Option #1
A few of the usual forums have threads about an ABS plastic scrape guard that is sold on eBay. A quick Google search can find it here. This one is made specifically for the 2005-2011 DB9’s, the models the Scrape Armor folks have ignored so far.
It looks to be a a two piece design, with recesses cut to use the existing screws under the front bumper to mount it. They say it’s 3/8″ thick with a radiused front edge.
It’s more modest in price compared to the Scrape Armor products, going for about $355 USD (including free shipping).
This looked like the option I was going to run with, until I found the one from Sliplo below
eBay Option #2 – Woody’s Custom Shop
Similar to the first eBay option above, there is another one available made from 1/4″ black polyethylene. You can find it on eBay here. A little thinner than the first one.
Honestly, I am a bit concerned that it looks a bit cheesy. At least from the photo, if you look closely at the front edge it looks like it was just sliced out of a sheet with a bandsaw, and it looks unfinished. Maybe the current versions have a smooth radiused front edge. In the photo it looks like they are using pan head self tapping screws to mount it (which will make holes in your bumper). In the items description on eBay they say all the edges will be beveled and that it will use the 10 factory screws and they will be countersunk (just like the other products above). The photos and the description don’t match, but I suspect the description will be the correct one. [Leave me a comment below and a photo if you’ve got one of these]
At just $145 USD (plus shipping) it seems like a bargain compared to the other options above.
SlipLo (a.k.a. Dr. Scrape)
One of the other owners on the Aston Martin DB9 Owners Facebook group steered me towards this option.
SlipLo makes a universal fit Skid Plate. It’s modular, essentially they are flexible one foot sections of black polyurethane that you stick side by side onto the lower lip of the nose of the car. The sections are 12″ long by 1.5″ deep by 1/4″ thick. The look is black gloss, and has a nice bull nose front edge.
Polyurethane is the magic substance that they make performance suspension bushings out of. It’s hardy yet flexible.
You will need to do a little custom trimming to use this (a.k.a. some assembly required). Essentially you trim it off when it reaches the wheel arch, and you have to trim around the bumper screw heads.
It is thick enough that the screw heads end up completely recessed below the surface of the material, just like all the other options.
SlipLo is also known as DrScrape. They appear to be a US company based in California. It has a bit of a “Turnip Twaddler As Seen On TV” feeling. But, I could be biasing my opinion as an older guy reacting to a slick social media saavy company. Since I’ve been hands on with it, this impression has faded. I think they have just figured out a great approach to this. Learn more about their story here.
Being able to mass produce a universal product, they can keep the price low. They list price a 10 piece box for $175 USD. The 10 piece box is more than enough for a DB9. On Facebook an advertisement appeared (go figure – the Internet is watching) and offered it for $99 complete with free US shipping. I think you should be able to find it at this price (here is the discounted link I used).
This definitely seems like a product you should look around for a deal on, there is probably ALWAYS a sale on it somewhere. After I released this article the management at SlipLo contacted me and thanked me for the plug (this article is NOT a paid advertisement, none of my articles are). I asked them if they could give all my readers a discount, and they have done just that! When you are completing your purchase enter Aston1936 as the promo/discount code, and you should get 10% off and free USA shipping. Cool!
What did I choose?
When I was mulling over which option to purchase, I just kept getting drawn back to the simplicity of the SlipLo. Does it have to be rocket science like the Scrape Armor? I just need something to sacrifice itself between the curb and my paint. Do I really want to be scraping up something worth $600 USD?
For $99 USD I went online and purchased a 10 piece box of the SlipLo Universal Skid Plate.
Check out my next article and video on how to install it on my 2005 Aston Martin DB9. [Coming Soon]
And here is what it looks like after 6 months….
What’s Your Choice?
I’m curious to know if you are already using a skid plate on your Aston Martin DB9. What did you choose? Please share in this quick poll – it’s always comforting to know what others are choosing. Was it something I didn’t include above? If so, please leave me a comment down below and I will check it out.